Concha’s Art


By Concha Wilkinson


Creativity is a way of life for me, so I see everything as art. Being creative includes perspective and observation. It’s about paying attention, noticing the interconnectedness of everything and what make things “tick.”


Some wearable results of Concha’s creative vision.

Some wearable results of Concha’s creative vision.

I’ve been painting, drawing, sewing and decorating for as long as I can remember. My mother was an artist, pianist and master gardener, while my father’s creative talents were staged in the business world of movie theaters. It seems I was surrounded with the best of both talents.


My two interests, painting and sewing, eventually merged in an intersection that has become a life-long pursuit. For years, I altered store-bought clothes and began to experiment with washable paints (fabric paints were not available in stores). I painted the clothes I made to create an “artsy” look. As my interest in painting and fashion grew, I pursued a career as a fashion illustrator for newspaper ads, employed by Belk department store in Charlotte, NC. Over time, fashion illustration was replaced with photography and computer art, so I began free-lancing, designing product packaging and brochures for various businesses. Even then, I continued sewing, altering and painting clothes for myself whenever I could.


So, being part of the world of creativity is not an option for me. It is part of who I am. It allows me to lighten up, have fun and not take myself so seriously. Creativity also connects me to something greater than myself, and in the process I begin to experience a sense of wholeness and interconnectedness to everything.


Now, after forty years of sewing and painting, I have finally come home, creating wearable art in the form of hand crafted clothing, shoes and boots. These creations are one-of-a-kind, colorful and fun to wear!




Hand crafted art to wear is redesigned clothing using repurposed materials. It is art to wear and incorporates fabric paint, bottle caps, fringe, antique lace, old jewelry and hand painted appliqués as embellishments.


The process involves using existing clothing which are redesigned by using materials from other garments. While I start with an idea, the shape, style and color of the existing garment dictates the overall look for the completed outfit. Colors and fabrics that work well together are important in making the finished design interesting and also fit well. As with other forms of art, the process is an “inside job.” Free from outside distractions, (no phone calls or TV; maybe some inspirational music.) the creative process begins to unfold and design itself. I simply put the pieces together. More often than not, I end up with a design that’s entirely different than what I first envisioned! Fabric paint is used to add interesting designs and to help unify the colors and fabrics. Vintage lace, old jewelry, bottle caps and fringe are often incorporated to add interest and a somewhat whimsical touch.


After all, these aren’t just clothes. They’re art and they should be fun!



For more information, contact Concha Wilkinson at 828 273-1375;; or

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker