Meet Aja, the jewelry artist behind the Instagram account @anastaja.art. Named after the Steely Dan album/song, Aja is a healer and artist who is born and raised in Chicago, IL proper. She was an Art Major at UW – Madison and took her first metalsmithing class in 2015. She shared with us that she reconnected to jewelry through classes back in 2017 and has been creating ever since.
Aja’s first love has always been fashion and clothing. However, after joining the fashion program at UW Madison, she realized there was a lot about the fashion industry that she didn’t particularly like. To her, it was extremely unsustainable and it felt very uninspired. With that, she switched her major to Art and studied fashion construction and history through the Costume Department.
She enjoyed the freedom of her art classes which included a metalsmithing course. After she graduated, Aja realized she wanted to create wearable art and learn the business side of being an independent artist. Through jewelry-making, she is also able to explore her passion for design and combine her love for stones with her devotion to healing through jewelry making. She explains, “While clothing can be exclusive, jewelry is an ideal way to create wearable art that is accessible to everyone regardless of body type.”
As an artist, we asked what was the most challenging part of it all for Aja. She answers, “Patience and pricing!” She elaborated that sometimes, pieces go according to plan. More often than not, she’s learning something new along the way. Having the patience to make mistakes and take her time is the hardest part to her. In addition, pricing her work is another part of her challenges.
Most of Aja’s pieces require a lot of time and effort, and she thinks people who aren’t in the creative fields understand the reason as to why her work is priced as it is. She also shares how it makes her anxious to have to defend her work to potential clients. Having said that, Aja explains that you are the only one who can determine your worth and you should respect your time and talents. We couldn’t agree more!
When we asked her how nature inspires her creativity, Aja elaborates that she is interested in abstract natural forms, sacred geometry, and our relationship to the cosmos. She says, “It is an individual, single-pointed consciousness that connects us to the macrocosm. We are co-creators in our experience as we live in this toroidal, holographic, 3-Dimensional reality. Our future is a constant wave of potential that we make real through our awareness.”
She added that only we can change the world by way of our own energy, our perceptions, and the way we interact with each other, ourselves, and our environment. By choosing to look within, we stand a better chance of working together to improve our world without.
As lovers of turquoise, and seeing how beautiful her turquoise creations are as well, we had to ask Aja what does she like about the specific gemstone. She shares “Turquoise has always been my favorite stone! Maybe It’s because I’m a Sagittarius.” Moreover, she also loves the range of colors and webbing within turquoise and she especially loves the way turquoise pops against silver and gold. Aja said that no matter what, it never disappoints!
We could have not said it better ourselves!
Take a look at some of her gorgeous work!
Now, we will leave you with this lovely piece of writing from Aja when we asked her for her number one tip she could share with her co-artists.
“Without living in alignment with your primary purpose, whatever purpose you come up with (even if it is to create heaven on Earth), will be of the Ego or become destroyed by time. Sooner or later, it will lead to suffering. If you ignore your inner purpose, no matter what you do, even if it looks spiritual, the Ego will creep into how you do it and so the means will corrupt the end. The common saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” points to this truth. In other words, not your aims or your actions are primary, but the state of consciousness out of which they come.
The separation of thinking and awareness, which lies at the core of your primary purpose, happens through negation of time. We are not speaking of clock time, but psychological time, which is the mind’s deep-seated habit of seeking the fullness of life in the future where it cannot be found and ignoring the only point of access to it: the present moment.
The negation of time provides the link between the link between Being and doing. When you negate time, you negate the Ego. Whatever you do, you will be doing extraordinarily well, because the doing itself becomes the focal point of your attention. Your doing then becomes a channel through which consciousness enters this world. This means there is quality in what you do – even the most simple action.
So be true to life by being true to your inner purpose. As you become present and thereby total in what you do, your actions become charged with spiritual power. Your primary purpose is to enable consciousness to flow into what you do.
Accept the present moment and find perfection that is deeper than any form and untouched by time: the joy of Being, which is the the only true happiness, cannot come to you through any form, possession, achievement, person, or event. That joy cannot come to you – ever. It emanates from the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself, and thus – is one with who you are.”
Paraphrased from A New Earth; by Eckhart Tolle
What do you like most about working with Turquoise Moose?
“Turquoise Moose has consistent quality and diversity in the selection of stones they carry. I know what I get is exactly what I want and there is always so much to choose from. I learned the hard way that there are a lot of stone sellers who sell knock-off, cheap quality turquoise online because you can’t tell from photos that they are ripping you off. It is rare to find such a great, organized selection for sale via the internet. Turquoise Moose always had high-grade turquoise and they deliver quickly and professionally.”
Follow her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anastaja.art/
Her website: https://www.anastaja.com/