I met Meekah through our blogs, and I love her spirit and enthusiasm about art and self-publishing! She is a true original who is super friendly, and she creates an amazing zine called The Daily Wild, which is available in her Etsy shop. When she first emailed me her interview answers, I read them and found myself blown away by her honesty and her insight about art, creativity, inspiration, living an authentic creative life, and her awesome 365 project! I think you will love reading what she has to say, and it will inspire you to explore the world around you with new eyes and a renewed sense of enthusiasm...
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
If I had to sum up “what I do”, I would have to say that I strive to live every single day true to my authentic self. On a foundational level, I work very hard at honoring my dreams, goals and visions in some way. For me, that means living off – the- grid in a small passive solar casita in my home mountains of Santa Fe, NM. I spend copious amounts of time exploring and immersing myself in the wildness that surrounds my home. I pay homage to the spirit of place that supports and nourishes my body and my soul. I am busy as a single mom of two wild spirited little girls whom I share these experiences with. I am constantly evolving myself into the best version yet, and exploring my creative curiosities while also trying to be of service to my fellow peeps.
One of the drawings from Meekah's 365 Project
How do you express yourself creatively?
In every way possible. In December 2011 I published my first issue of my “zine” Daily Wild. It has grown organically, exponentially, and rapidly in the past few months from being something I just shared from my personal journal to now showcasing insights and wisdom from other wild women. I try to focus on illustrating the covers, and inside content to honor my desire to learn to draw and paint. I also started a 365 project in February to draw/paint everyday for the next year in order to master my skills and truly find my own voice with pen, pencil, paint and paper. But, I also express myself creatively in every way, like how I dress, do my make-up, what jewelry I wear. I already get funny looks from people when I'm out in public anyway, “the girl different” ya know, so I might as well draw on my face and hands or wear funky clothes if it is what makes me feel true to myself.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Most definitely from the wild land where I live and from the old ways of living in connection to the land. Being that I live off the grid and spend so much time outside, I tend to have a “feralness” to my personality and that often inspires visions that I want to translate into drawings. I am also truly inspired currently by the ancient art of Mehndi/Henna.
What are some of your creative goals and aspirations for the future?
I really want to see DAILY WILD become a regular full size newstand collector's publication that can not only support itself but also pay its contributors and the people who produce it (so far that's me ;)). I also want to master the art of Mehndi and offer this as one of my creative businesses. I hope to be able to hang a show of all the original DAILY WILD covers that I illustrate at year's end. I definitely want to learn how to tribal fusion bellydance. I want to produce something with my 365 paint/draw pieces. Continue celebrating Sunday Altars and yes, I'll say it, become a skilled practitioner in the art of magic...oh and then there is falconry, costume design...ok, ok, ok, see I could keep going on...it won't end until I”m done and by then I'll be dead and back into the earth!
What completed creative project are you most proud of in your life so far?
Most definitely my publication, DAILY WILD. Although I am not done producing the “zine”, we have 6 more issues to go for the year, so far this little collectable publication has been the one project that I am most proud of ! Not only do I love what has manifested so far, the completion of each issue only inspires the next level of greatness and evolution into the issue coming out next. It seems to grow on its own, organically, but is using me as a vehicle to get its voice out into the world. I love that I am part of this process. There is such a sense of satisfaction at the launch of each issue, and so far, an endless sea of potential, ideas and possibility for its future. I am going to have to ride this one for as far as she wishes to go. It is also the first time my illustrations have been published and I am really proud of what I have “channeled” and created in this realm through the zine, being that I don't have any schooling/training in actual painting or drawing.
Name a few creative individuals you admire and explain why.
Charmaine Olivia: For her boldness in ritualistic art and painting, and honoring that deep raw feminine power. Plus she's super hot, and self taught. She represents my shadow side, if it were a separate personality of myself.
Lisa Starr at Drummaking Journey's! This gal is doing it! Not only is she an incredible drum maker, mom raising two amazing, now young women, but she has created her vision of Bonita Domes a retreat and sanctuary (where the structures are of sustainable earthbag architecture) to support the Whole individual and is offering it to the world!
Kiva Rose at Anima! This woman just keeps rockin' the herbal world! Living off the grid in the Gila wilderness of NM, raising her daughter in the ways of the land, becoming a world renowned expert on herbology, organizing the Traditions in Western Herbalism Annual Conference, producing an almost 300 page seasonal Plant Healer magazine, offering her healing ways to her community and guiding other authentic self seekers on their own path and still only in her 20's...this woman is on her way to being a legend! And she is just simply lovely to spend time with! She follows her heart COMPLETELY, without hesitation and goes BIG!
