Wild Inspiration: The 10 Letters Project

What does your process look like as you are creating or making?  What conversation would you have with someone if you were to share the intimate, in-between moments of creating that is not always public?

41Hl7UYunRL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_We stumbled upon the 10 Letters Project best described in the following overview,

It started as a private correspondence between two makers. What emerged was a powerful practice for the not-lost art of friendship. On the verge of major milestones two storytellers–author/illustrator Tim Manley and filmmaker Jen Lee–began a modern correspondence that catches the quiet moments, their time in the spotlight and the parts of the journey that fall somewhere in between.”  www.10lettersproject.com

The conversation between Jen Lee and Tim Manley is key for many who might be afraid of embarking upon their creative process due to misconceptions of what an end product “looks like” as opposed to the reality of the not-so-straight path of creating.

As fellow creative’s ourselves, we know that ideas sometimes remain between the worlds of partially formed and unformed not yet birthed into any visual, written, musical, or any other form of creative “product,” yet we carry the seeds around with us;

Notebooks, fragments of electronic notes, and/or drawers contain possible work waiting for the right moment to become (or not);

Sometimes we start a project with a fixed outcome and a specific path then our creative endeavor takes us on another adventure that we did not originally envision (not always with a smooth transition of acceptance);

And sometimes we hold the tangible pieces of something that we have started to create as we continue adding the details while blindfolded to any fixed outcome of what we have started.

There are also other times when days, weeks or even months skip by while kidnapping our inspiration.

Thus, the process of creating or making is not as tidy as what others experience when gazing upon the completed work. As the world rests their eyes upon a complete exhibit, a novel, a film, a dance piece, or see a project become implemented for the first time, it is easy to forget about the messy process.

The process of creating is filled with conversations, auspicious mistakes and many moments lacking the glamour that individuals often like to envision when they think of leading the creative life. We encourage you to check out the 10 Letters Project and perhaps engage in an intimate exchange of your own with a friend or other creative’s. You might be surprised by what unfolds through simple conversation.

Thoughts on craft by Eila Carrico, who is a weaver, wordsmith , and recent Wildly Creative Contributor (Part 2)

The Story of Oshun

When the creator first brings to life to the planet it begins with the rocks and the mountains. The spirits, the orisha, of those landforms animate each of their separate patterns to form matter. Then the creator adds the trees and the ocean, and the spirits that inhabit and enliven those parts of nature take up residence.

Oshun is the youngest of the orisha. And because she is young, she is often left out by her older siblings. The bigger, male deities forget to invite Oshun to the celebration of first creation, so for some time the waters of the world are salty, and no life is possible. The male orisha seek counsel with the creator and ask why the world is not yet animated with creatures and plants. Creator says they had better go humbly to their littlest sister Oshun and ask her.

They go apologetically and beg her to come help them create life on earth. She hums and combs her hair, taking a glance into her hand mirror. She is pregnant, and angry at them for their poor treatment of her. Oshun tells them she will wait until she gives birth, and if that child is a girl she will stay right where she is in the ethereal realms, but if that child is a boy–then she will come down and animate the planet they are begging to save.

Time passes, and she does give birth to a male child–Elegba, lord of the crossroads. Only then does Oshun release her sweet waters onto the earth, and the story of life begins. She brings love and beauty to the Earth, and right in the spot where Oshun lands a beautiful fresh spring appears and flows toward the sea. All the little green things, the ferns and the mosses sprung up beside her. She flows like the veins in our bodies over the landscape and under the moonlight. -As told in The Other Side of the River.

As an embodiment of fresh water, Oshun is generous beyond measure. No life is possible without her blessing, no enjoyment exists without her touch. She is a muse and a poet, and she is able to create because she is free and flows how she will. Her story is told as a reminder to invite the unexpected into every day. The world waits, parched, dry and dull until she graces them with her fresh waters.

Oshun
Saraswati and Oshun are two wild beauties who show there is a connection between innocence, beauty, creativity and wildness. The world has enough jaded people, square suits and desk jobs.

We spend years in comfort on the shore, fooling ourselves with elaborate illusions of control and consistency. We find routine and false security in jobs, sidewalks, air conditioning, bills, and bank accounts, and this life feels more real (and more convenient) than the wild of the rich green forest full of biting insects, rolling thunderstorms that ruin our picnics, bitter cold nights, and prowling panthers.

