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Check Out Craig Blackmoore’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Craig Blackmoore. 

Hi Craig, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Well, I’ve always been an artist. When I was a kid, I would draw comics and create random rosters of fictional characters. In my teen years, music and technology were my main focuses. I took a few classes on audio production when I was 18 in 2009 and that moved me to open my own makeshift home studio. While experimenting with music I learned graphic design, video production, photography, and 3D animation. Today I use all of these skills and this experience to run my own digital art house called House of Blackmoore and to co-own a jewelry and gem trading company called Smokey Citrine. 

Smokey Citrine came about in 2019 when my partner Citrine LaCroix and I discovered that we both share a love and appreciation for gemstones, crystals, minerals, and stylish goods. We also love the mining and gem trading experience. We take annual trips to different mines around the U.S. to source gems. There’s something very relaxing and therapeutic about getting dirty and searching for crystals in piles of rocks and mud. We also love to buy gemstones directly from miners and ethical gem traders from all over the world. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not quite. Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it. In regards to Smokey Citrine, Citrine and I both have higher art education but when it comes to business, we’re learning as we experience and experiment. We understood the basics: create a product, find a market, and sell the product, but we had to experiment to figure out the best method of execution. We’re still experimenting with this currently. We also had to get creative with how we wanted to fund this business. I’m not a fan of debt so we didn’t go the loan route. Then there’s the never-ending marketing plans and standing out from other jewelry companies. 

House of Blackmoore is pretty much my freelancing business. I’ve been freelancing for so long that I have several methods that work for me. The media art world gets tricky because trends are changing fast and you have to stay on top of the new art techniques. A few years ago, I was ahead of the game by knowing 3D animation. Over the last 3 years, I’ve had to understand virtual reality, alternate reality, blockchain technology, aspects of game development, and basic coding in order to stay on top of modern art demands. It’s a never-ending educational experience. 

Thankfully none of these obstacles have been too hard to handle or unexpected. I’m welcoming every challenge as a learning experience. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
All of my work comes from some kind of different reality. I feel like the medium affects the reality my work takes place in. With jewelry design, I mentally travel to a historic or spiritual place. Somewhere like a cathedral or an ancient temple built into a cave. Or some sort of brutalist architecture. A lot of my designs in the Smokey Citrine collection have some sort of brutal edge to them. I like using gemstones in their natural state so the piece keeps that earthy rough silhouette and because I believe every gemstone tells a story with its shape, color, and texture. Once a stone is heavily manipulated it tells a new story. 

A piece of jewelry has a long life. Something royalty once wore hundreds of years ago can somehow find its way into a small-town antique store, being sold for $40 and starting a new journey. That’s pretty amazing. I think about that every time I make a piece, so I aim to make something that could live an endless life if taken care of. I like bold chains, memorable stones, and pendants that demand respect and attention. 

I’m proud of how long I’ve kept going as an artist. It gets tricky at times and it always seems easier to just get a regular job and have a structured existence, but that life can get really boring. When I’m bored my mind runs wild with ideas and I end up wishing I was in a position to create and sell my ideas. 

I’m different from others because I’m always moving. One minute I’m doing this and the next minute I’m doing that. I love trying new things and evolving as an artist and as a human. If you enjoyed my work 5 years ago and check back in today, you’ll find something new and a bit different. Every year gets better. 

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
There are always shifts and changes when it comes to art and fashion. As time goes on, I see exclusive and limited-edition art becoming less of an elite thing and more normalized throughout all levels of society. In the past, only certain people bought and appreciated art and collected rare creations. Now it appears that more people are exploring their creative side. In the future people are going to want more handmade things that are unique and related to them in some way. People will prefer buying high-quality custom goods directly from the creator vs factory-made mass-produced products that were designed to be thrown away after a few uses. Unique wall art, jewelry, and décor will be just as important as a sofa and television set and people will venture to local markets and small shops to find these goods. 

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