Artist Melanie Maria
I started making Gemstone, Glass & Metal jewelry in 2007 for healing and my love for rejuvenating through meditation, gemstones and alchemical metals. This creative blessing has completely changed my life!
I am truly blessed with bright vision & depth in my sight. I dedicate everything that I create to my family lineage for they have cultivated my vision, this artistic passion & living dream. I aquired some deep insight as I was young, way before I could draw. Thoughts of what it would be like to not be able to see daily filled my mind. One of my great grandmothers was from Czechoslovakia and she went blind before I was born. I grew up very close to her & this experience made me very passionate about art especially colorful & tactile art. I remember how she would always wear beaded bracelets & necklaces. I would admire how she would always touch them for some kind of energetic spiritual meditation support. I was to young to remember my great grandfather before he passed away but he was part Native American. My family has traced back our lineage over 14 generations ago. I feel very honored to know parts of my past heritage & lineage. I am truly grateful for my maternal side of my family making sure I had a well rounded upbringing with deep roots in our families ways and spirituality.
I am a true descendant of Slovak Bohemian European heritage & am member of a Slovak Church in my birythplace Youngstown Ohio which was founded in 1878 by 15 families. My lineage also comes from the Mediterranean Islands (Cyprus, Malta & Sardinia), Italy, Ireland/Scotland, France, Germany, The Balkans/Greece, Western & East Asian, Yakut & North Africa. I have been a painter, illustrator, designer & admirer of beauty & body adornment my whole life. In Early Winter 2000, while an undergrad for Design in YSU, I created a gallery installation inspired by my ancestry named "Ancient Egyptian Body Adornments" in The Bliss Hall Gallery in Youngstown Ohio, made from large scale prints of photomontage I designed out of my favorite gemstone, shell and solid gold artifacts, printed & mounted onto panels. All Pastels, Paintings and Drawings on this site are the original ideas acquired through meditation, studying nature, intuition, love and creative exploration.
In 2001 after receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts with emphasis in Graphic Design, I established Swan Designs. Since the completion of my undergraduate degree, I peruse a career working as a freelance artist, illustrator, designer & jewelry artisan. In further pursuit of peace, I have continued my education for a MFA in Art Therapy & Dance & Movement Therapy which later evolved into a certification in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, several other Yoga teacher trainings & a deep passion for healing the body, mind & spirit. I have experienced working with museums, universities, various interesting businesses, and also for prospective art lovers. Within the last 22 years I've accumulated thirteen awards of recognition internationally through juried exhibitions and portfolio reviews, including 1 gold & 3 silver key awards through The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. With 20 years or more experience in realistic Life Drawing Skills/Portraits, Watercolor, Oil and Acrylic Painting, Pastels, Airbrushing, Artisan Jewelry, Modern Art, Dance and Yoga Therapy, Traditional Graphic Design, Digital & Fine Art Photography, Gicleé printing, Creative Design, Website Design, Marketing & Advertising. My jewelry works have had honorable recognition in gallery exhibitions in Miami, New York City & Paris in 2012!!!! One of my photographs I took of my earrings was projected on the side of a building in Times Square during a projection art show through the See.Me in 2012.
My journey led me to move Hawaii over 15 years ago and transformed my life passions & business into Maui Swan Designs. I am now find myself obsessed with making very delicate yet durable fine quality hand crafted gemstone & glass seed bead alchemy jewelry out of glass Czech beads. Every gemstone in each design is hand selected for its quality. Personally harvested Hawaiian seeds & shells from Hawaii are enjoyably shared within these glamorous works inspired by the Hawaiian native culture & islands. In the future I will release more works using my shell collection from Lake Erie & Florida where I was raised as a young child. I am especially inspired by a meditative spiritual path, so this intricate glass seed bead work and tactile designs is something that brings me much peace, connects me more & heals my lineage.
Thank you to all who support my journey and I hope to inspire yours :)