Black Women + Creativity Interview #20 with Jamie Newton Knight(Blended Black Family & The CoCo Blend)

The Black Women and Creativity interview series is focused on:

  1. Amplifying Black women’s wisdom on creativity and the creative process
  2. Inspiring Black women to tap into their own creativity capacity

Today we will be interviewing my business Sis, Jamie Newton-Knight!

Jamie Newton-Knight is the CEO/Founder of Blended Black Family & The Cooperative Coparenting Blend, also known as The CoCo Blend. As the Motherhood Mastery Mentor, she helps moms in blended families take charge of their lives, balance their families and co-parent with ease. A wife of 10 years, mother of 4, full time employee and grad student, Jamie has been a part of a blended family for over 25 years. She has been successfully blending and cooperatively co-parenting for over 10 years. Now, she shares her expertise with families who are struggling through this co-parenting/blended journey.

Make sure to follow her over on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and LinkedIn. Learn more about her work at www.thecocoblend.com 

Fill in the blank: Creativity is ______________.  


How do you express your creativity? 

What advice would you give someone who feels like they are stuck in a creative rut?

Thank you for reading the latest Black Women + Creativity Interview. Let us know your biggest takeaway from today’s interview!

Check out past interviews by clicking here.

Black Women + Creativity Interview #18 with Charmaine Moore (Face of Hope and Beauty)

The Black Women and Creativity interview series is focused on:

  1. Lifting up Black women’s wisdom on creativity and the creative process
  2. Inspiring Black women to tap into their own creativity capacity

Today we will be interviewing Charmaine Moore.

Charmaine Moore is a lovely wife of nineteen years of marriage, mother to six beautiful children and grandmother to her sweet granddaughter.  She has overcome sexual, verbal, and physical abuse; depression, suicidal thoughts and attempts.  Charmaine’s passion and mission is to Empower Women to Choose to Love, Live, and Thrive in life.  Charmaine is a Face of Hope and Beauty Lifestyle Coach, Model and Life Speaker.  Through her Inspirational Life Coaching business Face of Hope and Beauty, Charmaine host Powerful Workshops helping Women to unlock what has been holding them back from loving themselves and enjoying the lives that they desire to live.  She then brings Light, Hope, Love, Joy, Peace, Healing, Wealth, FUN and Freedom to everyone that her life Touch.

Make sure to follow her over on IG and Twitter. Learn more about her work at https://faceofhopeandbeauty.com/

 

Fill in the blank: Creativity is ______________.  

Charmaine: Creativity is Power.  Creativity is a Way of Life.  We have all been given the Power to Create.  It’s our God given birthright.


How do you express your creativity? 

Charmaine: I absolutely Love, Love, Love to Create. It is one of my favorite parts about Life.

I express my creative Power through my Thoughts, Words and Actions.  First, I take a moment and meditate to tap into my creative power, thinking about what areas of my Beautiful Life that I would like or need to Create in.  It’s so important for us to quiet our minds to flow in our creative power.  Once my mind is quiet, I go through a process and ask myself: what do I Need or Want in this season of my Life?  When we are creating it is vital to get clear on what we want, need and what we don’t want.  If we don’t know what we want or need in Life we will subconsciously create what we don’t want in Life, never living the life of our dreams.  

Now that I know what I want or need, I write it down and see or imagine my wants and needs being met.  I imagine myself accomplishing that goal or dream.  I imagine that problem or situation being solved.  I imagine that hurt and pain being healed.  Then, I get up and take the Necessary Actions to create the life of my dreams.  Is this always easy?  No, sometimes I have allowed my Problems, Fears and Pain to create for me but once I realize that, I quickly use my power to create what I need or want.

If I need Peace and Clarity, I Create Peace and Clarity in my Life.  If I need Love, I Create Love.  If I want Opportunities, I Create Opportunities.  If I want Friendship, I Create Friendships.

What advice would you give someone who feels like they are stuck in a creative rut?

