Interview with December Featured Artist Brian Yala Hughes

December’s featured artist is Brian Yala Hughes. I zipped over a few questions (via Facebook messenger) to Brian in order to get a peek inside his brain.

  1. When did you start drawing?

I started “drawing” and I put those in quotations because it was more of just random doodling when i look back on it at the young age of around 4 or 5.

  1. How long have you been writing poetry?

I’ve been writing poetry since 3rd grade, it’s been something that stuck with me with all the journal entries that my teacher had me write so, 13 years on and off.

  1. What other art forms do you create with?

I also like to make music I feel like the two for me just always correlated with each other, when I’m not making music I’m making art while listening to music ha-ha

  1. What plans, if any, do you have for possibly selling your art?

My plans on selling my artwork are anybody wants it come get it. I have an online art shop called “the last black unicorn” so I’m always promoting that. Hopefully the cool name would attract people but is the link

  1. What inspires you to create?

My inspiration is My fiancé, She’s been there since day one we met I feel like and ever since it just inspires me so much to continue to do what I love. Each painting I make I like to put a “K” for Keely to represent that as my foundation. Without a foundation for my art I feel like I wouldn’t have art.

  1. What is your favorite music right now?

My favorite music is all music in general ha-ha but I’m really into this band called “hail the sun” they just get me in the mood to create with their deep meanings behind their lyrics. I also gotta listen to that real trap shit of course.

  1. Favorite movie?

Hands down Ponyo is my favorite movie. I love how colorful it is. It was a tough choice between that and grandma’s boy but studio ghibli is amazing.

  1. How did you hear about Creativa?

My great friend Deanna Shelby was the one that even mentioned to me about Creativa and I thank her for that so much because so many inspiring artist and musicians go to this awesome open mic.

  1. How long have you been going to Creativa?

SINCE DAY 1 ha-ha on and off of course but I went to the very first one that you guys had and it just kinda spiraled into my list of “things to do on the weekend”

  1. Who is your favorite artist?

YO for real why does everyone ask that? that’s like asking a nascar driver who’s your favorite nascar driver? haha I’m my own favorite artist, why do you ask? because my mom said i can be anything I want to be and so I said “well I’ll be an astronaut” and she told me “Let me rephrase that you can be anything you want to be….within reason” SO I became an astronaut through my paintings and creations.

  1. What kinds of poetry do you enjoy reading?

My favorite kind of poetry is poetry with meaning, poetry with passion and poetry that was made with love. Also I enjoy Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, and Edgar Allen Poe because no one else can quote the raven like Poe.

Well there you have it a sneak peek into the creative mind of Brian Yala Hughes. No I didn’t ask him about his middle name because I wanted to leave something for you to ask him yourself when you come on out the December Creativa event.

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Location Location Location

We have changed our venue location.

We’ve had a great run at Cincinnati Mall but the time has come for us to move on to a more suitable location.

Creativa’s new venue address is:

Miami University Hamilton Downtown at 221 High St. in Hamilton, Ohio 45011

This is a meeting place that is located next door to True West Coffee Shop on High Street. (True West has another location at 313 Main st. in Hamilton)

We will have the same times 7pm doors open for sign-up and then the event jump starts at 7:30 pm until 10:30 pm.


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Visually Speaking – 10-12-2013 Event

Evan B Tim Gillian B John B John K Roy Surfing Samsara

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October Featured Artist Interview – Rachel Foxworthy Snyder

Rachel is the featured artist at Creativa’s open mic event on October 12, 2013. I had the opportunity to ask Rachel Foxworthy Snyder a few questions about her music and what inspires her.



  1. What are your musical influences?

My answer to my musical influences could go on forever. I’ve known music to be an important part of my life from my earliest memories. I have musicians in my family. My mom played piano and always sang to us. I have an uncle in the Erie, Pennsylvania Orchestra. My sister Kathy has performed as a singer/songwriter since she was fifteen.

Kathy was a huge influence on my early taste acquirements, which included a lot of classic rock from the seventies: Janis, Jimi, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Led Zeppelin, Queen, among many others. I played Prince records over and over. I’ve been a fan of The Misfits (and Danzig), The Cramps, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Sinead O’Conner, Sarah McLachlan. I feel limiting one’s taste or influences to only one type of music is impossible. I can’t say that my own songwriting reflects any of these particular styles/artists.

  1. When did you start writing your own music?

I started writing my own music in March of 2012. I’ve written poetry since the age of twelve. Playing a little piano and guitar growing up, I knew enough to blend the words with the music. It just took a certain muse and crisis to fuse them together.

