Highlighting & preserving women in Art
California transplant, Create, is a multi-talented artist and passionate activist, now based in Brooklyn. We caught up with this create force of nature to find out a little more about what drives her. Check out her interview below and come see some of her visual art tonight at The Living Gallery!
<strong>1. What did you first begin doing what you do?</strong>
I started creative writing in English in 2009 while attending Grand Valley State University. The following year I had a handful of poems published by the Lanthorn, the University’s newspaper, winning a campus-wide literary competition for poetry. I placed second in that same competition for photography. I also had a piece published in an anthology by GVSU’s Women’s Center. I began exploring visual art and began painting about three years ago.
<strong>2. When did you become serious about it, and pursue it as a life path? Would you consider what you do your life path?</strong>
I became serious about it when I moved to Brooklyn two years ago. My parents were relapsing heavily, I wasn’t able to finish school, and my heart was broken. I decided to leave, not in attempt to run away, but to actively decide that I was no longer going to be the victim. It was my biggest act of self-love to date at that time- the moment I decided to write my own story.
<strong>3. Why do you create?</strong>
I create because I have this selfish need to heal myself. To create allows for the destruction of those intersections of identity where I’ve boxed myself in, allowing for the transmutation into my higher self. While still honoring all parts of the journey, this process of coming into my authentic truth is a constant [r]evolution; I’m just grateful that others value what it is that I do.
<strong>4. Who are some of your major influences/role models?</strong>
I was heavily influenced by [queer] women of color and their stories- Audre Lorde, Assata Shakur, bell hooks, and Angela Davis. I could find places where my story, my multifaceted identity resonated outside of the traditional feminist literary cannon. Their works have changed the way I view and interact with the world
<strong>5. What inspires you? </strong>
I find inspiration in so many places and spaces. I find the possibility of creating global change- to break down institutionalized systems that create hierarchal social stratification at the root of my activism. As well as honoring the emotional space we find ourselves throughout- the breakdowns that give way to the break-through.
<strong>6. What advice would you give a nineteen year old creative who wants to make their living into their whole life?</strong>
Love yourself. Trust your intuition. Make it your passion.
<strong>7. What’s one of the most rewarding parts of your work?</strong>
Seeing the ways in which people cathect, or invest emotionally, into other people, places, things, and ideas. The beauty in the differences that exist, and the empathy in our shared experiences.
<strong>8. What’s one of the hardest?</strong> Balance.
<strong>9. How do you get through blocks in your creativity?</strong>
We fail to cultivate creativity, like any other skill set, in our society. I try to create something every day, whether it’s a five minute doodle on a post-it note or an afternoon spent painting. This helps with creative blocks- there’s less pressure to create and less attachment.
<strong>10. What have you got coming up in the next couple of months?</strong>
I’ll be in visiting Chicago and Michigan for a week in April.