Charmaine : I feel like through our painful life experiences we have been taught wrong on how to use our creative power.  Through those painful experiences we were taught to blame others for why we are not living the life of our dreams.  Then we give our creative power to our pain, problems, situations and fears to create for us.   We give our Creative Power away and then we are stuck in Life.  I’m not saying that those people who caused us harm or pain weren’t to blame, I’m saying that it’s time for us to take our Creative POWER Back.  In other words TAKE YOUR LIFE BACK.  Forgive, Let it Go and Create the Life of Your Dreams. 

You have the POWER to Create and I’m Cheering for You!!!  You Can Do It!!!

Thank you for reading the latest Black Women + Creativity Interview. Let us know your biggest takeaway from today’s interview!

Check out past interviews by clicking here.

What gardening taught me about self care.

I have never been good at growing plants. I couldn’t even keep store bought flowers alive for more than a couple of days. Yet, here I was accepting two small pots with tiny seedlings from my best friend as I prepared to shelter in place due to COVID-19. I thought it might be a good idea to learn how to grow things and be more self sustainable. Plus, I knew I was about to be inside indefinitely and had time on my hands to start a new project.

My bestie gave me simple instructions: Water when the dirt starts to appear dry. After 4 weeks replant them in a larger pot. That seemed simple enough. I put two chairs on the small patio of our apartment and placed the tiny pots on top of them. Watering the plants became a part of my quarantine activity checklist. Bake something new. Check. Declutter a closet. Check. Order a kitchen item I don’t really need. Check. Water the plants if they seem dry. Check.

Honestly, I didn’t expect those seedlings to last more than a week. And here I was in week 2 with a plant that was a litter taller than last week. Then that turned into four weeks. I made it to replanting time! I took a picture and texted my friend , proud of my accomplishment. In her low key petty fashion, she replied, ” What?! I am actually suprised but that’s great!”

After replanting, I stayed committed to caring for the plants. Every day, I would observe them so I could figure out what they needed. If the soil seemed dry, I would add water. If leaves were a certain color, I added plant food. If bugs wouldn’t let them be great, I found ways to keep them away. I would go out on the patio a few times a week soaking in the sunshine and tending to my plant babies. Many times my daughter joined me and it became a quiet, calming ritual.

The plants kept growing and after about 6 weeks, I had a few green beans. I started feeling myself and got some more seedlings from my friend. I now have five plant babies (peppers, green beans, mint, basil, and squash).

Tending to this small garden has brought me back to myself. It has become the most unexpected act of self care. Gardening has been a calm in the middle of the storm that is 2020. It has been a saving grace when I have felt so weary with all that is happening in the world. It has brought a subtle kind of joy.

As I care for these plants, it is an invite to care for myself consistently. To observe and really notice me. To honor what I am feeling, acknowledge what I need, and give it generously to myself.

As my plants have grown, so have I. In so many ways.

Black Women + Creativity Interview #17 with Anika Ray (Brooke Blaze)

The Black Women and Creativity interview series is focused on:

  1. Lifting up Black women’s wisdom on creativity and the creative process
  2. Inspiring Black women to tap into their own creativity capacity

Anika Ray. Beauty Business Owner, Comedy Writer and Activist in Los Angeles. She grew up in a wellness & beauty-influenced environment and has worked in the entertainment and creative arts for over 10 years. Anika currently owns a Luxury Beauty Brand, Brooke Blaze, in Los Angeles, is active in film and writing industries and advises for like-businesses. When off once in forever, she loves nature, her family and dog, and cooking. Learn more about her business at www.BrookeBlaze.com and make sure to follow Brooke Blaze on IG and Facebook. Keep up with Anika over on her personal Instagram, too!

 

Creativity is ______________.  

Anika: Creativity is passion.


How do you express your creativity? 

Anika : I was advised to work on the art of being adaptable. When you do this, you are still being you, but changing to fit the situation for the best outcome. Creativity is great because it’s a forever changing space and grows with innovation. This process keeps me inspired to appreciate my creativity, and to always remain true to myself.

What advice would you give someone who feels like they are stuck in a creative rut?

Anika : Calm your mind first and figure out why you are in a rut. We quickly run to trying to get ourselves out or even beat ourselves up about it. Don’t. Trust your process and trust yourself.

Thank you for reading the latest Black Women + Creativity Interview. Let us know your biggest takeaway from today’s interview!

