I have a confession. When Kaira Boston first joined the See Jane Write Collective this fall I worried she’d made a mistake. Kaira is a visual artist and the Collective — obviously — is a membership community for writers. I thought she’d come in, kick the tires, and realize we weren’t right for her.
Kaira quickly proved me wrong.
Instead, Kaira joined the Collective and immediately started taking advantage of all the program has to offer — the resource library, the Girls Write-In sessions, the critique sessions, the group coaching sessions, and more. She’s always eager to help other members, too. In fact, she even volunteered to help me design a spreadsheet for members to use to track their progress through the resource library.
And in November she took on the #BlogLikeCrazy challenge. Not only did she succeed in blogging every day for 30 days but she also snagged the $500 cash prize I decided to give to one participant this year.
Kaira’s posts stood out to me because her content was cohesive, yet still creative. Each post was intentional and still inspiring. While reading her online journal I constantly found myself jotting down ideas for things I want to try on my blog, in my writing, and in other areas of my life. She even had me wanting to try my hand at visual art even though I know I am TERRIBLE at it! Best of all, Kaira was able to blend her own story and journey as a creative in with practical advice for people ready to start (or continue) a creative journey of their own.
Through Kaira’s blog, I’ve witnessed the beautiful intersection of visual art and the written word. And I’m excited to introduce you to Kaira as the December See Jane Write Collective Member of the Month.
For people who aren’t familiar with your work – what kind of art do you do and what kind of writing do you do?
I am a visual artist focusing on mixed media which means there is more than one medium used to compose the artwork. I like to layer my art. The different mediums used adds dimension and depth. Layers imitate our own layers in life which I like to replicate. My art invites repeat looks. You might see something a different way or new which reminds us to do the same in life.
My writing is a combination of personal essay and how-to. I like to share how creating art helps me to relate to life and get mindful. I can’t help but share tips and techniques so others can exercise their own creative muscles for a more mindful life.
What role does writing play in your life as an artist? How do you feel writing helps you as an artist and how does art help you as a writer?
Part of my artist statement is that I value the process over finished product. Writing helps me explain the journey between inspiration final product.
As I mentioned, I am all about the layers in my art and I see writing as another layer. The creative process for art and writing helps me to get quiet. In that quiet space, I can relate best to myself, others, and life in general. The writing helps me to process those things that are going on and share them so others can benefit too.
One thing I’ve seen you mention on your blog — and that I agree with wholeheartedly — is that creativity loves parameters. Talk a bit about why you stand by this and how you’ve seen this proven in your own creative life.
As I continued to create art, I accumulated more supplies. I noticed the paralysis of not knowing what to create starting to creep in. That’s when I realized that creativity liked parameters because it gave a starting point. I started creating parameters like only 3 colors, one shape or a certain time limit. My brain sees it as a game, how to get creative with limited supplies/shapes/timelines. The benefit, I start to create without hesitation.
I have created series of works applying a parameter of subject matter. That parameter gave me and the art an intention and focus. The cohesion of a piece or pieces is much easier when I have parameters.
What art and writing projects or goals are you working on right now and what are you doing to achieve them?
In the art part of my studio, I am working on creating more consistently. I am preparing a personal painting challenge. I will be completing 15-minute mixed media paintings daily for 31 days. I am fine tuning more creative parameters like maximum size of the work which I’m leaning towards 5×7. My intention is to paint more intuitively. I look forward to building a community around daily creative practice.
I will be writing about the art and experience of the 31 15-minute mixed media paintings. What’s more exciting is I am working on adding freelance writing to my business — fulfilling a creative outlet and business need! To do this I am completing the See Jane Freelance course. Wish me luck on my first pitch, y’all!
What’s the most valuable thing you learned from the #BlogLikeCrazy challenge?
I can make a plan and follow through!
Even though I am a project manager and have been for over 12 years, I don’t always do what I know works. I was serious about seeing the #BlogLikeCrazy challenge to the end and it worked. I worked. I was also pleased to see that my plan ahead of the challenge helped to bring the content together. I now have a home for content that I can reference when assisting get creative or stay creative.
Why did you decide to join SJW and what did you like most about the Collective so far?
I have always been a team player and been craving community connection. I wanted this even more as I explored creative writing and how to add this medium to my studio. The See Jane Write Collective checked all the boxes.
What I like most about the Collective so far is the clear and easy to follow success path. The resource library is brilliantly laid out to achieve the writing goals I have from exploration to building a business. Instead of Googling and reading all the ‘so you want to be a writer’ books, I am taking the shortcut called the See Jane Write Success Path!
Who should be the next See Jane Write Member of the Month? Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t be afraid to nominate yourself! Not a member? Apply to join here.