Artist’s Name: Tiana Hammond-Smith
Name of Brand: Elephant Aura
Artist’s Age: 25
Artform: Crystal Wrapping; Jewelry Making
Why do you do what you do? When did you realize a passion for what you do?
I do what I do because I wanted to spread good energy to people … when I wrapped my first crystal it became a passion & when I got my first customer it made sense.
What is your educational background?
I finished my college program, which is unrelated to what I do now.
What are some of the challenges that you have faced while trying to pursue your passion?
Having a job and doing this at the same time has proven difficult. It requires a lot of time and energy on my part and sometimes I need a break.
Have you encountered people who have been skeptical about your dreams?
Only a few who tell me they don’t believe in crystals. Or call me a devil worshipper lol or a witch. Everyone else is pretty supportive, even impressed with my work.
How did you initially react to those people and how do you act towards them now?
I would simply make them aware of the fact that crystals are natural. Everything we believe and speak on daily ex; vibrations, energy, being positive, etc. It is what they represent so it’s one and the same.
I’m the same person to them, only now I’ve taught them something.
As for the devil-worshipping, yeah no. Am I a witch? Well, I don’t do black magic and if having crystals makes me a witch, then where’s my broomstick?
What are some of the fears that you face even today?
Sometimes I fear that I won’t continue this, I love doing it but sometimes it’s really hard and I have days where I think about how long it will last. But I also have plans for it and figure that’s a normal part of being a business owner. Also, overthinking sucks so I try to stay out of my head.
How do you deal with those fears?
I wrap crystals, meditate, or vent somehow. Sometimes I need someone close to me to validate my work, maybe my confidence could use some boosting. Or I need some positive self -talk. To get myself back to 200.
How do you work? What is the method of your ‘madness’ and how do you filter your creativity?
I work better at night when it’s cold outside. During the summer I liiveeee for working outside, I’ll play my vibes playlist, have a glass of wine, or smoke some trees and it’s a whole vibe. Those are my happiest times when I feel the most motivated and creative.
What role do you believe “the artist” has in society? / How do you feel your art-form has the power to benefit society?
Artists make this world lighter. Every art form is a medium for a message. There is always someone who relates to you and your story and by sharing your art you are helping someone else be free from their demons, even if it’s for a little while. I give people emblems of hope, positivity, and abundance. That is my light for the world.
Out of all your work, which piece resonates the most with you?
Depending on the circumstance, I use different crystals for them all. Right now it’s citrine. In terms of my wrapping, the tree of life pendants take the longest but are always the most rewarding.
Where do you see yourself going?
I want Elephant Aura to be a brand. A safe space to learn and grow with and for each other. I have a plan. This is bigger than me.
By what terms do you measure success or perfection? When do you feel like you can say that your work is finished and ready to be experienced by others?
I’m a perfectionist. So I need to love the way everything I did sits on a stone or I won’t be happy. Success for me would be once I’ve launched my website and have brought the ideas in my head to life. But for something I started only a year ago I would say I’ve been pretty successful. Thank you God for my many blessings. The universe knows what it’s doing.
What elements of your career bring you the most stress?
Having to work a job and do this is a lot of work and energy. If I’m ever stressed it’s usually because of the lack of time. Or not having the funds at the moment to buy everything I need. Buying things here and there is a pet peeve, especially because when I want something I need to have it. But I usually get it, so I’m grateful for that.
The word “Ubuntu” means “I am because we are”; how have you seen that reflected in your own life?
I’ve learned from others, I’ve been shown, kindness, love, given wisdom, hugs, and had my share of epiphanies all thanks to the people I’ve come into contact with. Everything that I am is because the journey I’m on that brought them my way and allowed me to maneuver through my growth. Because of that, I can give that to someone else.
How has another artist or creative supported you to pursue your passion?
I’ve actually taught myself everything I know. Or have had to search for it in some way or another. I suppose some would serve as a sort of inspiration, or are helpful with advice on where to buy products. But words of admiration, kindness, and support go very far. Also s/o my bf for driving me everywhere for supplies.
What is some advice that you would give to anyone who is trying to walk the same path as you?
Everything you feel, learn and grow with it. The rest if already on the way.
“Artists make this world lighter. Every art form is a medium for a message. There is always someone who relates to you and your story and by sharing your art you are helping someone else be free from their demons, even if it’s for a little while. I give people emblems of hope, positivity, and abundance. That is my light for the world.”
~ Tiana Smith