Tag Archives: creativity

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.

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.

You-will-be-walking

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

entrepreneur-4

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.

 

Meet Suzanne Kingsbury….Part Creativity Coach, part Author Maximizer, Craft Master, & More…

headshotAs the founder and director of Gateless Writing, Inc, I am part creativity coach, part author maximizer, part writing therapist, craft master and brand builder.

This incredibly fulfilling work started when my first novel came out 15 years ago. The Summer Fletcher Greel Loved Me sold in ten days for six figures to Scribner, it was optioned for film and sold widely abroad. With this sale, I was invited into a sort of “closed door club” otherwise called the Publishing Industry. Because I am not much for the closed door, after my second book sold, I decided to open the door to help new (and seasoned) writers answer the call to write and begin that fantastic journey toward making the written word part of their career trajectory.

I now run writing salons, lead retreats, offer career training for writers and work one-on-one with writers to show them what a wildly wonderful road writing can actually be.
Check out Suzanne at: http://suzannekingsbury.net/

Wildly Creative: When did you start nurturing your creative life and why?

Isn’t it funny how we keep creativity in the closet? It’s like a puppy someone gave us that we aren’t supposed to keep, but we feed it and pet it when we can and then one day, it gets too big for us to hide, and we let it out of the closet to love up the world.

This is what happened to me. I’d maybe call mine a friendly but fiery dragon. I started writing the summer before I went on my Fulbright, in a heat wave, at a writing workshop for women on a college campus in upstate New York.

The place was six hours away, and I didn’t know a soul. The conference gave you time to write in the morning and in the afternoon, you were to go to workshops so you could talk about the work. I don’t know why I went to this conference. No one famous was there. I’d stopped writing in high school, kept the dragon in the closet so I could pursue more viable careers. But I still remember that first morning, I had only ever written in my journal in tiny (often lonely) increments, and now here was a whole morning to create lives out of a blank page.  During those four hours time ceased existing. The words seemed to arrive out of the ether, as though passed down in swaths and ribbons that had been waiting for me all along. The world I had created felt more vibrant and real than the one where I’d been living day to day.

Afterwards, I felt almost post-coital. Everything around me looked incredibly vibrant. I was sure the breeze in the trees was explicitly there so that the leaves could wave to me. It was a drug, and I haven’t stopped writing since. It took me seven years from that morning until I published my first book. That might be because I didn’t care about publishing, I was in mad love with the blank page, and anytime I got to dance with it was pure bliss.

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

If spirit or the divinity of creativity has tapped you with its magic wand, know that doors will swing open if you answer its call. The call is playful, the doors may look different than what our small minds can envision, walk through them anyway. Be curious about what may be waiting on the other side.

165465_10152738236860374_1268890022_nIn order to know where to put your energy as you embark on your creative life, choose a goal that makes you feel good, that makes you feel both light and excited. This often starts with smaller goals. For me, I started with wanting to write fiction. But then I found this too limiting. So, I decided my goal was to share the ecstasy of the written word and help others make a living from it. But what if, I keep asking myself, my goal is simply to spread light? To show others the almost blinding brightness of their truest selves. That’s my definition of my creative life. Yours might be to portray the truth as you see it, it might be to paint on bigger and bigger canvases (whatever your definition of canvas tends to be), it could be to expose something about gender, race, whatever…. That goal will keep you company. Let it be as malleable as you like.

And know that this path never has to be mutually exclusive of surviving or even thriving. Our world has ordered it so that it seems creativity comes with scarcity, living off cans of chickpeas and homemade beer in a warehouse in the bad section of town so you can create. This is an egoic, small mind idea. The small mind doesn’t want us to change, it is always looking for stasis, so it will say all kinds of things to get you to stop expanding.

Lose the idea that we have to be poor. Creative minds are at the core of everything we value in this world from the invention of the wheel to the road that takes you home at night, these ideas were all born from the creative muscle. There’s no reason to starve yourself in order to exercise this creative muscle. There’s no shame in making money while you create. I love to show my writers ways in which their ideas for books and other writing can be monetized, how they can make enterprises of their creative ideas, and to ensure them that their material dreams can come true alongside their creative ones.

The sweetness of a creative life is not about just manifestation, living off canned chickpeas and some homemade wine.

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?

Breaking rules is very important now in the field of writing. We have somehow imprisoned writing between walls of ivy. For whatever reason we believe that criticism is the primary tool to help writers with their work. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We approach the work as though it needed to be fixed, we look for what’s “wrong” with it. This is actually a broken model.

We know it is broken because cutting edge brain science has shown us that creative work thrives when it is nurtured. When our work is judged, the amygdala in the brain begins to move in reverse. When the amygdala moves in reverse, we are in fight or flight mode, we no longer have access to the imagination or long term memory, which is the core of creative work. And yet criticism is a mainstay to most programs.

In Gateless Writing, on retreat, in one-on-ones and classes, our biggest work is to get the amygdala moving forward. We can only create mind-blowing writing by showing the writers where she is unique, her talent and innate genius. She can then build from there. When you focus on what is strong, that is what naturally grows. For those pieces that feel like they need a little boost, we give the writer craft tools so she can always feel empowered on the page, no matter what she is working on.

A “thick skin” is something which is often coveted. But what we have found is that the thick skin is the worst kind for a writer. We want the thin skin because we want to be able to feel everything right down to the marrow, to write from that depth of feeling. In retreat, we area always letting the writer get to know again the person she was before the thick skin. We provide her with bodywork, chocolate, reflective feedback, craft tools, so that she can remember again the creative mastermind who lives inside.

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

Along the road there are so many shoulds, aren’t there? The advice is well-meaning, but often in its core it says this: You are not okay as you are, you must move away from the innate passion that claims you and forest your way into other, less organic, realms.

Theres-no-reason-toThis is simply a legacy we pass down to one another. I am not sure where it started, but perhaps it is part of the artist’s trajectory: to be steered away from what makes our true selves sing, to abandon it for conformity and conditioning, and then to have that time of unimaginable lightness of being when we discover it again. The rediscovery can give the creative an enormous amount of energy.

In truth we enter the world aligned with our heart’s purpose. If you look back at a life, you will often find a person’s purpose tucked into the activities s/he loved as a child.

For me? I loved to play pretend, which is so very much what we are doing when we write fiction. I made up fantastical stories and gave personalities to grasshoppers, hermit crabs, dandelions, believing each one embodied a spirit that I could somehow know and befriend. I also loved sitting by the heater and reading.

What if someone (who might have looked like Tasha Tudor) had come along and told me that my greatest gift would stem from this fantasy life? What if this gentle guide had assured me of how brilliant it was to dive into books the way I loved to, how smart to keep myself warm all day? What if an adult had been risky enough to say: Do exactly what you love, that is how genius blooms.