This week I’m joined by Shereen Sun, an artist, author, and acclaimed mentor who specializes in creativity and self-actualization. In our conversation, Shereen describes how creativity can be used as a powerful tool for healing and stepping into your innate power.
We discuss ways to make time for art – whether it’s painting, drawing, singing, dancing, or whatever else helps you express yourself – and the ripple effect that those outlets have on how you show up in the world. Plus, Shereen gives us a peek inside their recently released book, Radiant Wildheart, and shares what they hope readers will take away from it.
In episode 422 of the Embodied Podcast we discuss:
(6:53) Shereen’s journey to feeling comfortable identifying as an artist
(10:47) How to break through the fear of being seen in your creative expression
(17:17) Healing your experience of failure through a creative practice
(22:18) Art as a form of self-empowerment
(32:45) Shereen’s response to people who say they don’t have time for a creative practice
(37:22) Where the name ‘Radiant Wildheart’ comes from
Resources mentioned in the episode:
Connect with Shereen:
- Follow Shereen on Instagram: @radiantwildheart
- Get your copy of Radiant Wildheart: radiantwildheart.com/book
- Subscribe to Wildheart Radio: radiantwildheart.com/podcast
Work with me:
Stay in touch:
- Slide into my DMs on Instagram: @elizabethdialto
- Subscribe to my Substack
- Catch the full show notes for episode 422 here
- Email us with questions or feedback
- Don’t miss an episode of The Embodied Podcast
Quotes from this Week’s Episode of the Embodied Podcast:
- I believe that we’re all artists. But as we grow up, we get further and further away from that. – Shereen Sun
- Creativity is a lens through which you can look at your entire life. Every day in almost every choice you make, you have the opportunity to come into a little bit more alignment with what’s authentic to how you want to express yourself. – Shereen Sun
- Mistakes are where some of the most interesting things happen. – Shereen Sun
- The truth is that you are wildly creative, you are totally capable, you’re resourceful, you’re perfect exactly as you are, and nothing’s ever going to change that. Your inner over-protectors are just trying to keep you safe, but we don’t need to let them steer the ship and we can separate ourselves from them. – Shereen Sun
- To be a radiant wildhearts is to embrace all the things that make us feel like we’re too much or too different, turn it into our power, and radiate it out. – Shereen Sun
How was this episode for you?
Was this episode helpful for you today? I’d love to know what quote or lesson touched your soul. Let me know in the comments below OR share the episode on Instagram, tag me your stories @elizabethdialto, or send me a DM!
About the Embodied Podcast with Elizabeth DiAlto
Since 2013 I’ve been developing a body of work that helps women embody self-love, healing, and wholeness. We do this by focusing on the four levels of consciousness – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
In practical terms, this looks like exploring tools and practices to help you tune into the deep wisdom of the body and the knowing of the heart, which I believe are gateways to our souls. Then we cultivate a new relationship with our minds that allows the mind to serve this wisdom and knowledge and soul connection, rather than override it, which is what many of us were taught.
If you’ve been doing self-help or spiritual development work for a while, these are the types of foundational things that often people overlook in pursuit of fancier concepts that often aren’t practical or sustainable. Here, we will focus on building these strong foundations so you can honestly and thoroughly embody self-love. If you’re feeling it, subscribe to the show, and leave us a review wherever you listen from. You can also keep up with show updates and community discussions on Instagram here.
Transcript for Episode 422 “Radiant Wild Heart with Shereen Sun“:
Shereen Sun 00:00
What would feel good in this moment? What would allow me to come even deeper into my senses, what would allow me to have more fun, I think fun is also a huge key word for me. Because if you’re having fun, a byproduct of that is that people are going to experience whatever it is that you create and feel that authenticity and that fun that you were having, without you ever even thinking, Well, I’m going to create something good. You just focus on I want to have fun right now. And then the outcome is going to be you’re going to create something that everyone will, will feel that from when they experience it.
Elizabeth DiAlto 00:36
What’s up, everybody, welcome to episode number 422 of the Embodied Podcast,. I can’t believe we’ve published 422 episodes, this is officially the month of May in the year 2023, which means that we are just a few weeks away from the eight year anniversary of this podcast. And I am so excited about that. This has been the most consistent thing that I’ve done in my whole creative life. I love this shit so much. I love all of you so much, and appreciate you for listening, whether you’re a longtime listener, and I know some of you have been here for all eight years, and even listen to some of these episodes, many times over. So I appreciate you all if you’ve only listened to a couple of episodes, even if this is your very first time you are in for a treat. And thank you so much for being here. I also need to let you know, I’ve mostly been doing solo episodes all year.
