Hey everyone! I’m very excited to present to you a lovely interview with an extraordinary woman by the name of Taneisa who runs an online shop called The Opaque. I have admired her work for a while now and have felt a special connection with her. We share some similar struggles and she is an inspiration to me so I reached out about doing an interview (something she doesn’t normally do) and she accepted. She is a fantastic woman and I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did.
Hi Taneisa! Thank you for stepping outside your comfort zone and agreeing to do an interview with me! It means a lot as I am in love with your work. For those that may not be familiar with you, could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little more about what you do?
Hi! I’m Taneisa. I’m 29. Leo, cat mom, aunt, wife, secular witch, crystal/mineral collector, metal smith and much, much more. I run an online business, The Opaque, where I sell witchy tools and create handmade jewelry.
What was the first collection/piece you designed?
I’ve been making jewelry for The Opaque for over 4 years. I actually don’t remember the very first collection I ever worked on. My style and technique is ever changing and has evolved greatly in these years. The first collection I ever poured my whole heart into though, was my Landlocked Mermaid collection. This was the first time I ever created more then one piece with a full story, a background and a shared theme. It was really exciting for me and I was so proud of the work I had done. Those jewels meant so much to me and always will.
You’ve created many remarkable pieces, including your gorgeous thinning veil collection.. What inspires you to create such unique designs?
A lot inspires me daily. Nature, loved ones, my emotional state, symbolism, etc , but my biggest inspiration is the crystals, stones and other materials I work with themselves. When I’m drawn to the center of whatever it is that I want to work around in that moment, I allow the creativity to flow and I go where it leads me. Here’s a behind the scenes photo taken before I applied the metal work the crystals.
Your IG photos are stunning, do you also enjoy photography? If so, when did you find you had an eye for it? What Are your favorite things to photograph?
Oh, I love photography. I’m no pro by any means, but since I was a child I’ve been behind a camera. I love to photograph people and still-life moments. Such as my crystal and altar photography you see with The Opaque. When my best friend and I were in our early teens, we used to walk to the convenient store down the road to buy those old time throw away cameras. I loved photographing her in the morning light. We got some pretty good shots really! And of course I love photographing kitty babies and my crystals.
You openly discuss your chronic illness and mental health, how do those struggles effect your work? What do you do to move past the bad times? Do you ever represent your struggles with your work?
I struggle with Crohn’s disease and other ailments that haven’t quite been pinpointed yet. I live with daily chronic pain that varies from moderate to severe. It’s hard to keep up with my work load and I often fall behind. I now create much less than I used to and I’ve even had to stop taking on a lot of the responsibilities I used to enjoy, like custom work. I get by because of the support I’m shown from my wonderful partner, Wade, my family/loved ones and my Instagram community. I have a very strong support system. I also struggle with mental health issues, as you stated. I suffer from anxiety, depression and PTSD from childhood sexual trauma. I believe that my struggles do show themselves often in my work, but I like to keep the end product positive. I like my clients to feel a loving energy when receiving their new jewelry and crystals. The collection I mentioned above, The Landlocked Mermaid Collection, actually ties into this question too. Here’s the story behind that particular collection. “Growing up the “fat girl”, swimming in public was and has always been a struggle for me, but I have a strong pull to the water, I always have. Still, I would come up with any excuse not to go swimming with my friends or family. Society made me feel ashamed of my body so much so that I would avoid something I loved very much. Something that made me feel free, something that made me feel whole. At 8 years old, I started to cover myself with a huge tee shirt before going in the water, by 13 I was avoiding the water all together. At 21 I visited the ocean for the first time. I was so nervous that I would be ridiculed for my size. It was literally the first time since childhood that my own mother had seen me in something without sleeves. To everyone else going sleeveless was something so mundane, but to be it was revolutionary. It changed my life. Being near such a large body of water, feeling that pull forced me to make a change. Self love is a hard road, but it’s necessary for my happiness. These necklaces keep that reminder for me. No matter how hard, I’ll keep up the fight. We all deserve love, we all deserve happiness. When I first started on this collection, I didn’t realize just how much it would mean to me. Still, I’m a mermaid who yearns for the ocean and who’s heart belongs to the forest. It’s my hope that these beauties will hold that kind of importance into their new homes, even if it means something different to the new owner.
Your body positive movement is very inspiring. Women are often put through hell regarding what our bodies should be. What pushed you to stop worrying and start loving yourself and do you have any advice for others that are struggling with similar issues?
Body/fat positivity means a lot to me. It’s a journey I started many years ago, but was disrupted by ED relapses and my chronic illness. When I met my niece for the first time was when I picked back up where I left off. It’s so important to me for her to see me loving myself, doing my best and not giving a damn what others say. I think it will impact the way she sees herself and others. Sharing my journey on Instagram has been a tremendous help. Creating a community of like minded folk who relate to my experiences makes me feel less alone and like maybe, just maybe, things are changing for the better. My friends on IG give me so much strength. My advice to others who want to start their own journey is to start by the way you speak to and about yourself. It’s more powerful than you may know! Also, follow accounts that represent your body on the social media you use. This is something that has really made a difference for me. Representation matters!
Who are some other unique artists that you adore or are inspired by, and who would you love to collaborate with?
I have so many favorite artists and so many that I’d love the chance to collaborate with on day! I’ll name a few, but just know there’s many more! All of which are on Instagram so I’ll be using their usernames: @darktownsally, @goldenthreadtarot, @darkfawnjewelry, @mementomorigoods, @acidqueenjewelry and @nyxturna. That’s just a fraction of the wonderful artists that I love!
Do you have names planned for upcoming collections? What should we look forward to next?
Oh boy, I have sooo many things planned for the future, I just have to find the energy to bring it all to fruition! I can give you a little though. A couple years ago I created a collection that was inspired by Game Of Thrones called Winter Is Coming. I’ve since been on the hunt for the perfect stones to recreate some of the pieces and update the collection with new designs!
Once again I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Taneisa for speaking with me. I know it can be hard to speak about some of the topics we discussed and it means a lot to see her strength and ambition to help make her life better as well as those around her. I wish her nothing but the best for herself, her family and her business. She is living proof that there are good people out there <3