Symbiosis is a painting series depicting Kelp inspired by an under water photograph.
At the top of the new year, 2021, it became clear that I need to step it up when it comes to marketing Citrine Tangerine. With clarity came a wave of reality – This year was going to be filled with hard work. 2021 would be the hardest year of all because it was the one upon me! I was ready. I made a plan. Now is the time to put everything I've prepared into action. It was settled! I'd create small monthly collections featuring the birthstones. This way I could cut down on how many pieces of jewelry I create but keep the website updated frequently enough to keep it interesting. These monthly collections inspired beauty looks for self portraits, new blog posts, crystal readings, and fresh ideas for product photography. Here we are 8 months down and it's been rewarding. So much good has happened. The gratitude I feel is insurmountable. I'll never forget the love.
When the May Collection came around I had no idea the impact and inspiration Emeralds would bring to light. It was late April when I started designing pieces, photographing jewelry, and recording the Crystal Reading from The Book Of Stones - when inspiration struck. The photographs from this collection are memorable. It was the way the green of Craig's tumbled raw emeralds illuminated in the sunlight. I'd also made two electro-formed Moldavite rings and a few new Herkimer Diamond rings too. Inspiration must have been in the air.
For some reason the word 'Symbiosis' popped into my head. Why was this word suddenly present in my mind? It was like I found a 'pocket' of consciousness. Soon I was pondering how we as humans relate to one another, animals, objects and the planet, I recalled many years ago how concept of Symbiosis was introduced as a concept in school. We discussed different kinds of Symbiosis – Mutualism being one I want to be part of as a global community member. But even parasitic Symbiosis is an inherently necessary aspect of how our complex planet operates.
Moving into this tangent focused around the concepts of Symbiosis I found an incredibly intriguing photograph of Kelp. This photograph was the beginning of a deep pondering on the Symbiosis humanity has with Oceans and their life forms, specifically Kelp. These green and alien like organisms reminded me of the links connecting my jewelry designs. Their growths, one on top of the other, reminded me of how we build ourselves in years at a time. Their tendrils also remind me of DNA for some reason. I discovered Kelp are not plants but a Heterokont. This word made me laugh a bit. Kelp are part of the order Laminariales. Our oceans are responsible for a substantial amount of our breathable Oxygen. Some people eat Kelp for health benefits. Large bodies of water are sources of relaxation, memories, and travel. Our oceans remind me of power. They remind me of the vastness of our planet and just how small we humans are.
'Seaweed' prior to this moment was a source of irrational fear rooting from my childhood. Nothing in particular happened to me regarding sea weed, I just did not like it! Swimming in Northern Michigan's fresh water lakes such as Higgins Lake or Lake Huron afforded me the privilege of crystal clear waters. If the water was full of long tendrils, good luck getting me in there! It just always freaked me out not knowing what was below. Never before had I seen Kelp in the light that underwater photographs of Laminariales shined on their beauty. Pure Green and Blue rays of color. Simply breath taking. Gorgeous. Stunning. This is when I knew something was emerging from my soul. I just had to paint these out of this world pictures. Like every other time I tried something new, the first pieces were NOT what I imagined but it was the start of decompressing from the lock downs in 2020.
What a year 2020 was... Nothing went as planned but painting kept me sane when I couldn't travel. I planned for another time, some time in the future... Painting kept my imagination alive. It brought color, imagination, and adventure into a very traumatizing and still year. Never did I think painting would be therapeutic but this was just one of many discoveries made last year. The creative community on a global level banded together in such a beneficial way. I am so grateful for everyone I met during these times and to have participated in several 'Lockdown Exhibitions'. It sparked a new connection with painting that is alive in this latest series of works.
There are several photographs of kelp that made me want to go somewhere new. Some where I've never gone before and perhaps I never will be able to go, to an ocean forest filled with kelp -- To experience the order of Laminariales from the ocean floor looking up. After a while my imagination took control. I hope you're able to dive into the atmospheres of this series. It is my intention that you feel more calm, more alive, and to spark your curiosity with this series. Our world is truly a beautiful place to behold. Our imaginations are powerful tools to be used for our advantage. Allow your mind to flow and extend, kind of like the laminariales some of which reach 120 feet in length. Thank you for being here.
So another #augustforartists prompt is asking for top tips or artists hacks. There are tips I have to offer but as far as cheat codes go.. don’t expect any short cuts! Perhaps that is tip number 1. Life is hard, no matter what route you choose. It’s the challenges that make us strong, give us priceless experience and teach us the most! Lean into the reality of hard work.