Elizabeth DiAlto 01:32
And so this is my first time recording an intro for a podcast interview in a while. And this is my third try. And I’m telling you that because even after doing this shit for eight years, like hundreds sometimes I need a mulligan and a redo and a retry. And I’m also sharing that because today’s podcast episode is all about creativity, and creative expression and art and being an artist and getting into your creative essence, regardless of what is the outcome. And sometimes the outcome is related to like your professional life, or you monetize it. Sometimes it’s really not. It’s just for the joy of it. It’s just for the expression of it. And so our guest today Shireen sun is going to walk us through that in many many different ways. Shireen has a book that just came out called radiant Wildheart. We’re gonna talk about the book and to let you know a little bit about Shareen. They are an artist, author and acclaimed mentor who specializes in creativity and self actualization.
Elizabeth DiAlto 02:32
Shareen has spent their life living on the margins, inviting the creative spirits of others to come out and play. So they teach people how to express themselves with confidence and authenticity, and help people live their creative missions by guiding them to build a thriving platforms, if that’s what they want, that are just as unique as they are. So it’s a great conversation, you can grab the show notes at untamed yourself.com forward slash podcast, and make sure you tune in my next solo episode is in a couple of weeks, and I’ll be sharing about some shifts we’ll be making in the podcast after summer break in June. So back to creativity and creative expression Listerine son. Here we go. All right, Shireen welcome to the podcast.
Shereen Sun 03:17
Thanks, Elizabeth. I’m so glad to be here.
Elizabeth DiAlto 03:21
I’m excited to talk about creativity. And so I’m doing just a short couple of interviews, which are gonna be my last interviews for a pretty long time. I’m pretty sure. So and you’re just going to be the first one I was on a little podcast break after doing my real uplevel interview series, which you know, you’ve done summits and stuff before so you to be just the in it, like interviewing people. And I was like, I was doing solo podcast episodes. And I was like, I just don’t. I know, I can’t produce. I need a break. So I usually have an opening question. But I’m just gonna tell you the opening question to you. What is it about creativity? That like the way I want to say it is like, that has your heart like why is that your thing? Mm hmm.
Shereen Sun 04:09
Why is creativity my thing? So I grew up in the middle of Las Vegas, Nevada. I don’t know if you know that about me. I’m from Vegas. Yeah, I grew up a queer Muslim American teenager or, you know, Kid teenager in the middle of Las Vegas. I did very poorly in school. I was neurodivergent. I know now that I’ve always been just a very creative thinker, but the school districts in Las Vegas are actually the lowest performing school districts in the nation. So yeah, we have that title. So I did very poorly in school. I also really struggled a lot at home. And it wasn’t until I found the arts and creativity that I found something that made me feel alive, made me want to participate. Started making art Artists friends and being connected to like a counterculture in Las Vegas that was really interesting. And started to find something that I actually cared about.
Shereen Sun 05:09
I don’t know if I can really explain why at first, and a lot of what this book is about is that I wasn’t actually very comfortable calling myself an artist until a little bit more recently, even though I’ve always been very creative. I would always say, Well, I’m an arts appreciator. But I’m not an artist, because I didn’t feel like I could claim that. However, throughout my life, I feel like the arts have always just been the thing that lights me up. I eventually went on to become an art educator in schools. So I got my teaching credentials and degrees in education so that I could go into schools and actually be an art teacher or be the teacher that I always needed. And for me, that was because I just really wanted to find myself, number one, surrounded by art number two, as I was in school, I learned a lot of very interesting things about what the arts do for people in general, particularly kids. There’s much data that backs us up that creativity helps us with pretty much everything it makes kids want to show up for school makes them perform better in every single discipline. It’s amazing for your well being it’s incredibly therapeutic. We can apply creativity to any discipline and think creatively about anything. So for me, it’s just been all of those things, and more. So it’s just everything to me. It’s been my Northstar. Yeah, I’ll stop here. But I can keep going.
Elizabeth DiAlto 06:36
I’m gonna ask you to elaborate on some of the things that you said. First, I want to ask about what was the like the journey to being able to call yourself an artist like, why wouldn’t you before? And then what change that made you go? I am an artist.
