If I could be summed up into one word, it would be “Creative.” From an early age, I have had a passion for the arts. I remember my father teaching me the various geometric shapes as a toddler, and my mother encouraged me to sing from a wee tyke also. I have always been touched by artistic spirit. During grade school, I would take choir and various art classes.
In visual arts, I started off drawing with graphite. When I drew portraits, I would often give them a fantasy spin, such as turning the subjects into elves, faeries, medieval attire, etc. I eventually started to work in pen and ink when I got into college – especially when I moved down to Mesa, Arizona. While there, I started to study fashion design. I drew fashion croquis and have sewn several outfits that I designed. I even had the opportunity to have some of my music in some of the fashion shows, along with photographing some of the shows and being a runway model for one of them. I also got into graphical design and helped make some merch for the fashion club at the college. I kind of went away from drawing for a while and started painting with acrylic, as well as continue my digital graphic design. When I made a move to Nashville, Tennessee, I eventually started to create more paintings that continued when I moved to Portland, Oregon, and now Sedona, Arizona. Since living in Arizona, I have been creating acrylic paintings, as well as pen & ink art. I also love to photograph the world around me. I have taken fashion show photos, model shoots, editorial photography, landscape and macro/textural photography, all of which have inspired my other creative ventures in various ways.
Musically, I started singing when I was a young child. I would sing in church growing up, along with singing in school choir throughout my schoolyears. I decided to stop doing choir after 10th grade to focus more on visual art, though I was starting to create my own music by this time. My first music program was called MIDI Orchestrator Pro. Afterwards, my first DAWs were Sony ACID, Audacity, Adobe Audition and Garageband until I landed up FL Studio. During these times, I landed on the moniker AQUAvine. For years I would use FL Studio to create my music, moving away from relying on loops and samples and producing my own sounds. While in college, I released three albums, with some of the music featured in the college’s fashion shows. I also was interviewed by AMP.az. I had the opportunity to perform some of my music at a local festival called Rebel Yell, as well as at Phoenix Pride. I continued to create music as I moved back to my home state of Utah and joined the Salt Lake Men’s Choir. I had the opportunity to sing on a couple of their CDs along with their stage shows.
After being back in Salt Lake City a few years, I decided to make the jump to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue my passion for music. While there, I had the opportunity to collaborate with other songwriters and musicians. I also went to SAE Institute to get better familiar with the process of recording, mixing, and mastering to help fine tune my mixes and make them more present. For my final project at the Institute, I had the opportunity to take an artist’s song from an idea to a full fledged mixed and mastered song. I also got to be the artist for another of my peers. It was here that I wrote Face the Mirror under my moniker Ethyn Nyhte. Shortly after graduating from the school, I made the move to Portland, Oregon with my husband. We subsequently joined the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus. It was here where I had the opportunity to go with the chorus on an unprecedented journey to China and be one of the first LGBTQ+ choruses to tour the People’s Republic of China. I got to perform with the chorus and their twelve-voice a cappella group, Cascade, in Beijing, Xi’an, Suzhou and Shanghai. I also had the great opportunity to collaborate with a fellow chorister, Evan Miles, on arranging my song Face the Mirror for TTBB voicings. It got performed by the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus as the finale, as well as the Eugene Gay Men’s Chorus – of which was formed and directed by Evan Miles. I also had the opportunity to collaborate and have a song placed in a musical about the esteemed and longest running drag performer, Darcelle. The musical sold out and received several awards. I still have a love for music, though I am focusing my efforts back to visual art, and to jewelry making.
When I was in Mesa studying fashion, I gained an appreciation for all things fashion. Although I’ve designed various fashion items, it wasn’t until I was living in Nashville before I started to create my first pieces of jewelry. I went to the Pacific Northwest for a small vacation, marriage ceremony, and with intent of possibly moving to the area. While there, my husband and I, along with two dear friends went to the Oregon coast where I subsequently started to collect driftwood and sea glass pieces. I brought them back to Nashville and bought some various wire, eventually landing on copper wire as my wrapping wire of choice. Several of my first collection of pendants sold to friends and I continued to design new pendants. After moving to Oregon, I started to meet other individuals into metaphysics, like myself. They enlightened me that my pendants are imbued with various properties and should be considered amulets. I even had complete strangers tell me that they felt an energy from the pendants. A fellow chorister then enlisted my help to make some amulets for him, and in return I acquired a large sum of jewelry components, tools, materials, etc. After moving to Sedona, I finally inventoried the collection and became inspired to expand and elevate my jewelry knowledge and design. I’ve also been inspired by other artists in the Sedona area, both jewelry and visual artists alike.