  1. Why did you start playing the guitar? 

I just gravitated towards guitar vs. piano or any other instrument. I don’t really know. My sister played acoustic guitar quite a bit. Guitar is cool!

  1. What inspires you to write poetry?

Anything that causes an almost unbearable emotional intensity that wells up within me and needs to be released. I love words and expressing myself through writing of any kind; I communicate better this way. I often sound like an idiot when words come out of my mouth. Haha!

  1. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

I want to live everywhere in the world, traveling like a turtle with my house on my back. I’d start off in this country with a tiny mobile house. Hopefully, some loved ones and friends would join me!

  1. How did you hear about Creativa?

Jodi Bell told me about Creativa in 2010. I then got an invite on Facebook and decided to check it out. The performances were so inspiring, and the people were real and welcoming. It was a perfect environment in which to share my artistic side after years of not doing so.

  1. What is in the musical future for you? 

I am looking forward to working with several talented musicians in the near future, and making a CD that will be released next year. I plan to keep writing music and performing for as long as I am able.


Come on out October 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm Cincinnati Mall 2nd floor 224-B to catch Rachel’s performance and check out the other artists that are performing their work too. 

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September is about to get Swindalled.

9 Questions With Kyle Swidall – an interview with September Featured Artist.


I sent a list of nine questions to Kyle and here are the results. (I really believe you’ll like them all)

1. How old were you when you started writing poetry?

To be technical, it would be middle school, 7th or 8th grade, but I didn’t take to it then- felt too confined to the technical “rules” as opposed to having literary “tools”. So The really real answer would be about a year and a half to two years. Words started flowing out rhtymically, and rhyming seemed to happen more often. It comes and goes though.

2. How long have you been playing music?

Technically I “learned” piano when I was 9, but didn’t take to the lessons very well: Again it felt like too much restriction. I had more fun messing around on it, and finding little melodies of my own. But the piano got broken so I didn’t get to play regularly again, until I was about 16 or 17, when a very close- though now departed- friend, Matthew Harmeyer, encouraged me to play in his band “Sardonic Laughter”.

Then Pandora’s Box got opened, songs seemed to poor out of my finger tips, and I bought a thousand dollar keyboard instead of a car… I still don’t regret that choice. But just like the poetry, I go through dry spells, in which I just don’t have any motivation nor inspiration to play…


3. Why do you write?

 Depends on the moment. Easy answer is because I feel compelled. I must. Sometimes it’s to solve an emotional riddle that my brain’s circling around, and if I don’t write my thoughts out they go all over the place. Sometimes it’s because I’m feeling something profound, or had a realization that I want to document. Sometimes it’s just because I had a funny idea (to me at least) and didn’t want to forget it.

 When I was attempting to do standup a few years back, I found forcing myself to write ended up with a bad result- it felt forced.

Now I try to make room in my life for writing, so anything can at least have an opportunity to come out, whether its on a break, or even during a shift, with a pad of paper hidden in the corner, scribbling out whatevers pouring out, in between actual work stuff. (No one says anything, as long as I’m still doing the job.) I’d love to say that I had some grand, noble, or well thought out goal, but typically writing is very very selfish for me. I just want to and have to.


4. How long have you been coming out to Creativa?

Since before it was “Creativa”. I think I was 19, or 20… Now I’m 30. I like it because apart from some pretty flimsy time constraints, I can do, say, and be what ever I want in the moment of my performance. And I love watching others take advantage of that same freedom…

Not everyone may enjoy what I’m doing, and I may not enjoy everyone else’s things, but it’s much more engaging than staring at a blank page, wondering what the bloody point is. What was mine again?


5. What other creative endeavors are you embarking on?

I really enjoy cooking. I’ve got a lot of novel/fiction ideas, that I’ve yet to actually write out.


6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

I’m very undecided on this. I like it in the Cincinnati area, for the familiarity, and because I have friends and family out here. But I have an unsettled feeling, and haven’t really explored enough to make any solid declaration such as- Omaha’s the shit! (never been there…) I can say that Florence is GREAT to visit… Arizona has some very friendly people… and Alabama ain’t bad needer.(I have a lot of family in Alabama…)



7. What inspires your creativity?

Life. People. Experiences. Those moments of passion, that make other moments simply gray by comparison, and yet having the memory colors the experience of life in such a way that it’s a mission to create more of those moments… Yeah… Life in general.

8. Are you working towards publication of your writing?

Should I be? Maybe some day… for now I just write to write. And share to give the work a purpose beyond my own edification.