Check out past interviews by clicking here.

Black Women + Creativity Interview #16 with Keiaundra Pree

The Black Women and Creativity interview series is focused on:

  1. Lifting up Black women’s wisdom on creativity and the creative process
  2. Inspiring Black women to tap into their unique creativity capacity

Our next interview is with Keiaundra Pree. I have had the privilege of mentoring K for the past few years and am excited to introduce her to the Unbothered Black Girl Collective! Keiaundra is a twenty-eight year old founder of two companies, K. Assistant and KaiWai. K. Assistant is a virtual assistance company that caters to women solopreneurs. Kai Wai is a natural skincare company that promotes healthy spiritual and mental well being.

 

Creativity is ______________.  

Keiaundra: Creativity is self-expression on a higher, more intimate level. Creativity is a more natural way of expressing emotion.


How do you express your creativity? 

Keiaundra: I love to express my creativity through singing, dancing, writing, and also through soap and candle making.

What advice would you give someone who feels like they are stuck in a creative rut?

Keiaundra: There is no wrong way to be creative. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Creative flow happens naturally and that would almost be impossible to achieve under stressful situations. Breathe. Just let your mind wander without too much focus on any particular thought. Whenever I feel that I have hit a wall trying to come up with different creative ideas, I go somewhere alone and allow myself to take a mini-break to calm down. I remind myself that I can not function creatively in a crowded headspace. So my advice is to slow down, take a couple breathes, and watch the magic happen.

Thank you for reading the latest Black Women + Creativity Interview! Check out past interviews by clicking here.

Black Women + Creativity Interview #15 with Dr. Tina Marie Andrews Parks

The Black Women and Creativity interview series is focused on:

  1. Lifting up Black women’s wisdom on creativity and the creative process
  2. Inspiring Black women to tap into their creativity capacity and define it in their own way

We took a break and now we are back with another interview!

Our next interview is with Dr. Tina Marie Andrews Parks. Tina,Chicago south side native, is a Doctor of Nursing Practice and professor of nursing. With over 19 years experience as a nurse, Tina has found her passion in patient, student and institutional education specializing in gerontology, medical/surgical nursing and critical care. Her personal motto comes from Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge.” Tina’s faith in God and affinity for solving problems in healthcare disparities has driven her career thus far.   Her favorite pastimes are public speaking, watching documentaries, African dance, crafting, journaling and building meaningful relationships. 

Fill in the blank: Creativity is____________.

Tina: Creativity is the minds innate ability to come up with ways to keep us alive. Creativity is the brain’s way of re-imagining the resources around you to make them work in your favor. It is a mechanism to solve all manners of problems even if the problem is simply “How will I get all of these shoes into this closet?” Once a problem is established, creativity smiles & says “Watch me work.” We often think of creativity as painting and poetry. This may be true if that is what you need to feel alive. Let’s face it, we weren’t all designed to choreograph and sing. Unexpected life events like long term social distancing, has triggered boundless creativity to help us cope and develop a new normal. Creativity loves having a job to do. If you look around, every aspect of your life is sustained by the moments you naturally thought of new ways to “do” and ” be.”

 How do you express your creativity? 

Tina: I love watching my own mind create ways to do things better, quicker, less boring, less dreadful & more fun. From rearranging the furniture to thinking of a new method of teaching tough materials,  my mind wakes up and dances around the possibilities encouraging me to Create! Create! Create! Change cannot happen without creativity. 

I also create by “painting” with words. By day I’m a healthcare professional, science brain person (innovations in science also require creativity). However, when I formulate a post, birthday note, email, or a proposal I love to arrange my words to flow like music. I may not write radio hits, but I am a lover of lyrics. Your creativity won’t manifest like my creativity which is the secret sauce to the whole concept. Diverse creative interests covers all the earths needs. 

My first love was hardcore arts & crafts! I am a cut, paste, sew, bedazzle, imagine & create kind of girl, too!

What advice would you give someone who feels like they are stuck in a creative rut?

