Ruby Spencer didn’t consider herself an artist for the first part of her life. Growing up an athlete, she played volleyball all the way through college. It wasn’t until after college that Ruby became an active part of the vintage community in Chicago. That’s where her life as an artist took shape as she participated in pinup modeling, classic car shows and was swing dancing and teaching swing dancing.
“As with most people, you spend time in your teenage years and in college, and even your young adulthood, trying to figure out who you are and what your style is and what you're into. You hit that moment where you're tired of trying to fit in and you realize ‘I just wanna be me. And I wanna like what I like and wear what I wear and do what I do and be happy.”
For Ruby, that moment happened just after her 30th birthday.
“When I turned 30, that was the pivotal time where I was like, you know what? I moved back to Chicago from the DC area and I realized how inclusive Chicago is. I said ‘I'm gonna do what I want to do because I'm tired of trying to fit in.’”
“I like to try new things. I'll do it. It's one class. It'll be fun. And I had a good time, but I didn't do the performance piece after it, which then she admonished me and said ‘No, you have to do the performance piece. That's what makes it a thing.’ So, I signed up again and did another class.”
Though she now makes a living from her talents, she offers advice to artists and aspiring artists to find what they love doing - without the pursuit of monetizing from the beginning.
“Every hobby you have does not have to be a career. It does not have to be a money maker. If you love crocheting and you wanna crochet and you wanna donate things to somebody, or you wanna make things for friends as gifts, I think that that's amazing.”
Tune in to hear more of Ruby’s story and get a peek into the world of burlesque dancing.