Vahitiare is a visual artist, poet, and, all in all, a magically conscious soul. Here we discuss her journey toward writing, turning on the creative tap we all carry inside of ourselves, the special place the moon holds in her heart, and more. See more of her wondrous work on Instagram, @amitalus.
Let's talk about the younger Vahitiare. Can you tell us about your childhood, about your experiences growing up?
I grew up in Curaçao, a small island in the Caribbean. Creative expression wasn’t encouraged in my family at all. No one picked up a book or did anything artistic. My family is one of strivers, aiming to achieve financial success. We were raised to be achievers, to get good grades at school and be obedient children.
I was a curious child, but in our culture it was considered rude for children to ask adults many questions. Still, I was a wild kid. I loved to climb, run, swim, jump off cliffs—though that wasn’t allowed either.
My parents were way too busy working. They didn’t have time for us kids. They also lacked emotional awareness; so, even though I was always surrounded by family, I still felt alone. In so many ways I felt I wasn’t allowed to express myself fully, to be me fully.
There were many nights, I used to sneak up and climb up our rooftop to be alone with my thoughts, to see the stars, to have conversations with the moon. That’s when I started writing.
Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
I think I was about 11 years old when I wrote my first poem. I remember having lots of ideas and fantasies in my head. I loved to daydream and think up stories.
This first poem was about the moon. She was the one I told all my secrets to, the moon—always there for me when the world got quiet and dark. I always felt less alone when looking up at the night sky, connecting with the moon.
What makes a poem interesting to you?
To me a poem is interesting when it feels authentic. Poetry is usually our heart confessing on paper what our voices don’t always dare to speak out.
And when is a poem "done"?
I feel a poem is “done” when I allow it to breathe out all the words I didn’t know I was holding in. It’s the best kind of exhale.
What inspires your poems?
The inspiration for my writings comes from my own experiences, my emotions, imagination and also what many people are going through. Emotions and a deeper level of consciousness are essential to my work.
What other artists do you look up to?
For those who feel disconnected from their creativity what do you recommend they do in order to tap back into it?
I believe we are all naturally creative beings. The thing is we grow up in a society that doesn’t value creativity as much as it values productivity and in the pursuit of success we tend to lose touch with our innate creative expression. Our lives revolve around To-Do lists, around responsibilities that we forget to prioritize play time.
And when we do take time to relax and unwind, we’re too tired for creativity so we usually just distract ourselves with social media, and/or Netflix the night away.
I used to think I wasn’t creative at all. It was only when I started making me-time a priority and digging deep in my emotions, that I started tapping into so much creativity. I learned then our creativity hides underneath layers of guilt, worry, stress, perfectionism and fear.
I'd ask someone who feels disconnected from their creativity, "What did you enjoy doing when you were a child?" Children, after all, are easily creative. The don’t overthink or judge their artwork. They do it for fun. Our creativity is linked to that, to our inner child, our ability to play and let go.
How do you unwind?
Nature trips! As an island girl, the ocean is my personal church! But honestly, I can easily unwind anywhere where’s there’s nature.
Other favourite activities of mine are meditating, dancing, drawing, taking pics, making videos, watching the moon & the stars, listening to music, singing aloud in the shower, and reading fiction novels.
You guessed it—I’m an introvert.
What makes, for you, a fulfilling life?
Freedom. It took me years to realize that the freedom I longed for in life would never come from buying a plane ticket, but from connecting to this deep sacred space inside.
Freedom to be and express myself fully without minimizing my sense of self or constricting my creativity. Freedom to live life the way I want to, and not the way society, culture or my family thinks I should.
Through journaling, shadow work, meditation, spirituality and self-therapy, I cultivated a deep level of self awareness. What I found in doing this is that I never lost me; I just got lost in the chaos around me. And now, having done and continuing to do this work, I’ve been able find so much flow and freedom in creatively expressing myself. My mind gives me insights. My heart gives me connection. Art gives me wings.
How can we read more of your poems / get in touch with you?
You can also DM me for collaborations, creative idea exchanges and/or if you simply want to share your personal journey. I'd love to connect.