Ashley Smith and her husband Kyle opened The Clever Tiger on June 14th, 2018. Their vision is to serve, inspire, and lead in the growth and sustainment of the art community. In less than two years it has become a natural community hub for art events and art activities for adults and children.
Ashley is a painter and ceramic sculpture artist. Her husband Kyle is a custom framer and woodworker. They live near downtown Elgin with their three daughters.
1. Why did you move to Elgin?
I grew up in Elgin, moved away, and then moved back 2 different times. In total, I have lived in Elgin for about 20 years but only started getting to know the community after opening the local gallery. Before this, I spent so much time commuting that I was never able to spend time enjoying Elgin. As a child, my parents commuted to Austin for work, I went to primary school in Round Rock, and as an adult, I traveled to Austin and San Antonio for work and college.
2. What compels you to spend time creating?
Creating is the one talent that I have always been confident of. Before creating art full-time, I helped create products, projects, business plans, etc. I find that teaching actually propels my creating by forcing consistent practice and designing lesson plans for a variety of ages and skill levels.
3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.
Children are the most creative souls around and if we do not nurture this creativity, they are in danger of losing it.
If you tap into your deepest emotions and “failures”, creating leads to inspiration and deeper thought for others.
You can only grow if you push boundaries and try something you never have before.
4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?
Currently, I am working on a painting series of old Elgin, Texas buildings, a new portrait series, and beginning work on my next solo exhibition (re-defining the works of masters.) While painting, I mostly listen to Thom Yorke, Mars Volta, and anything that help tap into the vibe of the specific piece.
5. Cake or Pie?
Pie. I prefer homemade pie to any cake in existence. I love making apple pie, and wish blueberry was much more prevalent.