When the monotony of predictability penetrates all the way into our bones, we hear the wild calling, and we drive down to the ocean, but we sit in the car and watch the sun set through the windshield. We flock to the lake, but we sunbathe on a chair and cover our bodies with sunscreen. We walk to the river, but we stay affixed to our smartphones to capture the memories. We are called by the wild, but we resist full engagement.

Consider this your sign for the day. Leave the comfort of the shore! Go barefoot. Swim in the dark sea of possibility, create unimaginable art, and kiss the earth. Dare to engage fully with life, with nature, with love. Be an artist–one who creates and contributes to beauty and meaning. Find your creative flow, and keep finding it every single day. As John O’Donohue says, Live your life like a river flows, surprise yourself with your own unfolding.

Live with the wild courage of Oshun and Saraswati.  Today.

The world is waiting.

More About Eila:

Eila Carrico grew up in rural central Florida. Her curiosity led her down a meandering path of discovery from a young age. She was inspired by her studies in journalism, anthropology and religion to travel around the world and teach in Paris, Ghana, Thailand and India. She studied yoga and embodied archetypes for nine years before completing a master’s degree in Engaged World Psychology and then an MFA in Creative Writing and Consciousness in San Francisco.

Eila is a weaver and wordsmith who delights in the mystery and magic of landscapes and memory. She lives in Berkeley with her partner and their baby boy where she teaches yoga and weaves stories. Eila’s first book, The Other Side of the River, will be published by Womancraft Publishing in early 2016.  The italicized quotes within this piece are featured from her debut book.

Wisit her at EilaCarrico.com and on Facebook as Eila Kundrie Carrico.  Sign up for the Womancraft Newsletter and receive a free e-sample of the book and a discount code for purchase. http://eepurl.com/4EreT

 

Meet Eila Carrico…Weaver, Wordsmith , and Wildly Creative Contributor

unnamedEila Carrico is a weaver and wordsmith who delights in the mystery and magic of landscapes and memory.  Check out more of her work at:   http://www.eilacarrico.com The italicized quotes within this piece are from Eila’s upcoming book, The Other Side of the River debuting in 2016.

Wildly Creative: Creativity is…..

Creativity is sporadic. She is impossible to contain, capture or cage. She calls in the middle of the night when you’d rather be sleeping and asks you to take up your pen, turn on the light, and write. You may complain that she doesn’t stop for weeks at a time, but when she deserts you for what seems like months on end you would give anything to have her back.

Creativity waits behind deadlines and routines. She may be shy around new friends and bold in the company of the heart. Certain people draw her out of you and others stifle her. She is particular about the arrangement of furniture in your living room, office and bedroom where you write. She delays you when you need to update the tools of your trade. She is a constant companion waiting to be acknowledged. She is a friend, your relationship with her is a unique universe that follows its own wild rules of engagement.

Creativity is you. Take care of her, and she will see that your life is never dull.

Wildly Creative: What is your first memory of connecting with your creative self?

I was probably six or seven, and my grandmother was making a painting of the ocean near her house. It was sunrise, and her canvas was full of soft pinks, gentle purple and blue with one tall grey heron standing on the edge of the scene.

I loved and admired her in that moment. Her hair was long and she was barefoot. I decided then I wanted to be an artist, and I already knew I preferred words and pens to paints and brushes. I also decided in that moment that I wanted to work in a place where I did not have to wear shoes. As a writer and yoga instructor, both job requirements have worked out for me so far.

Creativity-isWildly Creative: What is the advice you wish someone shared with you about pursuing your passions and feeding your creative self?

Own your title as artist, writer, poet, dancer, or actor as a verb. You are a writer when you write. A dancer when you dance, and an artist when you create. DO your art, and let it be the anvil that helps you to carve out your character and defines you. Don’t wait until you’ve published a book, performed on Broadway or sold a painting. Value your process.

These words are inspired by the choreographer Alonzo King, whom I saw during my first semester once I finally decided to allow myself to commit to my writing and invest in an MFA program. He also said you create because you have no choice. A desert rose blooms because it must, and does not care whether anyone is there to see it.

Wildly Creative: What drives you wild with inspiration and passion? What is whispering to you that inspires you to create?