If you feel you are stuck in a creative rut let me reassure you, there is no such thing as a creative rut. The mind is never stifled. It will create until you take your last breath. You are most likely trying to force your idea of creativity onto a timeline, in a framework and on a budget. Creativity is over you and your rules because she doesn’t abide by rules. Creativity existed the day time began. You must separate what YOU define as creativity versus what it really is. Creativity is a “free spirit”. When you are breathing down her neck,  pressuring and criticizing her, creativity rolls her eyes, folds her arms & starts to create in a totally different area you’re not focused on right now. If you are feeling stifled check your fear, stress, and anxiety levels. Remember creativity was originally designed to keep you alive. The less fear & worry you have, the more creative energy you will have available to work for you in the areas you want it the most. 

Thank you for reading the latest Black Women + Creativity Interview! Check out past interviews by clicking here.

Black Women + Creativity Interview #14 with Donnie Nicole Belcher

The Black Women and Creativity interview series is focused on:

  • Inspiring Black women to tap into their creativity capacity
  • Showcasing Black women who are defining creativity in their unique way

Our next interview is with Donnie Nicole Belcher! Donnie Nicole Belcher is a serial entrepreneur, having co-founded Art of Culture Inc. (formerly Donda’s House Inc.) a non-profit serving young Creatives in Chicago, and solo-founding both Spell Well – a wellness and personal development company, and Work With Donnie – a consulting firm offering project management, communications and education-related services. As a former High School Teacher, Donnie is committed to “creating the things she wished existed” especially those things that empower low-income people and underserved communities. She has been featured in numerous publications such as CNN, Jet Magazine and People Magazine. Make sure to follow Donnie on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay updated on all the amazing things she is doing in the world!

Donnie utilized her creativity and has some dope graphics to share her answers. Enjoy!

What does it mean to be creative? 

Donnie:

 

What advice/wisdom/encouragement/insight would you have to Black women about navigating their own creative process?

Donnie:

Thank you for sharing with us Donnie!!

Desire to tap into your creativity? Join us on August 20 at 7:30pm for the “Space to Create” Virtual Meetup . We will be focusing on exploring ways to cultivate your creativity and have more fun in your life! Space is limited, so sign up here!

Black Women + Creativity Interview #13 with Monica Terry

The Black Women and Creativity interview series is focused on:

  • Inspiring Black women to tap into their creativity capacity
  • Showcasing Black women who are defining creativity in their unique way

Monica Terry is a self taught Houston Lifestyle photographer and the founder of Lavi & Co. Photography. She was inspired to begin her photography journey by her now 3 year old son. She fully enjoys capturing life as it happens, unscripted, candid, natural, life.  Monica is also getting ready to graduate with her degree in Retailing and Consumer Science from the University of Houston. When she is not taking pictures or up late studying, she is enjoying her time with her son, family and friends.

What does it mean to be creative? 

Monica: Being creative means to be fearless and not succumb to the limitations that society has put on you.  It means to let go of your ego to make room in your mind and heart to allow yourself to be totally free with whatever comes naturally to you. 

What advice/wisdom/encouragement/insight would you have to Black women about navigating their own creative process?

Monica: I would tell my fellow black women to be unapologetically confident in every part of their creative process.  Don’t question your ideas just because someone else does. Don’t let money be the only motivation. Most importantly whatever you do, whatever you create do it with all of your heart and let it reflect your true self.  To me there is nothing more confident than that!

Thank you for sharing with us Monica!

Want to tap more into your creativity? Join us on August 20 at 7:30pm for the “Space to Create” Virtual Meetup . We will be focusing on exploring ways to cultivate your creativity and have more fun in your life! Space is limited, so sign up here!

Black Women + Creativity Interview #12 with N’Tirzah al Rephaim

The Black Women and Creativity interview series is focused on:

  • Inspiring Black women to tap into their creativity capacity
  • Showcasing Black women who are redefining what creativity really is

N’Tirzah al Rephaim, is a Sacred Poet, Author, Creative Activist, Performance & Teaching Artist, Vocalist, Musician, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Arranger, Dancer and Choreographer and Creative Director of two independent businesses: Pretty 2 Feathers
Productions, (est.2007) and WombMan WaistBeads (est. 2013). N’Tirzah is a beautiful spirit. Make sure to check our her website and follow her on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter ).

