Sand performance was suggested by her husband. Initially, Simonova was unsure, but she decided to try it in the absence of other viable options to improve their financial situation. When tests with beach and river sands proved both unsuitable, Simonova’s husband began researching better options on the internet. He sold his printing equipment to buy 3 kilograms of expensive volcanic sand.
Simonova began experimenting with the medium at night, after serving as a full-time mother throughout the day. She found it challenging, but persisted in spite of early impulses to give up. Physically grueling, the art form required her standing for long periods of time and also required her to retrain her vision to adapt to the unique medium.