The deep green of the forest, and the soft tickle of deer moss. The surging river, the quiet creek. Rainstorms, cicadas, crickets. I am recharged in nature, and I learn so much there. I wake up, I plug in, and I feel ready to be a part of creation. I am filled with new ideas, countless beyond the stars, and I feel there is plenty of time for each of them. Wild, untouched nature re-sets me and reminds me that the world around me is a work of art. And I am a participant.

I also love paradox, sharp photographs, playful paintings and good stories. The work of other artists inspires me to create as part of a conversation.

Wildly Creative: What keeps you wild and daring to create?

I am dedicated to truth and fascinated by mysteries. I write to explore and to understand a world full of meaning and messages. I write to surprise myself. I feel most alive when I write regularly, and I feel it in my bones and muscles when words are not flowing.

I need to move things through me or I get stuck. That’s what keeps me creating. Then truth is my editor. I always ask myself at the end of a piece I write or work I create: is this true? If it is, I’ll share it. If not, I start over.

 

 

Mynah Marie

 

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More About Mynah:

World traveler, Mynah Marie is first a musician and singer who collaborated as a performer and composer with a diverse collection of artists. A few of them include the singer-songwriter SOAN (winner of the french TV show “Nouvelle Star” in 2009), Israel’s pop singer DIN DIN AVIV, and the emerging band from Mexico City, CASA VERDE COLECTIVO, with whom she recorded their debut album, “Aqui y Ahora”, released in 2012. She also worked as a composer and performer in Italy with the company “ELAN Frantoyo” and their director Firenza Guidi in 2010 for three different productions. Since 2013, she now lives in Mumbai, India, where she has already collaborated with a variety of artists such as Fazal Qureshi, Hariharan, Indus Creed and Nikhil D’Souza.

In 2014, Mynah created the independent label StreetCats Records Inc. in Canada and now more recently in India. SCR aims to facilitate international expansion for quality underground artists from around the Globe.  Mynah is also the co-founder of Wildly Creative.World.

What is life REALLY like as an entrepreneur?: An original Dream.me piece about the realities for business ownership and creativity

Written by Sharonna Karni Cohen originally published on Dream.me on July 19, 2015.

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Often we like to share the work of other sites and individuals living their most vibrant wildly creative lives.  This piece is a re-print of a piece originally featured on Dreame.me a site whose mission is to harness  the co-creation process between dreamer and artist, which provides the intimate life-source of the artwork’s drive: bridging between personal and universal imagination.   This piece particularly focuses on the hard work it takes to transform a wildly creative idea  into a entrepreneurial endeavor.

 

Running a company has taken over my life. Before I elaborate, I will state outright: I am grateful for being able to pursue my ambitions and to spend every day working on an idea that has exceeded my ambitions and imagination. Allow me to say that I take partial responsibility for the balance that I have yet to find. I believe that when I am ready, I will conquer all, but for now I must share a few hard facts for those who have ever implied that being an entrepreneur was an easy feat. For those who have ever said: I am jealous of the fun career path you have built for yourself, can’t you just have your employees do everything for you, or you’re so lucky to be your own boss. It’s doubtful that these fortunate people have ever had an idea overtake their life.

Have you ever guiltily eaten dinner while hovering above your computer, little crumbs trickling into the machine’s hardware while you’re stuffing your face at a speed even Einstein couldn’t measure. Have you ever been mid-conversation with a friend when you found your eyes slowly drifting and suddenly you were deeply engaged in thoughts about work – your many to do’s, your unread emails or an unfinished conversation with a colleague? An entrepreneur does these things all the time.

Owning a business or company has many uncomfortable side effects, but perhaps the most disheartening result is that the beautiful and creative side of your brain becomes a hyperactive mess and often inserts itself in the wrong situations and contexts. The mind, a once gift that afforded you the skills to create your company in the first place, takes on attributes such as paranoia, intolerance for non-work chatter, mania, obsessiveness, heightened impatience, isolation and an all around lack of awareness to etiquette – every setting becomes an opportunity to brain-pick and idea-swap.

To an entrepreneur, multitasking means turning into a human machine, consuming and spitting out tasks as if you’re an animal that hasn’t been fed in months. An entrepreneur devours knowing well that they are not a machine or an animal and that their crash and burn awaits – a crash so deep and cumbersome that no coffee or afternoon nap can satiate the oncoming low. This is the reality of an entrepreneur.

