Tiare Smith (pronounced Tee-are) is a mixed media artist and instructor. She and her husband have been residents of Woodstock since 2004. Originally from Chicago, they have enjoyed the many changes that have happened in Woodstock over the years, including all the shopping, entertainment and activities.
Born with art in her heart, she lost her way from her art for about 18 years. It came back to her life in a burst of emotion and anxiety. By practicing techniques of self-love, positive self-talk, and action, she now enjoys her art in a free and inspiring way.
Her art reflects the wonderful women (and sometimes men) who have informed and continue to inform her life. That includes her mom, neighbors, teachers, friends, her 2nd and 3rd mom, black women, strong women, smart women, beautiful women, loving women, and “do-you” women. Her art is inspired by positivity, peace, determination, growth, courage, happiness, love and fight. It lies in happiness and hope. It breathes color and love.
Her art creates a space where happiness, love, and courage dwell.
She has not only been featured on HGTV but has had many works published in various crafting magazines and blogs. You can find her wooden plaque series, “Whispers of the Heart” at Hallmark Stores, bookstores, and on Amazon worldwide. Tiare has so many wonderful things to offer our community, and our experience with her was filled with compassion and authenticity.
Q: What inspired you or led you back to your career after you took a break from it?
A: Letting go… I can’t call it traumatic, but it must have been. Because at the time that I decided to stop, it was because a class took the joy of creating away. Well, it took away the drawing aspect—and I don’t draw a whole lot now—and what inspired me to go back was really, honestly just seeing art and knowing that has always been there. And so, I didn’t give it up. I was crafting so I didn’t give up creativity, but watching and seeing that when you’re a crafter or when you’re an artist, you’re always in a community of people who are creating. Being in that community of creating, you see so much creativity that you can’t ignore your own.
I think I was in search of what was next for me and, honestly, I never thought that it would be art. I just was looking at and admiring everything that people were doing and one day I decided to draw. I don’t know! I just kept seeing everybody drawing and so I got a pencil and was like, “Okay, I’m just going to draw a little” because I literally hadn’t drawn in eighteen years. It was a moment of intense emotion.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Woodstock and what do you love there?
A: There are three that I enjoy going to so far—and I have not been to all of the restaurants in Woodstock—but I do like Pure Taqueria, I do like Salt Factory Pub, and I do like the Maple Street Biscuit Company. If I’m looking for breakfast, I will go to Maple Street because I will put an egg on their chicken and call it breakfast. I love that maple, their sticky maple, and I will put an egg on it. That makes me really happy.
And I will say this for them: I am not a person who ever goes anywhere and orders fried chicken anything because most fried chicken is not good. The only person’s fried chicken that I can eat is my godfather’s. Ok? So I’m giving a high-five to Maple Street because I will eat THAT sandwich with THEIR chicken.
(Do you hear that, Blaire?)
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Woodstock?
A: Since 2004, so fifteen years!
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Woodstock? Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Woodstock?
A: Okay, so I’m going to take some creative freedom and say this because I know lots of people in Woodstock. This is going to be funny because this person makes me smile, and it’s a kid!
So I’m going to pick my little neighbor friend, Shaun, who is turning thirteen this year. I’ve known Shaun since he was in the womb, and he stole my heart at two years old. The reason he stole my heart—and he has three other siblings—is that he is the child in the group who sealed the relationships for me and the entire family because at two years old, he knocked on my door and, when I came to the door, he said, “My mommy said I can come over.” He had never been over! She was standing across the street, and I said, “Okay!” and let him in; he took his little shoes off, and we watched cartoons.
He probably came over every day after that until his mother made him stop. Then every Friday after school he needed to come over, once he started school. Then he had a little sister, and when she came of age, they started coming over together. So now we’re all really close and we take them out for meals for their birthdays individually. We just took the little girl to Maple Street Biscuit Company!
Shaun is amazing to me because he has an amazing heart. He is kind and thoughtful and generous. And he is so smart. I think I taught him multiplication at only seven. It took him about three minutes!
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: I’d probably say, Africa. Maybe to Ghana or South Africa. There are multiple places, multiple countries, I’d visit in Africa. I’d probably need multiple trips!
