Saturday, August 30, 2014

Born to do it.

Good Evening! This marks the completion of my second week of work. I was on the point stitch machines the entire week. I am having a lot of trouble getting accurate and clean point stitches. I am assuming with more time I will become a pro at it. While I am still learning, I am trying not to get so down on myself for not being perfect. It is easy to get down on yourself when you aren't instantly good at the things you do.

What I am finding is Shinola is a diverse work evironment. There are all kinds of people old and young, every ethnicity, from many different backgrounds working together to make one final product. The timeless wearable, A watch.

After work this week I was helping Eric Schantz from Saginaw paint a mural in a charter school on the East side. Painting at the school reminds me of a lot of my previous work. In middle school I was painting on large pieces of canvas, backdrops for school plays and murals on the sides of laundromats. I later in college did work on the Brightmoor Farmway that involved a lot of large scale painting as well. There is nothing more exciting than a fresh area to paint that is multiple times larger than you.

On one of the last days I worked on the mural in the school with Eric there was an open house. Students, teachers, parents, everyone was in the school while we painted together. People were talking to us. Telling us how much they loved the new art in their school. This moment reminded me of how happy art makes people. How important artists are to the world even though we are so undercredited and not respected in our western culture.

Art is important.
Art is something we need.

Similar to the mural I'v been helping paint a couple members of the Heavenly Dogs art & design collective painted canvases live at the Motor City Gumball Rally closing ceremony in Campus Martious. I photographed and took video while chatting up by standers about the DIM Battles happening in september. You will be surprised the amount of support the public has for art and artists. It is always interesting to talk to people walking by to get their ideas about art into the conversation.

What I am really trying to get at here is I miss painting. I miss making art and I miss painting large scale. I am a born artist but I think my real purpose in this field is to paint as large and possible and as colorful as possible. If all goes well over the next couple years I will be working on Shinola's creative team as a designer of products or on their highs fashion photography. I will also be painting in schools around the city. I am hoping Eric and I work together a lot more. Painting is a part of my life that I can't not endulge in.

My look this week is classic with a splash of plaid and color with a studded edge. Thank you to Melania for the fantastic photos and a good time. Little black dress is from Banana Republic, shoes from aldo, pants from Uniqlo. I am thinking of getting more into the modeling side of fashion ontop of remaining involved with the photographic side. So get ready for some strange inverted roles around here!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

My First Week and Far as I can See

This marks my first full week at Shinola. I love working there so far. The atmosphere is really positive and people are friendly. In this week I switched from my first station where I put metal buckles onto the watch bands to a station where I point stitch the leather bands. Many of these stations remind me of things I did in the metals studio at school.

My goal is to know how to make a watch band from start to finish by the end of the year. Advice for anyone trying something new at their job or working full time for the first time, is to be a sponge for information. I am learning as much as I can. What I find is that learning happens in all kinds of places in our lives. What I learn from most is watching the people around me do things. All I can do besides put 110% into my work is learn as much as I can. 

So what you may notice is my style is a bit quirky and very colorful. This is who I am. When I was growing up, going through middle school and high school, I had a hard time dressing the way I wanted to. I was learning how to be myself. When other kids made fun of me for being different I stopped dressing the way I wanted to. After rediscovering so many things I knew about myself in college the color and quirk could not help but manifest in my style again. 

If there is one thing I know, it is to always be yourself. Whether that means dressing the way you want to or being the voice of a different opinion, you should always feel comfortable being yourself. This is somehting my parents always instilled in me and some how I still got confused because outside sources seemed to scream something else. 

If you know nothing but this about the world and the USA's Pop Culture, it is that nearly everything is trying to make you stop being unique. The Media and Main Stream crowds want you to follow, not lead. Be like them not yourself. If there is something different about you don't get down on yourself about it. Instead nurture what it is about you that is different. We are all alive and here for a reason. I am not saying our lives are planned by some other being. I am saying we are all really good at many things but if we don't embrace ourselves or our talents or speak up when we have different ideas we are denying ourselves the life we are given. 

You may not be 'Popular' or with the 'In Crowd' but I promise you that if you keep yourself positive, be yourself, and keep pushing forward, everything that you are dreaming of will come to you. Maybe not in the form you expected or right when you want it but know that if you are supposed to do something it will happen. I beleive that you attract what you keep in your mind and what you keep around you. 

Never settle.

Always push yourself.

Keep an open mind. 

Never stop learning.

If you are yourself and remember these things even when it is hard to do, you are bound to find success in life. Stay healthy and positive. Love yourself.

Megan LaCroix 

P.s. This song goes out to all those trying to remove themselves from Pretenders in their life. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Night Before

This is the night before a big change in my life. I start at Shinola in the morning. There is no telling what is in store. I start my orientation and get a picture ID, that is all I know.

I have been house sitting for a couple in Southwest Detroit. In the mean time I'm starting my new job and looking for my own place to call home. The search has not been easy but I am staying optimistic about it. The house I am staying in is very old and the owners say it was built in the early 1900's from a Sears catalogue. So the entire interior is embellished with wood and weird quirks. I have been photographing as I have stayed here. The natural light is fantastic. I will make a special post about the house over the week.

It has been a month of sad good byes and exciting hellos. I have officially moved out of my place in Ann Arbor which means I had to say good bye to Melania. I also had to move Arey, my pet cat, into the house I am sitting. The transfer process has been a slight struggle for him but as the days go by he is getting more comfortable.

This shoot Mel and I did most recently was one I could finally just let loose. I dropped my gaurd and let my personality flow out of me. One of the reasons I use lookbook and myself as a model is to get more comfortable with how I look on camera. It is a great way to appreciate your body, looks and personal style. I use this time to really express myself. In my opinion it has been helping with my self esteem. I feel good after I photograph.

This outfit is more of my sporty side. The pants I got in Japan this summer and the shoes I found at Meijer oddly enough.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Maturity is Overrated

One of my favorite things to do that I don't think gets enough play is mix patterns and colors that people don't normally think of. Just before I left for Japan in May Melania and I went out to one of our favorite photo spots in Ann Arbor. We were still waiting for the sun to hit summer temperatures but still playing in it. 

I like to mix patterns that have lots on contrast to them. In this look I did nutral verticle stripes with a black & white hounds tooth. Keep your style funky by mixing simple but bold patterns.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hello! I am back.

Good Morning!

It is a beautiful sunday in Ann Arbor. I am Proud to announce I have accepted a fulltime position at Shinola in Detroit. I am moving to the D this week and I am very proud of myself. Since gradution from the University of Michigan I have been quite lost but still making things. I have thankfully had my room mate Melania around to help get rid of some nervous creative energy. Last week we did a shoot in the rain.

Part of me thinks we created the storm with our powerful creativity. As the wind blew we used it to make our outfits look better and as the rain poured down I walked confidently into the parking lot exclaiming "I'm not so sweet I'll melt."

The only way to get what you want and different results is to play with all the curcumstances given to you. So I don't have a photo studio.. does that mean I don't take photos? No, the world is your studio.

The world is your studio and the lighting is perfect, unexpected and magical. The older and farther from wilderness I get the more I feel connected to it. I love how green our earth is, naturally. I love how tied into the water cycle we are as people.

These last couple months have been a struggle with many mysteries of life to be solved but that is the beauty about natural light and life. It is all a mystery. You get what the day brings and that is what you have to work with. I don't know about you but I am always ready for it.

A special Shout out to @nightwaits for the photographs of me. 

Until next time...

Don't forget to stay All Around Styled and keep it positive.

Megan LaCroix