Joanna Katrena Cooper is a beader from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, QC, who loves to use her beadwork skills to create intricate and unique earrings and necklaces. Cooper sells her beadwork creations through her Instagram account, Nuutuittuq, which she opened in 2020. She is inspired by beaders like Lydia Audlaluk, who also works with sealskin to create beaded earrings.
Cooper dabbled with beading on and off since her teenage years, with a particular interest in beaded necklaces, but it wasn’t until she was in college when she began learning to make them. Cooper prides herself on being mostly a self-taught beader, but credits her beader friends for helping her learn the craft. She graduated from John Abbott College in 2020 in Arts, Literature and Communications and is currently a Concordia student in Fine Arts.
Beaded necklaces continue to be one of Cooper’s favourite things to create, along with variable earring patterns. “Akuk, the back of an amautik, ulu, traditional inuit knife, and kamiik, traditional inuit footwear, rank highly on my favourite things to bead,” she says. 
For Cooper, the most important thing is to create from a space of love and joy. “I only make time to create things I believe I would enjoy, and am very fortunate to have an audience that also enjoys them.”
As Cooper continues to grow her beadwork practice, she is working on creating matching earring and necklace sets. “This has balanced my love for both forms of beadwork. I hope to release a dedicated collection in the near future,” says Cooper. Aside from beadwork, Cooper has a love for prints and is experimenting with block printing and teaching herself the craft. She looks forward to sharing prints in the near future.
This Profile was made possible through support from RBC Emerging Artists.
Joanna Katrena Cooper
Uluapiik Earrings (2022)
© The artist
Matching Akuapiik earrings and necklace set (2022)
Small Uluapiik Earrings (2022)
Large Delicate Necklace (2021)
Kamiapiik Earrings (2022)
Matching necklace and Akuapiik earrings (2021)