Shereen Sun 06:53
Yeah, I think when we look around at the arts, and we see music, we love art, we love movies we love, I think it’s very easy to compare ourselves to everything that we see, a lot of us have very good taste. And however, when you’re just starting out in any medium, there’s going to be this beginner’s curve, where you might not be able to create the things that are in your head. Because maybe your skill sets aren’t there, or more often than not, for me, especially it was more of a mindset block. Like, I was so busy judging myself and judging what everybody else would think of what I was creating that I wouldn’t allow myself to just get into the flow, let myself Express. So that was a big part of it. And even I would be an actual, like, elementary school art teacher in schools with children in front of me, and I would still be nervous, like, Oh, they’re gonna find out that I suck at drawing, or something. And they did not.
Shereen Sun 07:48
And they like, they never thought that they thought everything I created was amazing. And they looked at me like, wow, how are you so confident at doing the arts. So I feel like a lot of us have this fraud syndrome, maybe that’s part of it. I believe that we’re all artists. But as we grow up, we get further and further away from that society has all of these expectations for us, we’re comparing ourselves to everybody else. And the more you can just show up for the practice. So for me, it is about continuing to come back to the practice. And this is true for anything I know you do lots of embodiment work coming back to your embodiment practices, sometimes you’re gonna fall off the wagon. But if you keep coming back, eventually, I believe that the more you practice getting out of your own way, the more you can just let things flow.
Shereen Sun 08:36
Also, I’ve just really started to decolonize what I think the arts are, I don’t think it has to just be traditional media. Traditional things like drawing, painting, dancing, writing, I believe everything can be creative creativity is a lens through which you can look at your entire life. And there’s ways that every single person here is already being creative. Every day in almost every choice you make, you have the opportunity to come into a little bit more alignment with what’s authentic to how you want to express yourself.
Elizabeth DiAlto 09:06
I love this. You know, it’s come up a lot lately in my community and some of the Akashic Records readings that I’ve been doing lately that people need to play, or that people just like, let themselves be creative. You just need to do things. And it’s funny, because a couple months ago, I was visiting, I have a niece, she’s about to be five years old. And she’s the type of kid and I was like, damn, like, we can get a break with this right now. Like some little kids can, like go off and do their own thing and like play my needs is not like that. She needs like full engagement, right? Knowing that she is awake, no one is having a break, unless maybe she’s watching a TV show, you know, but if she’s claiming she wants you to play with her, and so somehow we stumbled into this game a couple months ago when I was visiting, where, you know, she tells her what to draw, and I draw it and then I get what I like to do is I Google Doodle thing and then I the best of my ability copy the doodle.
Elizabeth DiAlto 09:58
And it’s just it’s so One and then I bought all these markers. And I was like, Yeah, I’m gonna do it all without my nice you know, like, because it’s just so like meditative therapeutic you get to color I love colors and texture, you can actually even see these are audio interviews now we’re awesome, we can see each other, but you can see like, all my markers and pens and crayons and stuff. Like I love this. And it just doesn’t, for me to I wonder if you can relate to this at all. This is why I love salsa dancing, it’s like, because I do work so much because I love my work. And a lot of my creative energy goes into my work, I love to have things that are not monetized outcome, how it looks, what it does, whether or not people see it just makes no difference.
Shereen Sun 10:47
I love that. And that’s a great starting point for helping people break through their fear of being seen in their creative expression, which is super vulnerable. But at first, you don’t have to create anything that anyone ever has to see, no one has to read your writing, no one has to see, whatever it is, I’ve done a lot of training in the Expressive Arts, which is basically therapeutic Arts, where you don’t even think about what it is you’re creating. It’s fully intuitive. And it’s about the process. It’s about how you feel in the moment. And that that is what’s actually healing the outcome doesn’t really actually matter that much. Eventually, I do think there’s another healing level to actually being able to share and be seen in your creative expression. But at first, I think the most important thing is that we get out of our inner critics inner judging mind. So I know the reason why was so hard for me, it’s because I grew up with a lot of trauma. And I didn’t feel comfortable with myself, I was always feeling judged.
Shereen Sun 11:49
And I was judging myself. So I wasn’t able to just express myself because I was always editing as soon as I would do it, I’d be thinking about what is somebody else going to think about this. But doesn’t matter. It’s actually what matters is what you how you feel when you’re creating it. And nobody even has to see it until you kind of can break free from some of those blocks.
Elizabeth DiAlto 12:11
All of us. So you said something earlier about creativity as a lens through which you can look at your entire life. So and I’m guessing because I didn’t have a chance they sent me like a PDF the other day. But I usually don’t read people’s books before I have one podcast. This has to be woven into your book, though, right?
