We inherit a lot from our parents, whether physical traits, such as blue eyes and sun-kissed freckles or, in some instances, certain mannerisms that make you and them recognizable to others.
For Yakima artist Lorelei Kruger, it’s safe to say that she’s inherited her mother’s artistic abilities, as well as an overwhelming sense of pride for her Yakima Nation heritage from both her parents, the late Christine Jim and Virgil Hunt Jr.
“My work is a reflection of who I am and the way that I was brought up on the Yakima Nation,” said Lorelei.
The work she is referring to is her extensive artwork as a digital artist, as well as her beautiful inventory of clothing and accessories for her local business Lucky Arrow Creations. The married mother of five has created an astounding art portfolio that her culture has heavily influenced.
Like Mother, Like Daughter
For the past ten years, Lorelei has created art, which she has loved since she was young. Growing up, her parents frequently took her to Western art shows around Washington. With each show, she found herself more and more captivated by the vibrancy of colors and the uniqueness of mediums, but in the end, she felt something was missing, something she would bring forth with her own creations.
“I loved the art,” said Lorelei. “I think seeing Native Americans depicted from non-Native perspectives is what really made me feel the need to share my experiences in an artistic way.”
Lorelei’s mother, Christine, had raised her daughter to be proud of who she was. From there, drawing came to her as a form of expression for such pride. Her mother was a talented creator who would make items using the skills she had obtained while growing up as a member of the Yakima Nation. Over the years, she watched her mother do beautiful beadwork, crochet, weave, and sew masterpieces in the tradition of their ancestors.
One of her fondest memories of watching her mother work was just before her 14th or 15th birthday. She was working on a pair of moccasins for someone and kept asking Lorelei for feedback on specific aspects of her design, such as which colors she should use and which way certain shapes should face.
Lorelei shared her creative thoughts for the shoes and thought nothing else of it. That is until her birthday came, and the moccasins were given to her as a gift from her mother, which has remained a part of Lorelei’s wardrobe ever since.
“I still wear them to this day, and they are still in great shape,” beamed Lorelei.
Propelling Her Work Forward With Lucky Arrow Creations
Needless to say, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, and Lorelei soon found herself exploring her creative side. She started by making T-shirts using images she found online and piecing them together to create elaborate designs.
What started as merely a hobby would eventually become a business when Lorelei couldn’t find the images she needed online. It was then that she began making her own designs using things she had on hand, like paper, pencils, pens, and markers. From there, her creativity flourished, and with technological advancements, Lorelei’s creations quickly advanced.
“I moved to an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, which has really streamlined my creative process,” said Lorelei.
Before she knew it, she was running a small business out of her home in the form of Lucky Arrow Creations, a name she decided suited her more after a brief rebranding from the original name of L Kruger Creations.
“I knew that I wanted the new name to have an arrow in it somehow,” said Lorelei about the change. “Arrows propel when shot, and that’s what I wanted to do as an artist.”
She wanted to utilize this forward movement with her traditional art as she continued to grow her business. Since being born and raised on the Yakima Reservation, Lorelei knew the importance of carrying the Tribe’s traditions and remembering everything she was taught about the past, all while steadily moving forward and passing this plethora of knowledge on to the next generation. It became a goal to share her culture through her art and move that culture forward into the community.
Beautiful Creations and Masterful Showcases by Lorelei Kruger
With this target in mind, now when Lorelei has a design in mind for something she wants to create, there’s no stopping her. She usually begins by sketching it out or going straight to Procreate, an app on her iPad Pro.
“From beginning to end, a design can take anywhere from as little as 25 minutes to as long as nine plus hours,” she says. It’s time well spent as far as Lorelei is concerned.
The beautiful designs are available on various items on her Lucky Arrow Creations webpage, where they decorate shoes, T-shirts, hoodies, and tote bags, to name a few. The artist’s outstanding work can also be found on her Facebook and Instagram pages.
One of her most popular designs, Red Woman, has garnished the most attention by popular demand. As for Lorelei herself, lately, she’s been enjoying making laser engraved and cut earrings.
“They have become very popular in the Native American community,” said Lorelei. “Earrings have always been an important staple in Native adornment, and sometimes the bigger, the better.”
Her forward trajectory has already led to her first gallery show that Collab Coffee hosted in November of 2021. The exhibition “Scorpio” featured eight pieces on display for the entire month and proved to be a great opportunity and learning experience for the Tribal artist.
“I received a lot of good feedback and the show really shined a spotlight on my work,” said Lorelei.
As her business continues to grow, Lorelei has high hopes for the future she plans to pursue, all movements that will continue to lead her forward like an arrow.
“In the distant future, I would like to open a brick-and-mortar shop on the reservation,” she shared, hoping to showcase traditional Yakima artwork and educate others throughout the community.