What are some of your current obsessions? (Art, craft, musical, or completely random.)
Mehndi! The sacred art of Henna. I love the tradition, power, and ritual aspect of creating spell work and artistic expression through the use of a plant that can ultimately become a temporary tattoo that helps to protect and uplift the bearer of the design. I just started back into exploring this artform and it is definitely on my list of things to master! I practice on myself, my girls and my boyfriend is next in line. Then I hope to take it out into the world! I can forsee a crossover into my drawings from this desire and it is already making an appearance in my 365 paint project.
Do you collect anything?
Ha ha! I am always collecting things from the land, pinecones, fungus, moss, sticks, rocks, feathers, dirt, leaves to name a few. Many of these items end up in Altars that I place on the land where I live as a sort of gratitude for the magical here as well focusing energy into powering up my creative dreams. Smaller versions of these items serve the same function but inside my home and can be found on various shelves, windowsills and tables. They eventually all end up going back on the land once it feels like they need to move on. I started the section on my blog “Altar Sunday” specifically for this reason. I don't attend church or follow any particular ONE religion. I listen to the land and follow my heart and live from the wisdom I've gained never losing site of my curiosities and inspirations to lead me. So, every Sunday I go out on the land and allow myself to be “guided” in regards to what needs to be addressed, honored or released in that moment. I build an altar and I share images and insights about it every Sunday on my DAILY WILD blog.
Recommend some inspiring books/websites/music/movies to us...
Books: Brida, The Alchemist, Ishmael, The Art of Mehndi, Prodigal Summer, The Clan of the Cave Bear
The Witch of Forest Grove – Love her powerful writings on magic and bold illustrations,
Reflections Through The Cards- I love the TAROT and my friend Raven's site is extremely insightful and awakening as a guide through the decks
Lifeways & Herbal School – I love this blog/site and the people who are a part of it. They were who I discovered when I was taking those first steps of really truly living my raw self and needing to break down old conditioning and habits! I spent precious time in the Gila on their land and owe much of where I am today to my connections and experiences to their guidance and the spirit of the Canyon where they live!
Music: My boyfriend is really the one who is the music buff. He is constantly discovering new bands and honoring all the best and even obscure through time. He creates some amazing playlists and always seems to find the right combination for whatever space I am in. I have to admit that I love the music of Beats Antique, Loreena McKennit, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Xavier Rudd, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Mazzy Star, Solace, Awolnation, Rising Appalachia, any of the Marleys
Movies: Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer, Princess Mononoke, The Big Lebowski, 180-degrees south, Amelie, Chocolate, Labyrinth, usually obscure epic time period pieces... My boyfriend, again, is a huge cinematography buff and knows ALL the good stuff, so I let him bring the goods to the table when it comes to films.
What are some of your favorite art supplies?
Currently I am obsessed with Prismacolor black pens and inks; Endless supplies of National Geographics for collage, a camera and an old version of Photoshop.
Do you have any advice you could offer to someone who wants to start expressing themselves creatively but doesn't know where to begin?
Right! Beginning is always the hardest part. I know everyone always says, “ just do it. Just sit down and do it, and don't be a perfectionist about”. I agree with this, but I also know that usually if there is a desire to express creatively, then it is likely that there is usually an idea or vision behind that desire. Or maybe just being inspired by somebody else's great work makes us feel like “ I want to do that”. We want to feel great about and be proud of what we find the courage to create! Yet, fear of the unknown can be a very large obstacle that seems impossible to scale or get around. So, I say dissolve it.
The best way to do that : GO OUTSIDE! Take a stroll, or find a nice quiet spot in nature, or a park or in your yard. Tell your peeps to leave you be for a duration of time. Turn off all technological devices. Look around, pay attention to all 5 of your senses. Get down close to the ground or face to face with a tree and look at things from a different perspective. Lay on the ground, close your eyes and let yourself melt into the earth. RELEASE all RESISTANCE to honoring that which truly excites you and motivates you. RELEASE all the inner chatter that you have become conditioned to telling yourself about why you can't be creative or follow your creative dreams. Recognize that you experience life based on your reality and you get to determine what that looks like, including following through on that creative project! THEN find a simple way to start. Pen to paper, or make a design out of the elements within your reach at that moment. I once used cut up peppers to make a flower design ontop of my lasgna! It looked beautiful, tasted awesome, and my family got share the expression with me!
Thank you so much, Meekah, for your amazing answers! You are a star. :)