Shereen Sun 12:29
Oh, absolutely. This is all over the book. And that’s one of the biggest premises of the book is that creativity is so much more than what we typically I believe that so many of us have creativity in a box. Most people think of creativity as the visual arts, particularly drawing and painting, particularly representational drawing and painting. Can it look realistic. However, like I was saying, all day, every day, you’re making choices that you have the opportunity to be more creative. For example, the way you’re dressed right now, super cute, expressive, you made all sorts of creative choices for just this one moment of how you’re going to show up to this interview. And we can be doing that all the time. When you recognize that then you have the power to make your whole life an art form.
Elizabeth DiAlto 13:17
I love this because part of my body at work has always been sensuality, especially like the separation of sensuality, from sexuality. So people can just enjoy like sensual delight and pleasure and expression. without always having to like, assume there needs to be some sexual thing about it, right? Because even as you’re saying that, right, like, I bought this, again, people can’t see me wearing this neon pink sweatshirt. But I literally bought at target because I was you know, I live in Miami, like I’m in the sun all the time. I’m tan, I’m like, that’s gonna look amazing with my skin. You know, like the lipstick a friend of mine had this lipstick on and her Instagram story. And I was like, I’m gonna need that, you know, like, the ear. I love the earrings because my hair is very short right now. There’s all these types of things. And I’m like, Ooh, you know, and that like, those are the sensual delights for me. And I love you putting that in the frame of creativity for us.
Shereen Sun 14:19
I do have a chapter in this book on pleasure. And in it I definitely was wanting to do the same thing and not focusing pleasure on sexuality because that is one aspect of pleasure. But in our creativity, we can totally make choices that just feel good. What would feel good in this moment, what would allow me to come even deeper into my senses what would allow me to have more fun, I think fun is also a huge key word for me. Because if you’re having fun, a byproduct of that is that people are going to experience whatever it is that you create and feel that authenticity and that fun that you were having without you ever even think Getting through, I’m going to create something good. You just focus on I want to have fun right now. And then the outcome is going to be you’re going to create something that everyone will, will feel that from when they experience it.
Elizabeth DiAlto 15:10
So I did a podcast episode yesterday I was being interviewed with a man who I met like 20 years ago, when I was working at Cutco selling knives. And his wife who also worked there back in the day, every Saturday, they look at my Saturday, ciliates on Instagram together. And it’s so funny because people just love that shit. People have been doing it for over a year. People look forward to those people who like this is my Saturday morning ritual. I sit on my coffee and I check your sillies and that has become an art form for me. I’m like what? Like what degree of like, okay, we gotta have a couple little corny ones couple like edgy, probably like sexual ones. Like just the absurd tends to be the absurd stuff as most painting. But why I love curating that. And I think curation is an art in and of itself, not just on social media, but anywhere is it’s the levity. It’s what you’re saying it’s play, it’s pleasure, it’s fun, it’s joy. And there’s just so much out there that strips those things away from people,
Shereen Sun 16:15
especially in our creative journeys, because in our creativity we come face to face with all of our trauma, our inner critics, our fears, I learned this as an art teacher and I would be in hanging out with like third graders doing painting, and someone would make a mistake and all sudden, I would see the most enormous meltdown you’ve ever seen over something that really would not be that big of a deal. But it’s because it’s so vulnerable. It’s so confronting, and it’s confronting even for yourself, when you face a blank canvas. For me, I’m a painter for so long, blank canvas blank page as well just brings up this like anxiety and fear for me or used to. So the way to counteract that is to find the lightness of it all. Because no matter what, and in this book, you’re going to be doing all sorts of deep healing work, I use creativity primarily to heal myself and therapeutically. So you’re gonna be doing deep work. And then the counterbalance to that is the fun and the magic and the sparkles.
Elizabeth DiAlto 17:17
Can we talk more about mistakes, I was just thinking about the story the other day, and it came up because it was talking about the stakes and some of the call for uneven know what call it was. And many years ago it was 2016 about actually like right on the nose right around this time in 2016. I bought a new car. And at the time I was living with a partner and got a little mini cooper. I was living in the city. I was living in Encinitas and we pull up this place to eat lunch. And when we cut it to lunch, I was like, Do you want to drive the meeting? Like I live I always have mini coopers like I love them so much. To me, it’s so fun. I don’t actually like driving, unless I’m driving a Mini Cooper. So that was that was my thing when I moved to California and like, I gotta have a car. That’s super fucking fun. And you want to drive it Sure. Gets in my car. And by the way, this relationship was on its way out had been on its way I had tried to end it once unsuccessfully, and fucking crashes like into the car next to us, like just pulling out of the parking spot like that. So Wow. I’m like, How the fuck did you just and you know, I took the mental note of like, okay, message received this person’s a wrecking ball. And I like, but also at the same time. I’m like, whatever. Like, it’s a core like at least this got I got the least protection.
