I initially found G.Raff in a journal entry I wrote in 1991, at age six, after a particularly thrilling trip to the zoo. I was entranced by the vibrant drawing and decided to recreate this creature—eventually making a full-body costume that was designed to be an exact replica of the drawing.
The head and body were made using traditional quilting techniques—taking bright yellow cotton fabrics and connecting them in long rectangular strips, mimicking the haphazard marker lines from the drawing. The organic black spots were then adhered to the garment using free-motion embroidery.
When I first started performing as G.Raff, the performances were spontaneous and meant to bring about a sense of whimsy. But as time went on, I became more interested in developing her personality through storytelling, and created additional characters who she could interact with. This opened the door to what became my graduate thesis work titled G.Raff, Spotted in the Forest. This was a video project that spanned six months, and took G.Raff, Stegosaurus, and Cloak deep into the Missouri forest. The story closely followed the hero's journey, and as G.Raff struggled with the loss of a friend, she grappled with loneliness, desperation, and fear of the unknown.