Tanya Innaarulik

Tanya Innaarulik is a designer, jeweller, painter and illustrator from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, QC currently based in Montreal, QC. Innaarulik produces a fashion line under the name OKA (Original Killer Apparel) that focuses on innovating traditional Inuit textile practices and reinterpreting designs to create t-shirts, scarves, canvas bags, wallets, boots and accessories. She also creates jewellery under the name TI Designs. 

In 2004, Innaarulik began her artistic journey working with acrylics [1], and pulling from her experience of the Kuujjuaq landscape and culture to create vibrant paintings [2]. After moving to Montreal, QC in 2010, Innaarulik began to experiment with more artistic mediums that were difficult to access in Kuujjuaq. This eventually led her to launching OKA in 2015. In her design work, Innaarulik utilizes traditional Inuit motifs such as sun goggles, ulus and Inuksuit. She also incorporates tunniit (tattoo) designs as a way of recovering this tradition and as a source of cultural pride.

Innaarulik’s work is situated between the past and the present, and between tradition and innovation. Her work has been featured in the Annual Spring Equinox, an Inuit cultural event at the Bronson centre in Ottawa and at the Gallery McClure Visual Arts Centre in Westmount, QC as part of an exhibit titled Lucassie Echalook, Mattiusi Iyaituk: Between Tradition and Innovation. In 2010, she was selected to paint a 6-foot tall Coca-Cola bottle that was showcased during the Vancouver Olympics [4]. Innaarulik was selected as Beatrice Deer's Artist Choice in the Summer 2016 issue of the Inuit Art Quarterly and is included in a feature story on design and the digital economy in the Winter 2018 issue of the IAQ.



Citations/Footnotes

1. Beatrice Deer, “Tanya Innaarulik,” Inuit Art Quarterly 29, no. 2 (2016): 14.
2. Ibid.