Wild Mama by Eila Carrico

Art created by Eila Carrico
Art created by Eila Carrico

*Piece written by our full moon contributor Eila Carrico.

I am feeling rather domesticated. I have an eight-month­-old baby, and this year has seen long line of house guests, one after the other. I’m not complaining, I am happy to see everyone, but I do miss that time I used to so easily carve out for myself. The full moon gives me a bit of an excuse, and an external reminder, to set aside time to create.

I’ve been thinking about the connection between wildness and creativity, and what I’ve come to is two fold. One: there is a need for courage in true creativity. Two: there is a need for spaciousness to allow for expression.

I find courage when I feel at home, and I find spaciousness in the wild. Dancing between these two polarities ignites something in me that sparks a question, a tension, and need to explore. That exploration becomes my art. I find myself seeking out paradox and borders as a result. I love to place strange, random objects next to one another in my mind. Seasonal changes stoke my creative fire as well.

It is not summer any more in California, and it is not fall either. Harvest season is coming to a close, and the long, golden days of summer are beginning to wane. We are leaving the season of fire and approaching the season of water. These polarities make a kind of warm bath of my psyche. It is time to let go and prepare to look deeply inward to find my true self reflected in the waters of my soul. Questions I hold: How can I be wild as an artist and also be tame as a mother? Can I make something that feels spacious and free with just the materials I have in the house?

I often make excuses that I cannot create or write because I don’t have time. Or I don’t have the right materials. This month I challenged myself to work with what I’ve got. To create something that honors this tension between fire and water. I took up some construction paper and drew a silhouette. Then I cut them out and pasted them together.

What I came up with was a wolf howling at the moon. I love the wildness of the wolf, calling to the predictability of the moon. The fire is seen in the brightness of the moon, and the water is reflected in the blackness of the wolf. As she howls, one can hear silence and sound in the thickness of space. This practice is simple and inspiring, and I am once again glad I found the wildness in the middle of motherhood.

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.

Meet Mynah Marie….Founder of StreetCats Records, Co-Creator of Wildly Creative, Dream-Maker

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Wildly Creative: Creativity is…

The power of someone’s imagination reflected in the physical World.

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

My creative life started as a child when I first discovered the power of imagination. As young as 4-5 years-old, I used to create stories and imaginary treasure hunts and expeditions in my parents backyard, on which I would go on with my imaginary friends, characters that I would imagine inspired by my favorite movie or book. My mom taught me to read very young, I was already reading novels at 5, and I think that this had a decisive effect on my childhood.

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The imaginary haven of a good book that had so much for me to dream about was one of my favorite things as a child. It’s funny because, even though at the time I was already playing music (started violin at 3, piano at 5), music didn’t trigger my creative side right away. I thinks it’s because the action of music was so associated with a system, something I needed to learn and work hard on. I remember having fun creating melodies on the piano at around 6-7 years old but that was before I got into serious classical music studies with that instrument. The real creativity flowing easily through music only happened much later for me, after I was able to free myself from all the restraints, conventions and preconceived ideas that the classical education system had so strongly implemented in my brain.

Wildly Creative:  What is your advice that you would offer to anyone wishing to design their own creative life?

Anything is possible. Be daring and brave. You can be everything you want to be. The power of imagination is to give birth to dreams and visions that belong only to you while creativity is the power to put these visions into the physical World.  Creativity can only go as far as your dreams can go. So dream wild, dream big, without any constraints, and then put your attention back into the physical World to start manifesting your visions into reality, step by step. The arrival point of that journey is not very important ; maybe you will manifest the vision exactly the way you dreamt it, maybe not. But one thing is sure, the journey will take you somewhere.  And if you hold your dream clearly in your mind and keep your intentions well connected in the heart, you will be safe and the ride will be amazing.

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

Human behavior. How we can so easily hurt each other only because we misunderstand other people’s reality. It fascinates me and also makes me sad. It makes me want to speak up. Having traveled so much and un-rooted myself to integrate another culture so many times, it gives me a different perspective on human behaviors, I see more clearly preconceived judgments implemented by social, cultural and religious filters. It hurts to see human beings, all similar by nature, tearing each other apart, most of the time because of simple ignorance. It makes me want to point it out, dig in the matters that are dividing us most, even if its not pretty. I love the feeling of diving deep into human nature to find that essence that unites us all, even if that means going through muddy waters of dark feelings and pain. I think that creating for me is a way to transcend that pain, make it useful, have it serve a purpose in this life instead of growing closed and bitter.

Some say I like darkness. I wouldn’t describe it as “liking” it, it’s more like I accept it, and this acceptance comes from the desire I have to grow beyond it. And I don’t believe in avoiding. I don’t think you can transcend something you don’t know or don’t understand. So I accept it when it comes in myself or others and that allows me to contemplate it, analyze it and maybe understand a bit more of the World we live in and my place in it… I think thats the place from which I create the most.

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Wildly Creative:  Creatives are usually the ones breaking the rules and little bits of misfits. How are you making sure to hold true to breaking the rules?

