Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Susie: I was born in Maryland, but moved to the Bay Area when I was three years old. I definitely consider it my home. I’ve lived in Oakland proper on and off since 1997. I’ve lived in many cities and travelled the globe but if you ask me, I will rep the Bay all day.
Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Susie: My grandmother and mother are both painters. My mom has always been super creative. I think that the path was laid long before I arrived to this world. I personally started painting in graduate school when I was teaching US History to high school sophomores in Charlestown, MA. And dancing? Pffft! I’ve danced since I was five. Are you kidding? Who didn’t dance in the eighties? It was all Flashdance and Madonna on MTV and Hollywood. I remember my first crush bringing cardboard and a boombox to school so he could dance to Egyptian Lover at recess. He was rockin checkered Vans and errrything.
Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Susie: I find my inspiration in Buddha, hip hop, love, Stevie, beauty, and undying friendship. I’m inspired by all of the fly ass women in the Bay. Women just know how to hold it all with strength, swag, tenderness, and ferocity.
Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Susie: My brother is five years older than me. He used to do this thing where he would manipulate me into spending my savings on stuff that he would then take over. It happened with the Atari when I was five and then it happened with the “The Rise and Fall” Madness record I split with him when I was 7.
Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Susie: “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
— Pema Chödrön (The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times)