Letters for Creatives #67: Maia Wilson - Interview With an Artist vol. 5
We talk about her creative projects, where she get inspiration and more
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For this letter, I am excited to collaborate with Maia Wilson. She started writing Minutes Between Us for creatives in 2020. I thoroughly enjoy reading her letters and interviews with artists.
1. How did it all start with Minutes Between Us?
The ideation of Minutes Between Us actually began when I was in college. I was surrounded by so many eclectic people as my college was big on creative majors. I think the idea wasn’t fully formed and I was a bit more timid about it all then. When I came to New York, I knew this was the ultimate place to start a collection of interviews with creative individuals. But it was almost too overwhelming because there were so many people of varying levels and popularity that I began haphazardly in a direction that didn’t fully feel like me.
When the pandemic began and I went back to my hometown to live in my childhood home. That is when I felt the real yearning for creative energy. Doing arts and crafts at home to fill the void of boredom wasn’t enough. I needed more purpose. I needed more of an outlet for all my worries, concerns and hope for the world and my community. At the highest level, I needed that feeling of connecting with random strangers that I always seemed to have before, whether in college or in New York. I wrote my first newsletter in April of 2020 and asked my friends to send recipes, movies that changed them, art they were making, etc. I asked them how their creative process had changed since the start of quarantine. My outreach to people spread from friends I knew, to individuals I admired on Instagram, friends of friends and other random places I found work that intrigued me. Ever since, I have continued to be inspired by others’ artistic works and keep reaching out.
2. What are the challenges that you faced with it?
The hardest challenge was keeping the sending the newsletter consistently. It was pretty doable during quarantine and especially when I was in my childhood home with not many activities to keep me occupied on the weekends. As things started opening up again, I moved back to New York, and my friends moved back too, prioritizing my time became more of a challenge. It still continues to be. I have learned my time is the most valuable thing to me, as I have gotten older and gained the freedom to spend it as I choose.
3. Are you working on other creative projects?
I like to have my hands on many different things, so yes. My dream is to be a person with many hobbies and I think I am becoming that fairly quickly (queue the need for more time). I love to take film photos and conceptualize scenes to shoot. I am getting more into video and making efforts to become decent at video editing. I also am working to become a yoga instructor as well as publish more of my writing. I consider all of these creative projects because they are all seeds I’m growing at the moment.
4. What is your favourite part of this project?
My absolute favorite part of this project is finding new people to reach out to and reading their submissions to the letter. I get so inspired by what they send me and it motivates me to continue sending newsletters. I know that if I get inspired by just reading their responses to my questions and prompts, then I feel they will inspire many others reading the letter as a whole.
5. Which interview is your favourite?
Oh no, this is such a hard one. I’m going to narrow it down to 3. I loved my interview with Jillian Schembri from Wear One’s At. She founded and designs a luxury activewear brand. She is the only person I’ve interviewed over the phone, so it was more of a conversation than an interview and I really admire what she has created.
The crowd favorite is definitely the newsletter featuring Bernie Kaminski who creates paper mache objects based on 90s New York. His creations have such intricate details and the objects he selects to recreate are so clever, for instance an old Knicks Tee shirt.
My personal favorite was the second to last letter I sent, featuring Nate Stritzler who is a street photographer in New York. His images capture a specific moment so well that you ask yourself how he got this perfect shot. In my letter, he talks about what was happening behind the lens in those moments. It is like a secret portal into a photographer’s mind. I loved every bit of it.
6. Where do you find inspiration, online and offline?
I always ask people this question and I am now realizing how hard of a question it is to answer because inspiration is everywhere! If I had to choose my main outlets for inspiration these days, it would be Instagram (I have made my feed to be people and accounts I really love. No hate follows, no people I don't care to see.), walking outside (I love to walk for hours, take pictures of whatever is intriguing and stopping into stores or buildings that I am drawn to. There is so much outside from nature, to people, odd findings. I never get bored.), and my friends (they are often the subject of my photographs because they bring me so much joy).
7. What do you do when you find yourself bored or complacent?
I often run into these blocks and I find the banal is what gets me motivated again. It is making and drinking a matcha latte, doing yoga, going for a walk, calling friends or family, or cooking a meal while listening to music, a podcast or watching something. It is the simple things that get me going again because little thought is required for those tasks which allows the mind to wander and get creative again. Or when listening, I am able to hear ideas from others and new trains of thoughts begin.
8. Describe a morning you woke without fear.
I have sat on this one for a few days now. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have awakened without fear or a daunting to-do list for a while. I think I have to draw back to my childhood. That feeling of waking up and remembering there is something you are so excited to do that day that you just jump out of bed. I think I did that a lot more then, whether it was for a holiday, an activity I had been dreaming about or a person I was going to get to see.
9. Describe a perfect day where you got to work for the bread (money) and feel soft and tender with creative projects at the same time. You can think of this as work life balance but for creatives.
Balance is impossible. I have learned that the hard way. Having the grace to not get thrown by the imbalance is the real gift. The days when I have had as much balance as I could was when I woke up, spent an hour to myself to read poetry, write or journal and have my morning caffeine. Then I started my full-time job working from home. Then being able to close my laptop once work is done and allow myself time to workout, make dinner, and write a little more. I end my day watching a movie or show that I can fully focus on before going to bed are my ideal days with balance.
10. Are you planning to start any new project? Where can people find you and your work?
I would like to start submitting my work for publishing on various sites, so I will keep you in the loop there. Otherwise you can subscribe to my email newsletter, Minutes Between Us here. Read past newsletters here, and follow Minutes Between Us on Instagram here. To keep up with my shenanigans, you can click here.
If you enjoy reading my newsletter, consider buying me a coffee, send me your feedback here. I am also available for custom poem commission, freelance writing and book editing service. Hit reply or message me on Instagram if you want to work with me.
See you in 2 weeks,