Kiani Brahmer

:: AGE



Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA




Native American woman deeply rooted in my tradition

What is your preferred medium?

I’m a beadwork artist. Which includes long nights of heading, ideas scribbled on napkins, and tons of trial and error. A pair of sharp scissors, some quality beads, a sturdy felt, and a durable thread are all I need to make my dreams literally come true.

How do you identify?

I am a Hawaii born, New Mexico raised, member of the Navajo Nation. I am a mother, a sister, a granddaughter, an artist, a significant other, and above all, I’m a Native American woman deeply rooted in my tradition.

As a womxn, why do you think it is important to create?

It’s important to create because it’s medicine. It helps you relax, it helps relieve stress, and most of all it’s a gift that keeps on giving. Creativity is endless and this means that a world of possibility is waiting for you and you won’t know what you’re capable of until you find that one thing that will drive you to push your limits and kick ass while doing it.

What has been your proudest moment as an artist/creative?

My proudest moment was the week i posted beaded earrings back to back and they sold within minutes. This was when I knew I was onto to something and other people were diggin’  it.

How do you define love?

Love is indescribable, but if I had to chose one word, love is worthwhile.

Describe the space that you like to create in?

I create whenever, wherever. I can do beadwork on my bed, on my desk, in the car, in between classes, at the park, pretty much anywhere. My main beading area has a cork board with multicolored thumbtacks holding various colors of hanks of beads. To the left of it, I have 3 bead mats to keep beads from rolling off the table 27320x a day. I also have an sturdy black cardboard organizer that holds my bead tubes upright for me to see. All my beads are separated from size, hues, and finish of them. I also have quite a few pairs of scissors for cutting through felt, leather, and anything else that needs cutting. There’s also a crayon box full of lighters because you can never have to many. Lastly, the most expensive thing on the whole desk is my tablet which streams Netflix daily so I can bead in peace. Do you know how many seasons I’ve seen so far? A lot.

What do you like to listen to while you create?

I’m a 90’s baby so that pretty much explains my taste. Jk. I listen to pretty much anything. My playlist can go from Britney Spears to Slipknot to Faith Hill and then back to Luke Bryan.

How do you make time to create?

I wake up early and go to bed late. You can imagine how tired I am all the time and how power naps are my best friend.

How does your mental health affect your work?

When I’m feeling out of touch with myself, I won’t go near the beads until I feel better. I put everything into my work and that includes all the positive vibes I spent making a set. If I don’t feel right, the sets don’t come out right and that’s a big no no.

Do you have any words of advice for young womxn/artist/creators out there?

Keep doing what you’re doing. Someone, somewhere will love your style. Until then, keep going.

What could you not live without?

I couldn’t live without seeing color.

Who are your influences/inspirations?

My inspiration is all the other beadworkers I have come to know over the past couple of years. They are the best people to talk to and they always have the best advice to give. Befriend a bead worker and find out for your self 😉

What message do you want to spread with your art?

I want my art to represent who I am and the countless other women who wear Native American beadwork daily. Beadwork is full of passion, tradition, and hard earned talent. Buy native made, not native inspired.