Another tip is to never give up! Persevere through all that is thrown your way. Impress yourself while doing it! If you keep going, success is inevitable, especially with a positive attitude and outlook on life.
Which is yet another tip, stay optimistic. That positive mindset will lead you to more opportunities because you kept looking for more, even if you got rejected from something or someone. Don’t affirm failure, even though it’s part of the process. Fail, feel your feelings and pick yourself back up, KNOWING something else will come your way. ESPECIALLY IF YOU DON’T GIVE UP, KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE, AND CONTINUE LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITIES. - You can always create your own opportunities in life too.. we’ll save that for another post though!!
Flower Crown @bloomaway_seattle
Ugh! Welcome SPRING!! We are ready. It is time to expand and grow. The seeds we planted, nurtured, and grew are among us. It is the time to be your best self. We've planned for this! Let the blessings surround us. We are ready for more. We are ready for better. We are ready for community and health.
Some how my plants survived the winter and we are still living together. I am SO looking forward to repotting all these plants! I've always loved nature and having plants in the house. Growing up with gardens and the matriarchs of my family have quite the green thumb! Until recently, plants have not survived my lifestyle. But with this major life pace slowing down to stand still, my plants have been incredibly grounding and inspiring. They also have been providing my house hold with fresh oxygen. Thank you!!
Before winter hit, it struck me that all these gorgeous plants are ALIVE, GIVING ME LIFE, and I did not want to kill them in the sub zero environment of Michigan. I took a deep breath and got on smile.amazon.com to order an affordable grow light for all my precious plants. Let me tell you!! My plants survived! Not only did they survive, several of them have grown pups! I swear the crystals on the top of their soil helped too. It's time to give these babies a new home and there is no better time than spring to spread those wings and fly. More like split these plants to expand the garden.
One particular plant that is growing exponentially is an Aloe from a close friend. This Aloe sparked my new found love for plants. (as well as a few others I found from one of our inevitable Ikea visits.) This Aloe had about 12 other plants already growing steadily. I had to repot them into several other planters and even gave a few of the smaller plants away! Over the winter months of 2020, this already abundant Aloe has doubled in size and population! If it was a pokemon card, it would be a VMAX!! This baby is prosperous and I can't wait to share some of her love with a couple more friends this spring.
This is the energy I want to cultivate more of! Let's build this garden, understand the subtleties of life, adjust to a slower pace, and nurture ourselves into health. Spring is a wonderful time. The flowers begin to grow, our world gets a bit greener, baby animals are born. Let us tap into this energy, our planet is alive, and so are we. It is time to give birth to the desires we've been tending to within. I'll be celebrating the motion of spring with a few activities that could be described as 'witchy'.
Fresh herbs and intentions written on paper will be burned, rising into the sky to be born again. The flames burning away energetic rubbish, cleansing all my crystals. Aura Cleared. Candles will be lit. Words will be spoken. Creations will be made. Good food will be eaten. Bodies will move to the rhythm of our heart beats. Strength will be built. Songs will be sung. Perhaps some games will be played. I can always get into a good celebration of any given seasonal change. The appreciation of time passing, love of the present moment, and embracing the excitement of the future. Yes please! Bring it on. Bring it all on.
A couple good reads for the spring equinox that were delivered directly to my inbox are listed here. You can click through and read!
Hippie CJ : Happy Astrological New Year
Power Path School of Shamanism : Spring Equinox Update
There is another update sent to my inbox that has no link but features a tarot spread for making high stakes decisions. If you're interested in it, I'll forward the email to you! Just reach out! I love to share and there are a lot of powerful people especially womxn out here spreading spiritual wisdom! Sending love to you all. May this time bring you every thing you need to move forward with your life. <3
A little bit about me! I was born in Idaho Falls, ID. Every summer, no matter where we lived in the USA, we'd travel to Higgins Lake in central northern Michigan. Over the summer I'd spend my time exploring & connecting with nature as well as inventing different experiences to share with people such as nature walks; where I'd identify different kinds of plant life. This is where my love for rocks, minerals, and gemstones began. I'd spend hours digging for Petoskey stones, fossils, agates, and anything interesting on the shores of Higgins Lake. Oddly enough this is also the place my love for making jewelry began. My sisters and I would make jewelry to sell to people as they walked by during the day.