Elizabeth DiAlto 18:36
This isn’t even close. Like it’s just really not a big deal. But I was like, Oh, shit. He had a meltdown. And he was like, freaking out. I’m like, why? I’m like, It’s my car. Like, I don’t even know. What’s what’s going on with you. And he was like, what? How old was stench treated in your house growing up. Like, I know, my mom is always like, everything is fixable other than debt. So like, we just deal with things. And he’s like, that is not how it was treated. So I realized that’s when I realized that, for me personally, failures, lessons, right? Or mistakes, you fix on your figure it out. And I don’t like internalize that and I’m like, wow, other people. Really? That’s a big thing for folks. So I’m curious how through creative process, how people can heal their relationships to failure or mistakes. Mm hmm.
Shereen Sun 19:28
I love that anecdote. I’m sorry about the Mini Cooper. But I definitely, definitely resonate with what he shared about mistakes and how they were treated. And that’s very, that’s just beautiful way to put it. So, for me, mistakes are where some of the most interesting things happen. Mistakes are part of the process. First of all, I always tell people your whole process is sacred, every aspect of your journey because again, I’m so much more focused on the journey. Knee rather than the finished product and the outcome. So mistakes are everything. That’s where we grow. And especially to me, that’s where interesting things happen. Because I always use Bob Ross as an example, again, primarily, I’m a painter. I love Bob Ross, so much, I haven’t got my coffee table back here. So, II says their happy little mistakes, happy accidents that happen. Because anything that happens, you can fix it. And I really did learn that through my creativity, I feel like something is not done until I feel kind of like satisfied with with it. And anything that happens, there’s millions of ways to fix it. Often times, those are some of the most interesting aspects to whatever it is that you’re creating, because you couldn’t have gotten there with your logical, rational, analytical thinking mind. So mistakes are part of the process, I would just encourage people to welcome them, to invite them because that’s where you’re gonna grow the most and the fastest also.
Elizabeth DiAlto 21:07
So for people who do the beating themselves up thing, how is that different in creativity versus in other other places or ways? Right, like, then hitting the parked car next to us with a brand new car that wasn’t in the realm of creativity, right? But how, like, what’s the difference? With using creativity? And how can that, like translate into other areas of life, if that makes sense? Because like you’re talking about, I love this, you’re talking about creativity as a healing tool. And like, ooh, so talk us through that a little bit more like how does it translate to other things in life? Yeah, I
Shereen Sun 21:44
really believe that what shows up in your creative practice is showing up everywhere in your life, and that it’s really just a mirror for how you see yourself, how you see your gifts, I talk a lot in the book about your inner over protectors, which is what I’ve renamed your inner critics. And I’ve got 10 of them, you have probably haven’t seen the book, but it’s filled with art I’m flipping through so you can get
Elizabeth DiAlto 22:08
a squat. That’s what I realized, I’m like, Oh, this isn’t just like a book. This is like a workbook. This is like an invitation like, you can get this thing and play with it.
Shereen Sun 22:18
Absolutely. So here’s an example of one of our inner over protectors, this is the chameleon that I’m putting up. And I made little character designs for each of them. So what I say about your inner critics is that they’re just trying to keep you safe. They’re trying to protect you. A lot of times those fractures in our creativity or in our even like our the way that we see ourselves, I call it your sacred creative wound. And it develops usually when you’re young. And those are the moments where somebody said something to you, maybe it was a teacher, maybe it was a parent, maybe it was a classmate that just stuck with you that we hold on to that we make mean something about who we are, and we hold on to that, from when we’re little all the way up to adulthood, some people never break free from those feelings. So we, I think we have 10 of them, or I’ve named 10 of them. And they’re all just trying to show you a different aspect of yourself. And the more you show up for your creativity, you’re going to learn that they’re just trying to protect you, we don’t need to banish them, we don’t need to excommunicate them, we don’t need to kill them.
Shereen Sun 23:24
They’re just sweet little inner protectors, all of my characters that we’ve created in the book are super cute and lovable. And they just don’t need to be in the driver’s seat anymore. They’re trying to keep you safe. They’re trying to protect you from being abandoned for being rejected, whatever it is, but if we can know that they don’t need to be in charge, they don’t need to be in the driver’s seat, then you can just know that they’re there. And you can kind of just acknowledge, oh, there’s my perfectionist, how sweet and kind of live up on that part of yourself knowing that that’s not the truth. The truth is that you are wildly creative, you are totally capable, you’re resourceful, you’re perfect exactly as you are, and nothing’s ever going to change that. And your inner over protectors are just trying to keep you safe. So we don’t need to let them steer the ship. And we can separate ourselves from them.