A lack of romance cannot be blamed entirely on the lifestyle of an entrepreneur, but there is something detrimental about loving an idea so much that everything else seems inconsequential. Imagine your company and idea as your life partner – it is sensitive, needy and cannot thrive without your care. I sometimes slip into ideas about Dreame on dates or even fulfill a few nagging to do’s during a bathroom break. My inability to fully give my attention or emotions to another person is harmful to most of my romantic relationships, both new and serious. Yet despite all of these deficits, I am still here and I imagine that you are wondering why.

Imagine that you take this idea and close friends and family tell you that you are a genius, that your idea is going to disrupt the global marketplace and shake the world. Now imagine that investors that you have never met before ask to give you money just so they can see your vision materialize. Imagine that you then find like minded individuals, men and women who are greater than you in many areas, and they want to join your journey. Imagine that someone on the other side of the world, a complete stranger, believes so much in your idea that they spend hard-earned money to have a piece of it. You have made money and you have affected that stranger’s life. Imagine that.

As an entrepreneur, I know that I have an idea and that this idea is much bigger than crumbs, an orderly brain, paranoia, petty romance and fleeting feelings. I believe the past few years have been worth it. I do look forward to finding love, to always eating at a table, to being 100% present in conversations with friends, but I know that I couldn’t get there on any path, but the one I am on. I am making the imagination matter.

 

Thoughts on craft by Eila Carrico, who is a weaver, wordsmith , and recent Wildly Creative Contributor (Part 1)

Creativity is about flow. Wildness is about unpredictability.

Saraswati is the goddess of both.

She rides a swan and never leaves home without her veena (an Indian string instrument). She sings, she dances, she writes, and she paints. saraswati18(1)Her name means “in the current,” “possessing water” and “fluid.” She is the river personified, gracefully poised on the edge of perpetual emergence.

She is constantly in the state of becoming a new version of herself. Saraswati is one example of a powerful archetype: the image of the maiden river goddess. They are the keepers of beauty, the bestowers of blessings and the embodiment of grace. This archetype teaches us the value of wild feeling, imaging the unprecedented, and venturing into the vast landscapes of the unknown within ourselves.

A river creates her own pattern. She starts with a few drops of curiosity in one direction, followed by a trickle of play in another, and eventually the route is engraved for greater surges of creativity and streams of delight to follow.

Artists-learn-to-live-onSerpents of currents form over the land in patterns that may seem random, but these currents follow the law of their own hidden memories. The river these memories create feels her way along the earth’s surface, finding the way of least resistance, of acquiescent texture, and in this way she actualizes herself into the landscape as a sculptor, a painter, and a storyteller.

Artists learn to live on, dance on and surf in the wild wave of unfolding that greets us moment to moment. Artists feel deeply and magically grasp the intangible, catching snippets of the unseen and bringing them life, form, and meaning.

Bringing formlessness into form is a sacred service, one of the gifts that humans carry uniquely. It is valuable beyond measure.

“Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.” -Audre Lorde from her Essay “Poetry is not a Luxury.”

But our culture, which by and large values objective measurements and monetary success over subjective value and personal fulfillment, often makes it difficult for artists to find their place in the world.

It became popular in the industrialized world to consider it wasteful to allow a river to continue on her natural path, so the leaders wrote policy that protected profit and proudly erected dams to harness her energy.

It would outrage one’s sense of justice if that broad stream were to roll down to the ocean in mere idle majesty and beauty.’ Said the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (1881-1899) A few years later, President Theodore Roosevelt noted that we must save the water from wasting into the sea.

But beauty is never wasted, and majesty refuses to be tamed.

Oshun is another embodiment of fresh waters who teaches us to value the wildly creative within ourselves. She is a maiden river goddess, like Saraswati, who is often pejoratively called little sister because of her innocence. But her youth is her strength. She is not jaded or calloused; her perspective is always fresh and her outlook always emerging. She finds ease and fluidness in any situation. Creativity moves through her as wide as a river rushing to the ocean.

Stay tuned for part 2 of more of Eila’s insights on Goddess Oshun and the ties to being Wildly Creative.

More About Eila:

Eila Carrico is a weaver and wordsmith who delights in the mystery and magic of landscapes and memory. She grew up in rural central Florida, and was inspired by her studies in journalism, anthropology and religion to travel around the world and teach in Paris, Ghana, Thailand and India before settling in the Bay Area in 2008.  Check out more of her work at:   http://www.eilacarrico.com.  The italicized quotes within this piece are from Eila’s upcoming book, The Other Side of the River debuting in 2016.