THE MUSEUM OF LIGHT: Artists as Alchemists: Just as an alchemist transforms led into gold, do you feel that being an artist relates to that of being an alchemist? Do you view the artist journey and your creative expression, as alchemy?

AYOMARI: For the most part yes, although sometimes in the creative process there isn't an explanation for inspiration. Sometimes it literally feels as if the inspiration was presented to you and the circumstances just happen to be right for you to receive the inspiration. There are things I've created or have been apart of creating where I can trace the point of inspiration to specific origins. While other times I can't begin to explain how something happened to manifest. So yes I do view it as alchemy, but I also want to highlight the aspect of the process that can't really be explained or owned in terms of 'i saw this, and it made me think of this, so i did this.' Feel me?

TIRON: Definitely. Because you get the opportunity to create an entire world from a blank canvas. You're also a part of a craft that many people don't subscribe to. Everyone enjoys the gold once it’s produced but very few are in the lab watching the alchemists at work. 

The Museum of Light: The Evidence of the Journey: Artists are often labeled as "stars.” Just as a star radiates light and the planets then reflect this light, do you see your work as an artist like that of a star? Is this "light" that stars radiate merely the evidence of this journey of becoming a star/learning to radiate light?

TIRON: Yes, I think that everyone is a star. We're all shining, it's just that shining bright while enlightening students as a teacher isn't as heavily praised as shining bright while on stage entertaining. As an artist, it’s about unapologetically shining as bright as you can and not dimming your light to make others feel comfortable. 

AYOMARI: I believe all of mankind are stars. We're literally all composed of the same star material so we all have the same capacity. I think we all radiate light but the light we radiate is only perceived by like-minded light. If you don't believe in the message we're pushing then the likelihood of you perceiving our light is diminished. So yes, the evidence is there, but only to those who are open to it.

The Museum of Light: The Courage to Create: When an artist is not "creating" it is often labeled a "creative block." How do you navigate this space, how do you find the creative spark in the dark, and does it require courage to create from this unknown space? Describe this process.

TIRON: It usually comes from doing something else. I've noticed that I hit a "creative block" when it’s no longer creative. The minute it becomes a job where I'm trying to fulfill some imaginary quota I get trapped. Creativity is a flow of expressive energy that doesn't answer to statistics or deadlines. Once you turn that expressive energy into repressive energy then it becomes what one would consider writer’s block.

AYOMARI: I navigate it by realizing it's apart of the process and when under it, I try not to force it. At a certain point you become implicit in your creative block if you try to force it in spite. Stepping away, doing something completely unrelated is a good way to free up the thought process. The mind is incredibly complex and is totally capable of subconscious problem solving. So listening to new music, cleaning the house, going out and being around people with different opinions/views all contribute to getting past the creative block. A creative block is when you've been looking at the same thing the same way, that's all. Gotta step back and see the bigger picture.

You can find this story and others from The Museum of Light at RESPECT Magazine.

The Museum of Light is curated by:  Billy Johnson Jr., Adell Henderson, Joslyn Rose Lyons, Rafael Casal, Matt Smith, Malik Buie.

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