9. What’s your favorite musician/band?

I don’t have a solitary “favorite”, just the ones I love: VAST, Tim Minchin, Lisa Hannigan, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Offspring, The Beetles, Moonspell, My Dying Bride, Clint Mansell. And there’s always room for more. 


Thanks Kyle! I love the answers. Looking forward to your performance on Saturday September 14, 2013

If you want to see an eclectic, unique, off-beat, awesome open mic event then come on out to Creativa 9-14-2013.


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Creativa #86 – It was a hot night at Cincinnati Mall

Here a few photos of the performers that came out to share at the open mic event last night (8-10-13)

ImageImageImageImageeativa, open mic, August, photos

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Art Biz Blog – check it out

I have found some very useful information here – Art Biz Blog

Check it out for some great ways to promote yourself, your art, and your events that showcase your work.

The information at Art Biz Blog is very easy to adapt to a wide variety of creative endeavors and projects. 

Have a great Thursday. 

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Interview with The Unamused Kraken

August Creativa event is right around the corner. This summer seems to be flying past at an unusually fast pace this year. I did manage to slow down just a bit to interview the August Featured Artist – The Unamused Kraken.

check it out.


First of all thank you, Cherylyn a.k.a. Unamused Kraken for sitting down with me (in a cyber way) for this interview. I’m just going to get right into it…



1. The Unamused Kraken – Where did this name come from?

 So a few years ago, I was reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, when I came across a paragraph that began with the sentence “The kraken is not amused.” (That paragraph happened to be the only mention of the kraken in the entire book…) I decided that if I ever needed a band name or anything, I would use The Unamused Kraken.

2. When did you start playing the guitar?

I started playing guitar about three and a half years ago.

3. Why music?

I’ve had a lot of varied interests over the years, particularly in artistic endeavors, and music is the one that keeps drawing me in. It’s sort of inescapable, and I enjoy the challenge of working with lyrics, chords, etc., to perfect songs as much as possible. For some reason I feel like I’ve pretty much always thought it would be awesome to play music onstage, and I’ve loved what I’ve been able to do of that thus far.

4. What is your favorite kind of music to perform?

 For the covers I’ve been putting up on YouTube, I usually go for songs that I know fairly well, especially more random and obscure songs. Otherwise, I tend to go with my original music, now that I’m starting to have a sizable number of songs that I consider relatively finished. I’ve been writing a lot of songs this summer and I’ve especially enjoyed playing them at open mics within a day or two of their creation. It keeps life interesting.

5. When did you start performing at open mic nights?

I found one at the end of last summer (at a place that has since closed) that I went to a couple times but mostly it started toward the beginning of this summer.

6. How did you hear about Creative Convergence?

Bill invited me the first time I went to the open mic at Sam Ash.

7. Who are your favorite musicians/singers/bands?

I have so many… I’ll go with John Denver, Simon and Garfunkel, David Bowie, the Moody Blues, and the Mountain Goats.

8. What inspires you to write and play?

I tend to think a lot, so a lot of my songs come from everyday life. But I’m also frequently inspired by nature, especially water.

9. Do you have any plans for releasing The Unamused Kraken on CD?

Yep, I’ve been working on an album for the past year and a half and am currently working on finishing that off before the end of the summer.

10. What other instruments do you play?

Besides the guitar, I play a little bit of ukulele and a touch of piano.

11. I always ask this one – If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live and why?

Pretty much anywhere with both water and trees I guess. Somewhere not too hot. Those are my main criteria.

12. Is music your full time job?

Well, right now I’m actually about to go back to college in the fall, so we’ll see on that I guess. I’d love to be able to make it happen though.

13. Not music related but I’m curious – Is Mango your given middle name? I think it’s great by the way.

 No, it’s actually a nickname: at school I’m part of this group called Dag (short for Dagorhir) that runs around and fights with foam swords. Everyone there has a nickname for use in battles and such, and I chose Mango because mangos are delicious and awesome!

14. Where can we see you play live and in person?

This summer I’ve been playing at three different open mic nights: Tuesday nights at 9 at By Golly’s in Milford, Wednesday nights at 6 at Sam Ash by Tri-County Mall, and Thursday nights at 7 at the Plain Folk Cafe in Pleasant Plain.


Thanks again for the cyber-chat-interview. Looking forward to your performance at Image

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I Dare You ….

To go to the Art Challenge Gallery site. This blog has some fantastic art and artists showcased upon the web pages therein.

Also check out the various pages on the blog for Artist Challenges that you can participate in. These are all themed challenges. Some are free to enter and some have a nominal fee. All works are showcased on the site.

Really now….



you to check it out. 




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Creativa 2013

Creativa 2013

Randy Bell Unleashing A Few Thoughts

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