Our family moved around a bit with the military until about 2000 we landed in Kalamazoo, MI. where I graduated from High School in 2010. In middle school my creative & artistic abilities began to expand and grow. I'd paint large canvases, drew anything I saw, painted murals, Play sets, and discovered photography. I was always drawing. While in HS I played several sports and my relationship to art deepened. I fell in love with film photography and continued to refine my over all expressive skills. Eventually applying to University of Michigan School of Art & Design. I was early accepted on my portfolio. After 4 years at the Stamps School of Art & Design in Ann Arbor my love for designing jewelry was rekindled. College was also when I fell in love with graffiti and the City of Detroit. I spent the summer of 2012 in Brightmoor teaching kids art and painting the neighborhood with colorful works by the kids. I graduated with a BFA in 2014 from the University of Michigan.
After college I worked for Shinola creating leather watch bands and was one of two skilled screen printers to launch their screen printing lab in Cass Corridor, now known as Midtown. It was this short time with Shinola that made me realize I needed to start my own business. Why do all this work for a company that does not give a shit about me AND exploits the name of Detroit for profit? (IT HAS TO BE SAID!) A few of the creative people I met working there and I teamed up to do a fashion photography session. This is when All Around Style came to life. While gaining experience in the City I worked for Ken Garff as an Inventory Photographer. Later I briefly worked for Pewabic selling fine Pottery as well as photographing team sports all around the metro Detroit area until in 2015 I participated in Art Prize 7.
Art Prize 7 changed my entire life. We fund raised for supplies to build 3 large scale paintings. These pieces were so large, we had to rent a moving truck to transport them. Art Prize was one of the best experiences of my life. If you ever get the chance to participate or attend, DO IT! Show some love. Buy some art!! This exhibition was iconic. I made a full blown collection featuring screen printed up-cycled clothing, an up-cycled fine jewelry line, three large scale paintings, a Detroit city scape poster with the Love Your Self hearts and some smaller paintings to sell. The two part panoramic paintings were donated to Major Chords For Minors after the event.
Travel, collaboration and sample sales became my focus 2016-2019. If I wanted my brand to succeed, I needed more exposure. I show cased fashion creations in Los Angeles in multiple sample sales, was lead photographer with Raw Artists Detroit for several years, published multiple independent magazines & catalogs, and have worked with independent fashion designers all over the country; Photographing the hottest styles, walking runways with the freshest model faces, designing some of the most exciting jewelry in our life time. I even showcased a collaborative collection in NYFW 2018. I screen printed fabrics which were turned into garments and adorned with All Around Style Jewelry. Over the years I've put in the work, the blood, the sweat, and the tears to build my business and master my craft. I was born to do this. I believe in creativity, style, and fashion. That is why I now own and operate two fine jewelry brands Citrine Tangerine & Smokey Citrine.
I currently live in Metro Detroit where I met my partner Craig while on my art nude modeling journey. Some day I'll make a book full of the drop dead gorgeous photos over the years. It was truly a remarkable journey I went on. Craig and I have been inseparable since we met. In more recent years my focus has been turned back to education and personal growth. It's been a priority to develop ways to be less wasteful in our creative process and learning ways to be more sustainable with sourcing and lifestyle. The Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference and Susan Wheeler have had a huge influence on my most recent collections as far as jewelry design. It is my priority to directly source materials, so my partner Craig and I have been traveling to Central NY to mine for Herkimer Diamond Quartz. I've also been sourcing more gemstones directly from businesses like Anza Gems, Nature's Geometry, Local Shops, and artisanal miners.
I am currently in the beginning phases of developing new products and collections. We have some exciting works on the way. Thank you for being here and if there is any way I can add value or share any knowledge with you, please extend a hand. Be Blessed!
About the Author
Megan LaCroix also known as Citrine is the daughter of a Navy Veteran. She’s lived all over the US but has roots in Michigan where her family is from. Spending summers in Northern Michigan exploring nature inspired her to create art work starting with jewelry and photography. She’d spend hours looking for rocks and creating assorted beaded jewelry with her sisters. In 2014 She graduated from University of Michigan School of Art & Design with a BFA then moved to Detroit where she is currently living and working. She is a multi-media artist with ever expanding skills but is best known for her jewelry, screen printing, photography, and paintings. Detroit Graffiti has a significant influence on her painting and drawing style. She’s participated in ArtPrize 2015 & 2021 and currently has a studio in the Village Arts Factory of Canton, MI.