It’s like the famous scene in The Matrix: “There is no spoon.”  I believe in good/pure intentions in the heart, a strong, well disciplined mind mixed with a wild imagination. If that’s there, whatever rule is in the way can go to hell.

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.  Read more about Mynah Marie here.

 

 

 

 

 

When You are Creating…You Are Building Your House

Creativity is not something that isn’t without work. You have to think of it like building your house.

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Where do you want your windows to be placed so that light can shine in?
How do you imagine you want to move through it?
How do you want it to feel?
Where do you want certain rooms to be placed?
What materials are you using?

You are always crafting and curating your creativity and unzipping all of the things that allow it to flow through you. There are moments where you will have to decide the risk of certain things. And other times where you feels like you are doing nothing in service to your craft….but that space of “nothing” either in your head, in spending time with your beloveds, or just being is in ultimate service of creating. You will be walking through the space within your wild and juicy creativity navigating and curating all of these things. And yes, at times, it will feel like you’ve left a field with fruitless bounty in your arms. But that is okay too…that is part of the work….

it is you navigating your moments of inspiration.

 

Wild Musings: What is the Cost of Free Access to Creativity & Art?

An essay  by Joshua Cohen “What the Internet’s free culture has cost us in art” originally aired on the PBS News Hour.

“The cost of a thing is the care you give it. Fact is, you could rip off a million books, but they’re not truly yours if you’re not going to read them. Songs aren’t songs if they’re never heard. Films aren’t films if they’re never watched. Canons can’t survive, they can’t evolve if the memory they animate is your computers, and not your own.  Culture must be lived. It must be active. It can’t just be in a folder on your desktop or a bundle of bytes on your hard drive.” 

Does the atmosphere and sharing or access pose a potential danger to creative endeavor?  The internet and specifically social media has created an environment that allows for us to become witness and co-creators for wild imaginings, creativity, and inspiration while connecting with each other.  In other ways, as we have previously discussed there is a simultaneous threat of perceived value (or in what is presented by Joshua Cohen) lack of value.   We share this short video leaving you with some wild thoughts around creativity, the creation of art, and access online.

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Know When You’ve Lost Yourself……To Your Craft? Wise Words from Grace Jones

A reflective piece by Wildly Creative Co-Founder Shanta Lee.

It was 2012 and the first week of September.  How it all happened was a mix of crazy, bizarre, and everything in between. I was wishing that I had an opportunity to go to the Depeche Mode concert taking place on Jones Beach in New York as something online popped up to remind me that it was taking place while I plugged away on a project. Then, the phone rang.  My good friend contacted me saying he wanted company to go to this concert and asked if I would come along. He was a lifelong fan of Depeche Mode, I could not believe my ears.

The day approached for us to go to the concert and along the way, we had to stop, pick up the extra ticket, and other individuals who were attending. As two women and a guy piled into the back seat, I was quiet still sitting in my disbelief as I listened to them chatter about the band and filling their speak with the names “Dave”, “Martin” and other common first names. It took me a little bit to realize that these were the names of the band members as they commented about one concert in particular, “It’s like they heard us and changed their whole set. There was a lot of stuff on twitter about it.” I continued to listen to the chatter and the low hum of Depeche Mode on the radio while enjoying the overall experience.

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The thing that struck me about the incident was the unanswered question: Did this or other bands or artists know that they were co-created by their fans? At what point does one lose the right or ability to be themselves, be the other “self” on stage/in public, and then reserve something of the real behind the scenes? I wondered about that challenging navigation or the ability for one to be a creative and yet maintain who or what THEY really are-is there such a thing?

This morning, these questions I once asked in my head while listening to a car-full of Depeche Mode superfans resurfaced while reading the Timeout.com piece, “Grace Jones slays Rihanna, Miley and Gaga in her autobiography.”   What stood out was the following excerpt from her soon to be published “I’ll Never Write My Memoirs”:

“This is what I would say to my pupil: you have become only your fame, and left behind most of who you were. How are you going to deal with that? Will you lose that person forever? Have you become someone else, without really knowing it? Do you always have to stay in character for people to like you? Do you know that you are in character?

Doris, I would say fame is all well and good if you want to take it to another level. If you have some greater purpose. Me, I am just a singer, on one sort of stage or another, who likes to have an audience, but not all the time. Listen to my advice; I have some experience. In a way, it is me being a teacher, which is what I wanted to be. I still feel I could go into teaching. What is teaching but passing on your knowledge to those who are at the beginning? Some people are born with that gift. With me, the teaching side morphed into the performing side. It’s in there. And these are my pupils – Gaga, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Miley, Kanye West, FKA Twigs and… Doris.” (Excerpt from “Ill Never Write My Memoirs’ by Grace Jones featured in Timeout.com)

As a creative, artist or whatever you wish to call yourself, how do you keep from becoming or disappearing to the very art or craft you created? How do you prevent yourself from becoming a caricature that the public has also co-created with you?

There aren’t really any answers to these nor Grace’s questionsDo you always have to stay in character for people to like you? Do you know that you are in character?” 

But perhaps it is just enough to ask ourselves these questions and encourage an awareness about ourselves as we create in the world.