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!

Black Women + Creativity Interview #10 with Elizabeth J. Elie (Lizzie G)

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

Elizabeth Elie, also known as Lizzie G, is the CEO and President of Lizzie G Entertainment, LLC. She has worked alongside Chicago Public Schools, Walgreens Expressions Challenge, University of Chicago’s Logan Center of Art and Vitalant-IL. Lizzie G has a powerful message for young people to understand that they can express their talents while gaining an education. She holds a Master’s Degree in Integrated Marketing Communication. To learn more about Lizzie G and her company follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook ! You can also check her music out on YouTube, Soundcloud, and Spotify !

What does it mean to be creative? 

Lizzie G: To be creative one must understand their self first. Once you understand yourself you have the opportunity to change your perspective and solve problems in a new way and in a new environment. Being creative means taking risks, ignoring doubt and facing our fears. It means breaking with routine and stepping out of our comfort zone to do something different – for the sake of doing something different. As one of the few positive female hip-hop artists on the scene, my goal is to spread a message of positivity, and I do that through my company LIZZIE G ENTERTAINMENT. Through my music, I took a creative approach that artists in Chicago weren’t doing. My music promotes anti-bullying, keeping peace and staying united. I use my platform to encourage today’s youth to stay in school and pursue their dreams. I wanted to choose a platform where I am sending a positive message, good vibes and not using profanity to emphasize my messages in music.

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

Lizzie G: Everyone has their timing in life for success. As long as you stay dedicated to your craft, passion and dreams your break thru is forthcoming. Network, always promote yourself and never burn bridges. Keep God first,  stay positive in life and your Level Up will surely come in time.

Want to catch a Lizzie G perform? On July 6, Lizzie will be opening for TINK at the Festival of Live in Chicago. Get tickets here and check her out!

Black Women + Creativity Interview #9 with Brandy Hazzard

The Black Women and Creativity interview series is focused on inspiring Black women to tap into their creativity capacity. Our intention is to talk to one hundred Black women, from all walks of life, to share their advice on creativity by answering two simple questions.

Brandy Hazzard is a licensed Esthetician and has been one for 6 years. Her creativity spans fashion and beauty. While being a makeup artist , she is a fashion stylist to the everyday woman. Her experience in HR is setting the stage for having her own business as a Beauty Mogul. You can find her on IG and FB (@beautyxbrandy) and Twitter (@BXBChi) Her site is www.beautyxbrandy.com

What does it mean to be creative ?

Brandy: To me it means that you think outside the box to get an answer. A creative is a complex human being. They see the world differently than a logical person. Most see the world in their creative form.

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

Brandy: Give yourself some grace. Everything will not be what you want it to be when you want it to be. I’ve learned through therapy that I need to give myself grace because everything cannot be perfect. Something will happen good or bad. The same day that you plant your garden isn’t when you will reap the harvest. I’m a mom, fiancé, I work 9 – 5, and own my beauty business. Somewhere in there I have to take care of myself and invest in me outside of everyone else. I cannot be the best if I am pouring from an empty cup.

Are you or someone you know interested in being featured in the Black Women + Creativity Series? Email kandice@kandicecole.com with “Black Women + Creativity” in the subject line!

Black Women + Creativity Interview #8 with Jessica Williams

The Black Women and Creativity interview series is focused on inspiring Black women to tap into their creativity. Our intention is to talk to one hundred Black women, from all walks of life, to share their advice on creativity in two question micro-interviews.

Our eighth interview is with Jessica Williams, founder of Tech Biz Gurl. She empowers women to use technology to pursue their passions. You can find her writing and speaking about side hustles, technology, and self care. Learn more about Jess over at techbizgurl.com

What does it mean to be creative?

I think creative means to create, in whatever form, that means to you whether it is writing, painting, coloring, making something with your hands, or brainstorming.  We are all creative in different ways.  It is whatever fuels your soul in a way that you feel connected to something bigger than yourself. 

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

You are creative.  We all are.  I’ve often thought that I wasn’t creative because I couldn’t draw or paint, but creativity is so much more than a skill.  It’s more of a feeling.  As Black women, it’s often hard to tap into that because there is pressure for us to be strong which often means holding things in, taking care of everyone else, and not leaving much leftover for ourselves.  Taking time for #selfcare helps you get back in tune with your inner voice and helps you remember those things that help you feel at peace with yourself.  Often by getting silent and spending time with ourselves, we come up with ideas and get back to those special things that make us who we are. 

Thank you for sharing this powerful take on creativity Jess!

Know someone that we should feature on the next Black Women + Creativity interview? Email me at kandice@kandicecole.com!

