Today we’d like to introduce you to Caitlin Cimino.
Caitlin, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
To live in light, I first had to live in the dark.
I used to walk around asleep. I had no true awareness of how my actions were affecting self, spirit, the planet or the collective consciousness. I went about my days poisoning my body with unhealthy “foods”, alcohol, cigarettes and this was all coupled with lots of partying, toxic relationships, engaging in soul starving experiences and tons of negative self-talk.
I identified almost completely with my ego and because of this, inside I was really hurting.
During this period of my life, I had extreme anxiety which would drift into deep depression. I have always been a sensitive individual and instead of using that as a gift I at some point let societal norms tell me it was weak and so I lived in fear of it, I grew to hate it and tried to suffocate it. I let the lack felt within feed my ego which created my own personal hell that superficially filled me and depleted me simultaneously. I found myself in a self-created hamster wheel of ego and self-destruction.
Fast forward to around to 12 years ago, things shifted slightly after I began taking yoga classes (cliché sounding, sure, but it’s the truth) and a few years later, I watched a documentary on YouTube about factory farming and it’s abuse on animals. Those two things were the catalyst I needed to see some sort of truth in the world and become more in-tune and accepting of my inner knowing.
I started researching more and discovered our society has done a great job at beautifully packaging horrors – whether it be food, fame, material objects or what they consider “normal.” From there, my knowledge expanded and so did I.
Little by little (I emphasize that), I started making subtle mindful changes to my life. Eventually, the small changes started adding up and guided me towards true joy and a desire to create positive change in everything I do while also being gentle with myself should the road turn dark for a moment. With every dark moment, there is a lesson of light.
The past 12 years have led me to express creativity, mindfulness, and love through not only my personal life but my business life as well.
If you’re still with me, I’ll explain further…
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Creating with awareness and depth of heart is something that ignites my inner flame. I love to create mindfully through different avenues, some of which have led me to work as an Ethical Metalsmith, an Ayurvedic Esthetician and a Curly Hair Speciality Stylist.
What do these mean?
Ethical Metalsmith: I hand-make sustainable fine jewelry. All of the gemstones I use in my jewelry I have discovered myself – not at a store but at a mine where I spend hours sifting through mining debris. I only use recycled metals of high quality. The reason I take these extra steps is that of my awareness of the corruption and ethical neglect in the metal mining and gemstone mining industries (i.e. waterways are polluted, forests are torn down, people are mistreated, children are enslaved and the list goes on). Because of this knowledge, I make sure that what I create has integrity. In holding these values and setting intention when creating, I hope the awareness will spread and people will purchase jewelry and beyond more responsibly.
Ayurvedic Esthetician: I follow ancient Ayurvedic treatments and create them by mixing herbs, oils, serums, etc. – what I mix is dependent on the person I’m working on (their Ayurvedic Dosha), so the facials and other treatments are completely customized to the individual and lacking many chemicals you will find in most skincare lines today. In Ayurveda, we believe in treating the individual based on mind, body, and spirit. This allows us to integrate treatments to help the whole person, not just their individual parts.
Curly Hair Specialty Stylist: For nearly 14 years, I’ve been cutting naturally curly hair and most recently I’ve been experimenting with more natural haircare brands. When cutting, I treat the hair as a sculpture and in doing so I am able to sculpt the hair from the interior and exterior in order to give it the optimum desired shape. An equally important part of what I do is educating my clients on management of their specific curl type. Many don’t realize the struggles people with curly hair go through on a daily basis and many with curly hair have had difficult childhoods they connect with their hair. So, when a client is in my chair I take extra care in recognizing and honoring that.
Everything I do, I do as mindfully as my current awareness allows. I believe if I want to make larger changes I must embody them first – so everything I have my hands in (literally) I do so with my full heart, responsibility and with sacred motion.
Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
I think today we have access to more than we ever did in the past. Which is a great thing but also creates carelessness and thoughtlessness in where our supplies come from, the waste and pollution created through it, ethical impacts, etc. That being said, I also believe there are more sustainable/mindful options that are of easier access than ever before (with the exception of maybe when we were Neanderthals creating from earth without waste).
Even though there are more ethical options out there to create, the choices are still far more limited when compared to its opposite. While this can be a challenge it also forces artists to take extra steps in our craft which not only tests our dedication but can fuel a movement for ethical change. With all that being said, I think if cities moved as a community rather than separate entities, a great change could be made through them, their local artists and their art.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can always find out more information about me and all three of my creative outlets by following my Instagram: @caitlin_cimino and visiting my website: www.caitlincimino.com.
Jewelry: You can view and shop my sustainable fine jewelry by visiting my website and Instagram. My Instagram also features sweet little time lapses of me working on jewelry as well as notifications of future events I will be displaying my jewelry at.
Ayurvedic Treatments: You can book a treatment with me in Orlando, Florida at Ayurbeauty Wellness Center by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information click under “salon|spa” on my website.
Curly Haircut: A few times a year I travel to Los Angeles and work as a guest stylist at Ramirez Tran Salon. To book a customized curly haircut with me or to get on the list to hear when I will be in LA next, you can do so by emailing me: email@example.com – For further information click under “salon|spa” on my website.
- Website: www.caitlincimino.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/caitlin_cimino
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caitlin.cimino/
Daniel N Johnson, Stefanie Sokolowski