Elizabeth DiAlto 24:17
Because it is so risky, like you mentioned a couple of times on our ability of creative expression. So my biggest form of creative expression outside of work is really salsa dancing. Now, much like you who didn’t wouldn’t claim artist for a long time, I wouldn’t claim dancer. Right? But now I’m like, of course I’m a dancer, because I could literally I’ve danced so much for so many years taking so many lessons classes, whatever. I could pretty much go anywhere in the world step into any salsa scene and dance with anybody. And so my answer now, you know, but I had to get it wasn’t even about I actually had to have those experiences. I had to actually travel and stuff like How to do tours randomly where I didn’t know anyone in Toronto in Melbourne, Australia, like, Well, shit, it’s really just the same anywhere. I’m a dancer like that really is. But I also learned how to separate it from it being like an identity like a vocation or profession. How important do you think it is to identify as an artist or a creative or whatever, to the expression? Does that question make? Does that make sense?
Shereen Sun 25:27
Kinda. So how important is is it to actually claim your identity as an artist and as a more as a creative? And then how to
Elizabeth DiAlto 25:36
write that’s part of it too, right? To even have any identity connected to creativity, whether it’s, I’m a painter, I’m a dancer, I’m a writer, I’m but there’s some of that or whatever, too. Does that make creative expression more potent? Does it not? Does it matter? Like, do you notice that the people you work with, in your own experience? Does creating an identity around it? Whether it’s related to someone’s like, professional career or not make any difference? Hmm.
Shereen Sun 26:03
Awesome. Yes, I got your question now. And I just want to say that’s so beautiful about your dancing. And it sounds like your ability to claim your dancer aspect of yourself has been really hard one and didn’t come easy. So I’m super stoked for you that you got to do that. That’s exactly how I feel about being an artist, it has been such a journey to be able to proudly and confidently and clearly be able to say I’m an artist, that it’s just something that I’m proud of. And so I noticed with the people that I work with, over time, they start to identify themselves as an artist, I don’t necessarily know if, for me, it was something that I wanted. Like, I always put artists on this pedestal and I wanted to be an artist, but I didn’t think that I was or that I could be.
Shereen Sun 26:49
So I think it just kind of depends on you. What I will say though, is one of the biggest reasons why I love creativity, is because it’s super empowering, to know that you have the ability to create something and in particular, create, change, create a world that you want to live in, create beauty. In today’s world, a lot of what the book talks about is tying Yes, creativity for yourself and for healing. But also, because then if everybody is connected to their creative expression, we can all bring a certain piece of the puzzle that’s going to create a world that we all want to live in, that’s more inclusive, that safer, that’s more colorful, and it’s more accessible and inviting. So I think it’s powerful for you to know that you have that ability to create, and to create change. And I’m a very proud queer person. And I do lots of work with LGBTQ youth as well.
Shereen Sun 27:45
And I love the arts for specific for marginalized folks in particular, because if we look at history, and we look at so much revolutionary changes that have happened throughout history, a lot of it is led by the creative expression of people who were oppressed. So many of our artists, we’re and bipoc artists, who have been bringing forward just revolutionary forward thinking thoughts and ideas that now have become mainstream. So I love that for all of us. I love that as a way to empower us all to know that we have the ability to just create a revolution, and to do something different from the status quo. So I don’t know how important it is. But sometimes I just think as you continue to do this work as you continue to explore, you see how awesome it is to see yourself as someone who can create.