Black Women + Creativity Interview #7 with Asia Monique

The Black Women and Creativity interview series is focused on inspiring Black women to tap into their creativity capacity. Our intention is to talk to one hundred Black women, from all walks of life, to share their advice on creativity by answering two simple questions.

Going by the motto “big hair, bigger vocals,” Chicago vocalist Asia Monique is making waves with her lustrous mix of soulful vocals, “traphouse jazz” production and dark elements. I am excited to have her over on the UBG Collective blog for our seventh Black Women + Creativity interview! Make sure to follow Asia Monique on all of her social media profiles.

What does it mean to be creative?

Asia Monique: It means to have an imagination. A dream, an actual vision, that’s being exercised/used. A creative – can give you vision or insight you weren’t even expecting and/or can take a thing that someone was having trouble visualizing and build it out.

What one piece of advice/wisdom/encouragement/insight would you give to Black women about navigating their own creative process? 

Asia Monique: We are so innovative, so intelligent, so creative that we forget. As an entrepreneur/artist, or even in corporate, we are so used to giving our gifts to someone else to further their vision and we forget about our own. Our “why.” I would just want to encourage my fellow sisters to remind them that they don’t have to give all of their gems to someone else. Make sure that you set aside time to focus on yourself as well and that your why is still at the core of what you deliver. 

Thank you for dropping these gems Asia! Make sure to like, comment, and share if you are enjoyed the latest installment of the Black Women + Creativity Series!

Black Women + Creativity Interview #6 with Dr. Adrianne Scruggs

The Black Women and Creativity interview series is focused on inspiring Black women to tap into their creativity capacity. Our intention is to talk to one hundred Black women, from all walks of life, to share their advice on creativity by answering the two simple questions.

Our sixth interview is with Dr. Adrianne Scruggs, physician and private practice owner of MD One Internal Medicine Associates in Pearland, TX. She is devoted to giving excellent medical care and creating genuine connections with her patients. She is also a wife and mother of two. Learn more about her practice at www.mdoneprimarycare.com

What does it mean to be creative?

Dr. Adrianne: To have the ability, resources, and support to manifest or produce an idea that is unique and inspires others.

What one piece of advice/wisdom/encouragement/insight would you give to Black women about navigating their own creative process? 

Dr. Adrianne: Please don’t be discouraged by the naysayers. Your tribe exists; they understand you deeply and want to connect with you… Please leave space in your day, week, month to be uninhibited – to imagine freely… Take notes – write them down or record them… Create what YOU love, not what you THINK someone else will love. 

What is your one takeaway after reading Adrianne’s take on creativity? Share below!

Are you being humble or hiding?

I often hear successful people talk about the importance of being humble. Humble is defined as “showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.”  In my mind, this is about doing your best work without needing the applause of others. It is about learning to cancel out the noise and do your work regardless of who is or isn’t looking at you. With this kind of posture, you never “fully arrive” but always are willing to learn, explore, and stretch yourself to be and do better.

Keep in mind that being humble doesn’t mean that you don’t do the work. Humility isn’t hiding. The most humble performers still perform. The most humble actors still act. The most humble entrepreneurs still do business and make money.  Being humble doesn’t stop you from doing your thing. Humility doesn’t impede on you making progress.

Hiding is something different. It is all to easy to think that you are being humble when you are straight up hiding. I have to call myself out on this daily.  In an effort not to “toot my own horn” I have not shared, not served, and not shined my light as brightly as I could. I have waited for someone to notice me rather than put the spotlight on myself. Hiding looks like concealing what you do. Hiding looks like trying to make it absolutely perfect before you share it (which usually means you never share it). Hiding looks like procrastinating on the one thing you really want to do.  This is right in line with the definition of hiding which is “to put or keep out of sight conceal from the view of others.” You are keeping your head down not to work and focus on your craft, but to make sure that no one sees your face. When you hide, you aren’t acting on the potential that you within you.

Photo: CreateHer Stock

Make it a practice to check in with yourself. Are you being humble or are you really hiding? Know that you can be gracious about your craft and still slay. Queen Bey shows us this time and time again. You can be humble and expand into your dreams. You can practice humility and secure the bag. You can be humble and do what you want. But when you hide, you prevent yourself from getting all of that goodness you deserve Sis.

There are times when you need to be a little less nice and a little more bold. Times when you need to share who you are. When you need to work on your passions without blocking your own flow. We can get so used to posturing ourselves and bending to everybody else’ expectations of us that we think this is the norm. Anything outside of that not only feels different but a little uncomfortable and wrong. Let it be uncomfortable so that you can unlearn this belief that you have to hide your brilliance. You are meant for more. You know what you want to do. It’s time to do it.

Stay humble. Shine unapologetically. Live free.

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