I would go to see an African country for the history and because I am an African American. I think I would enjoy the experience of being in a country that is predominantly black. It’s a different experience.
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: As soon as I saw that question, the first thing that came to mind is “The Shawshank Redemption.” It’s such a good movie of perseverance.
I’ll throw in two more: “Driving Miss Daisy” and “Fried Green Tomatoes.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: Be you.
Be you, live your life as yourself, pour into your soul.
You know, I think that we have to learn to just embrace who we are, to just be ourselves. However you are, whatever that is, be that thing and love it strong. Without that, you can’t love. You can’t pour into anyone else.
I want people to be who they are! And when I say, “be who you are,” I mean yeah, we need to grow and learn and change and be better people, but I also believe that if you want to be ugly, be who you are because that just allows me to choose. Let’s just be who we are (and I’m not trying to be funny) because it just lets me know what I need to do either to be with you or without you.
Be who you are without harming people.
Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: My favorite music I would say is neo-soul. I’m going to put Prince on the top even though he’s not neo-soul, but I have a connection to him. I would then say Jill Scott and probably somebody like Erykah Badu.
Q: What about Woodstock made you want to live here?
A: I always say that I did not choose Woodstock. Woodstock chose us! But it was more like the builder chose us because here’s the truth: when we moved from Chicago, I made a deal with my husband. The deal was that I didn’t want to go back to work and I wanted to have a house built. We were leaving my family, my friends, and everything else so I needed the house built and I wasn’t going back to work. He said, “Okay,” and I said, “I’ll figure something out.”
In the meantime, he started researching home builders. Because we were brave, we stepped out on faith when we left Chicago. We quit our jobs and moved with no jobs to Georgia. Yes.
While we were in Chicago, we were researching builders and David Weekley was the builder that I fell in love with when the brochures came in. Then Robert comes home one day and he says that David Weekly is building a community in Woodstock! We lived in Kennesaw by then. So I said, “Let’s go see!”
It was nothing. It was just dirt, but we just kept driving by until one day, there was dirt and a road and a man in a white convertible. Literally, we signed a contract to have our house built by David Weekly from the back of that man’s convertible. So that was that!
And I will add this: as a girl from Chicago, Georgia made me cry for more than a year. But that’s so not true anymore. I have grown to LOVE Woodstock.
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Woodstock would you have lunch?
A: My mama! She’s alive. I mean, I could pick a famous person, but honestly? My mama. I miss my mama.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Woodstock?
A: You know, the only thing I could think about would probably have to do with my own subdivision although I
love downtown Woodstock a lot.
I’ll give you two answers:
- I’m going to pick downtown Woodstock because it’s not quite a big city, but because I came from Chicago, this is a little something close to home where I can get a taste of a sort of city.
- I love living here because we have our little lake and we are surrounded by the mountains. I never thought I’d be a girl like this, coming from the city, but every day, I go for a walk or I go down to our lake where we have a swing. It feels like this is just my little slice of heaven.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: I am more of a “plodding along” girl than someone who says that in five years I have to hit this goal. I do things like, “I want to be in a number of museums THIS year.” That is my goal. So I set the goal for the year typically. I think that’s because I like change and because I embrace and like change.
Q: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: I think that people are surprised sometimes when I have those moments—and everybody has them—of self-doubt. People describe me as confident, bold, say-what-you-want, don’t-care-what-other-people-think, and I do have a good mix of all of that, but I do have moments.
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: Peace, love, happiness.
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: Denzel is the first person that came to mind. Denzel has a cool quietness, and that reminds me of my husband, so I’d pick him if he were to play my husband in a movie.
Q: If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: I can’t have all of them? Of all of those, I’d probably choose a house cleaner. My truth would be that if I did not have to clean up, that would be the thing that I think would make me the happiest.
Tiare in Community
Through her online art lessons, Tiare aims to empower women to express and experience their art more freely while also nurturing their hearts and memories. She offers online art lessons, sells her original artwork on Etsy and through her website. You can also follow her on Instagram at @iamclassygirl and on Facebook.