Elizabeth DiAlto 28:40
I want to go back to something you’re saying earlier, because this is cracking me up. Because one of the things I’ve always said I can’t do the same. And I’m actually not that bad. I’m not great. But like when I do karaoke with friends and stuff, they’re like, What are you talking about? Like you’re good at this. But I remember because you said like, you know, whoever someone says something to you somewhere along the line. When I was in middle school, one of my good friends one of the girls sang. And the funny thing about it is like crappy got forever, I guess. I didn’t enjoy her singing, like she was like always singing and I was like, how are the hell are people? Good singing. But at the same time, I, at one point had attempted to think of one of my other friends who were in seventh grade. I was like, you can’t say like Samantha said, you can’t say. And then I was just like, all right, I can’t say but as an adult who’s almost 40 years old out and just doesn’t give a shit what people think. I just think it’s hysterical that when I was 12 I actually let another 12 year olds opinion. Break me about my own expression. Because even at that age, I was able to understand Yeah, I don’t like her singing but that’s just my opinion was until I internalize someone else’s opinion is
Shereen Sun 30:04
right, for so long. And I don’t know that, when we’re so formidable at that age, something just happens. I feel like to our brains when we hear something like that, and we hold on to it, and this is why I think it’s so important that people actually do this work. Because if you’re not careful, if you don’t start singing, for example, and I have a very similar story, which I’ll share in a second, then those insecurities can really play people for their entire lives. And people spend their whole lives not sharing their voice, whether or not somebody else thinks it’s good, because singing is healing. And it’s fun to be able to sing along and express yourself.
Elizabeth DiAlto 30:45
Karaoke, you know, why wouldn’t do carry a tune. I’m like, This is so fun. And I promise you 10 People in this place thing worse than I do.
Shereen Sun 30:57
And you were a full grown adult, not singing because of what this 12 year old said. When I was in elementary school, the fourth and fifth graders, there was a choir, my music teacher put together a choir, and he had every single person come up to him at his piano and sing into his ear. So he could choose who the singers were, he chose every single person in the grade that was about there were 60 Kids in the grade, he chose everyone, but about six of them, and two grades. And I was one of the six. So while everybody else wanted choir practice, we didn’t have choir practice. Instead, we got a second recess, which was better, because choir, the choir looked really dumb. And they had to wear these weird color costumes like he was doing was doing too much. So I’m super glad I wasn’t in that choir. However, I still got the message that well, clearly I can’t sing clearly, I’m like the worst singer possible, which is not even true. I actually am a good singer. And now I’m taking vocal lessons.
Shereen Sun 32:03
And I’m making music. But that has also been a really difficult one to actually protect, I love to sing along sing in the car, but put me in front of somebody else to sing in front of people and be seen in it. And then it’s just terrifying. So I’m definitely working on that one actively and want to break through that. And I do that for me. And also because there’s music inside of me that wants to be expressed. And I’m actually quite good at it. For me, like I create music that I like, I actually like the songs that I write in the way that I sing them. So long as I can just get that confidence piece because I’m not confident you’re going to be able to hear that you can hear if you’re connected to that creative channel or not
Elizabeth DiAlto 32:45
have that. Are you listening? I’m saying this is cute, y’all, but who has the time? A lot, a lot. What do you say to those people?
Shereen Sun 32:56
Who has the time? Okay, so my first question would be, is there some kind of medium or some kind of art form or something, even if it’s like a cooking glass that you have been kind of wanting to do, but you have never prioritized it. In which case I would encourage you to explore whatever that medium is. I have a quote in the book from Samantha Bennett, who says, Follow the sparkly breadcrumbs. So follow the curiosity put yourself in the class, if for nothing else, just to be a more well rounded person, because you are so much more than work, you’re so much more than any of the roles that you play. So just for your own personal self knowledge. Another thing that I love about creativity is that it’s where we get to know ourselves. So put yourself in a community in a space in a class, where you get to be taught something to learn an art form. So that’s why again, I love art education. I always love being in art classes, I think it’s like so fun to just go and learn how to explore a new medium.
Shereen Sun 33:59
So I would encourage you to try it out for yourself like pick a class, pick a studio, go, even if it’s like going to yoga, that could be a way that if you that’s something you’ve been wanting to do that you haven’t, give yourself the space to do that. Other than that, I would just say that it doesn’t have to take a long time. So I have a lot of five minute creative assignments. In this book. I also have a calendar that I made where you can receive a calendar that has five minute art assignments for every single day. Yeah. And so if you can just find five minutes to do it here and there. Again, there’s so many benefits, not even just so that you can be an amazing artist or call yourself an artist but really just so that you can be a well rounded person because I really believe that creativity is what makes us human. There’s one thing that AI cannot replicate. It’s the creative spirit. And that’s why the arts are always going to be here. That’s why since I was 18 years old, I’ve been able to make a living, teaching art and creating art. It’s not good going anywhere, there’s always going to be people who want to explore and express there’s always going to be art classes. So I would just invite you to go explore, be curious, if you’re listening this far along and something here has resonated for you, then there’s probably something there for you. You don’t know what it is. You don’t have to know the destination. But you could be curious and just keep taking the steps and see what happens.