What does it mean to be creative? 

N’Tirzah: Being creative is a birthright. For me, being creative is a part of my ascendancy as a black woman of West Indian/Caribbean heritage. Black Women of the African Diaspora have a Divine relationship with creativity because we were the first on this planet, that we call Mother Earth, to have created the most important thing, and that is life. It is for this reason that we are so deeply connected to Mother Earth; our genetic makeup, our very DNA, reaches back to the very first being that ever walked the Earth. Being creative is our collective birthright, and as such, we have the privilege of pouring our individual creativity into everything we do.

The Black WombMan is a Divine Creator/Artist. Creating includes bringing out our talents and using them effectively to inspire change. I believe this change should be good. It can be a piece of art, which comes in many forms such as: dance, poetry, a painting, photography, a book, a play, a musical composition, a video, a film, a
sculpture, pottery, a multi-media piece, architecture, jewelry, clothing design, etc.; the possibilities are endless! Creating also includes giving birth to something: a project, an idea, a baby, a business, or even helping someone to do those things. Creating happens within the heart and the imagination, from our deepest passions and desires. We intuitively know what we love when we wake up thinking about it and fall asleep with it on our minds.

What advice/wisdom/encouragement/insight would you have to Black women about navigating their own creative process?

N’Tirzah: Be Authentic, Value Who You Are, Others Will Too! In navigating our creative process(es) as Black Women of the African Diaspora with the deepest connection to The Most High Divine Creator, it is most important to stay true to our own inner voice. When we create, we are creating from our deepest, most sacred, spiritual place. The sacredness has its own wholeness, it IS holistic. It comes from a pure heart. In this purity, creating doesn’t seek to please others, it only seeks to be expressed. Black Women have always
been taught to care for others at the expense of their own voices and the sacrifice of their own dreams, so my advice is to know your inner voice and to harken to it, listen to its yearnings. If your creative process requires solitude and silence, then bathe in that solitude and silence. Whatever your creative process is, stay true to it. If your desire is to remain organic, be organic. If your desire is to receive formal training, get formal training. If you want to combine the two, combine the two. Be Free!!!! Black Women should create for the love of creating, but remember Black Women, that you are valuable, as is your time, and therefore, so are your creations! Don’t give yourself away-KnowYour Worth!!!

Thank you for blessing us with this wisdom N’Tirzah!

Want to tap more into your creativity? Join us on July 25th at 7:30pm for the “Space to Create” Virtual Meetup . We will be focusing on making space for creativity and exploring ways to cultivate your creativity so that you can use it for your most exciting projects! Space is limited, so sign up here!

Black Women + Creativity Interview #11 with Shantera Chatman

The Black Women and Creativity interview series is focused on inspiring Black women to unleash their creativity. Our intention is to talk to one hundred Black women, from all walks of life, to share their advice on the creative process.

I am so excited to share our 11th interview from Shantera Chatman. Shantera is a Houston, Texas native who is absolutely brilliant! She is an organizational engagement & adoption consultant and the founder of Chatman Women’s Foundation, which provides scholarships and grants to empower women who are building businesses, going back to school, or transitioning out of shelters.

Shantera is a sought-after speaker and life coach who focuses on leadership, women’s empowerment and people engagement.  She currently serves as a member of the Houston Women and Minority Business Task Force.  She is the author of PowHer Play:  A Women’s Empowerment Guide, Embrace Resistance:  How to Conquer Your Critics, and emPowHering YOU:  12 Tips to Finding Your Voice.

Make sure to connect with Shantera on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, her website, and her EmPowHering You podcast!

Enjoy this audio interview and share your takeaways in the comments below!

What does it mean to be creative? (press play below for Shantera’s answer)

What advice/wisdom/encouragement/insight would you give to Black women about navigating their own creative process? (press play below for Shantera’s answer)

Thank you for sharing your insight with the Unbothered Black Girl Collective, Shantera!

Want to tap more into your creativity? Join us on July 25th at 7:30pm for the “Space to Create” Virtual Meetup . We will be focusing on making space for creativity and exploring ways to cultivate your creativity so that you can use it for your most exciting projects! Space is limited, so sign up here!