To Create or Create for Change….That Is The Question

“An artist’s duty as far as I am concerned is to reflect the times…”
(Nina Simone during an interview)

On this site we often talk about encouraging and inspiring individuals to create, but the question of whether or not to create has several layers.

Will you create?  Or will you create in order to impact change?

Will you use your body, your movement, your canvass, your camera lens, your pen, your voice to bring attention to the urgency of the now?  This question was inspired by this video in which Nina Simone talks about the duty of the artist to go beyond just creating…

Dr. Cornell West: Lessons from An Open Love Letter

Approximately 15 years ago, Wildly Creative co-founder Shanta Lee saw a poster for American social activist, author, philosopher, and intellectual Dr. Cornell West at Trinity College.  She did not attend that event but regretted not taking a chance to see him speak.  Just days before Valentine’s Day, last week on February 11, Shanta witnessed what she would call Dr. Cornelle West’s open love letter for the times.  These are a few of her insights as they relate to creativity and leading a wildly creative life.

Last Thursday, I saw Dr. Cornell West at Smith College and the earlier quote reflects my experience during that presentation.

While Dr. West said many things that resonated, one of the main threads was about a legacy of individuals (past, present, and future) he titled as Love Warriors. In reference to this particular group of individuals, Dr. Cornell West stated,

“What motivated these folks was such a profound love that they are close to the edge of their own lives…”
So what if we remembered that love was supposed to flow through all of our creative adventures?

While this may seem obvious, I want you to take a moment and think about that last time you had an encounter with creativity that felt or tasted like love flowed through it? When is the last time that you crafted (either a drawing, cooking, perhaps putting together an outfit, the architect of an event, or anything) and it felt like it flowed from the very core of love beyond anything else?

In a global marketplace that often feels like creativity must have a price tag or be purchased in order to have value…it is easy for the love to get lost.

There were many other sage moments and words from Dr. West’s speech, but a couple of statements stood out most of all,

“The condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak.”

“When you decide to be an activist, you decide to be on intimate terms with catastrophe.”

Going by the title of creative, one who crafts, or artist is also an invitation to contribute to the narrative of truth especially when suffering (either individual or communal) needs a canvas. In reference to the second quote form Dr West’s talk, living a creative life, especially in certain environments, can be considered an act of rebellion or activism. The creator or artist can take it a step further by choosing to make their work an illustration that invites us all to come to terms with the catastrophe that just is.

Will you choose to become intimate with catastrophe or use that which you create as a way of inviting others to do the same?   Most importantly, will you remember to let love pour through any and everything you create?


Wild Adventures & Projects: Diving Into Deeper Selves….A Sneak Preview of Fragments

This is a sneak preview of a project involving a partnership between two friends and the co-founders of Wildly Creative,  Mynah Marie (Singer, Songwriter)  and Shanta Lee (photographer and writer).

The Beginning of it All

It started with a conversation across computer screens in the middle of the night in late August 2015.  The conversation was between Shanta Lee on American shores and Mynah in Bombay  amidst words, passionate talk, and laughter…. Mynah started to unzip sharing an epiphany that punctured the night and was the beginning of something stating…

“I am not one but many…”

And she continued, “Everything makes sense now that I understand that. My personality is fragmented in such ways that in one body I actually contain a variety of characters, each with their own belief system and functions. Some are male, some female, some are even androgynous, even their age varies… It’s very trippy, almost like having multiple personality syndrome.”

When asked about her female/male polarity she said: “You know what it is? I need to have my masculine fall in love with my feminine….”

Photo Credit: Shanta Lee
Photo Credit: Shanta Lee

Mynah’s Male Alter-Ego, which she affectionately calls ‘Mino’, is one of the protectors of her primal feminine fragment. I wanted to know everything about ‘Mino’, what he was like, how he came about, and how he engaged with her other selves.

“He is short tempered and can seem very rude and even mean but in a boyish arrogance kind of way. When triggered, he can become a bully with aggressive tendencies.  His main purpose is to protect the primal feminine when she is in freakout mode because the primal feminine is a pure receptor who is too sensitive and overwhelmed by the energy she is receiving to take her own defense.”

Shanta Seeing Mino

Photo Credit: Shanta Lee

“When I photographed Mino, Mynah ceased existing in that moment and all I saw was him.  As I observed Mino in my mind and with my camera lens, Mynah’s words stayed with me like a secret inscription…..”I need to have my masculine fall in love with my feminine….”  Was this true for myself?   Did we all need to to find our “Mino” to protect our feminine?  Was this true for everyone wishing to connect to a partner outside of themselves or even seeking any connection in the world?  Do we first need to merge or unify the opposites within us?”

Photo Credit: Shanta Lee
Photo Credit: Shanta Lee


Mynah Marie and Shanta Lee will be sharing more of their dialogue and exploration of Fragments throughout the year.  Stay Tuned!