Elizabeth DiAlto 35:22
Were there any books, particular artists, poets, like creatives that have been like extremely pivotal for you on your own journey? Or your own evolution as an artist? Hmm,
Shereen Sun 35:38
such a good question. Okay. So there’s a whole bunch of we’re South Asian artists that I’ve admired since I was younger, particularly in LA people in like local, local art scenes, and people who are now my friends and my peers. So I’ve always seen folks who have shared identities of me and seeing their liberation and seeing the things that they’re creating, seeing the bravery that it takes to be different and to tell your story, and I’ve always felt so inspired by them. And now I’m starting to realize like I am those people now and I get that role model for younger people. Aside from all of them queer South Asian artists all over Los Angeles. The person who wrote the foreword of my book is Sark. You know, Sark. I’ve heard of them, but not super familiar enough. So I found her book that she wrote the foreword in my book, but I found her book when I was like, 18, in a secondhand bookstore.
Shereen Sun 36:37
And it’s super colorful, super whimsical. And I saw that and I was like, I want to write books like this, I’ve always been very drawn to books that are filled with colors and art. I’m super neurodivergent. So that just like helps me and inspires me. So Sark books were definitely one because they’re just so different. They’re so they’re not like the traditional linear book. I’m just not a linear thinker. So I love those. There’s a whole section there’s like a creativity section in your bookstore that you can find me camping out at and poking through all the books, Julia Cameron, of course, the artists way is definitely influential for me, who else have to look at my book shelf. But there’s a lot. So I
Elizabeth DiAlto 37:22
was just curious, because, again, for people who might be listening, and we’re like, you know, I don’t really engage in creativity. Even just hearing like, oh, maybe I’ll go gradually, CoverGirl shuts off. So obviously, your book. So to wrap up, here’s something I’m so curious about the words really wild art. Who, where did these come from? How is this your title your page? Like this? Is your handle on Instagram, right? Like, how’d you put those words together, where those come from for you?
Shereen Sun 37:49
Okay, this is a really funny story. And it’s actually the perfect segue. So that book that I found in thrift store by Sark, I had started my business, and I didn’t know what to call it. And I was afraid to go by my name because I was not confident at that time. And I needed a handle to hide behind, I needed a URL. And so I actually pulled that book out. And I started doing book taro where you just pick a random word and put things together. Eventually, I landed on Radiant Wildheart, which was a domain that was available, so I rolled with it. And that was super Divine Alignment, because it feels like the content of this book, and of my life’s work, even prior to my business when I was a teacher, like how I said, like, we don’t always know the destination, we can just keep taking the steps. I left teaching in schools and I was like, I’m going to start a nonprofit where I’m painting and communities. I don’t know how I don’t know how I’m gonna get paid. I don’t know what’s gonna happen, but I just feel called.
Shereen Sun 38:48
So similarly, with this title, I rolled with it, it felt right. And I feel like it’s continued to teach me throughout all this time, there was a period of time where I actually was told that, oh, you should go by your name. If you want to be an author. Don’t use a business name. Yeah. So and I want to be an author. So I’m like, let me drop this and go, go use Shireen, son instead. As soon as I did it, I was like, Oh, I’m far more attached to that name than I thought it was. So I brought it back. And then actually, my publisher wanted me to use my business name as the book title radiant Wildheart so it’s just continued to be something that teaches me to explore what does it mean to actually be a Wildheart from there since then, I’ve connected with so many other wildhearts so many people that I’ve gotten to work with so many people that I’ve gotten to collaborate with something about it if you are a wild heart, you will feel it when you hear the word and you’ll lean in.
Elizabeth DiAlto 39:45
So because you know all my staff is wild, so are my words. It’s like wild soul untamed yourself, seeking a body love that. And that’s always been my thing. I’m like, there’s just some stuff that I can’t explain to you. But I can promise you if it’s for you, you’re just gonna feel it. Yeah, I
Shereen Sun 40:09
agree. I think for me, I, I’ve always been different. I’ve always never really known where I fit in, I didn’t have any spaces where I could have all parts of myself represented. And so to be a radiant Wildheart, to me is to embrace that difference to embrace all the things that make us feel like we’re too much or too different, or whatever, and to turn it into our power, and radiate it out. So I think that’s where, as I’ve been moving throughout my own creative journey, so much of what I’ve been doing is getting out of my head and dropping into my heart and making my art, which is in the word heart, from my heart. And that’s something that I had been doing lately, but the title came long before that. So it’s like this title happens. And then it just continues to teach me more and more over the years, I start to understand what it means I feel like my higher self chose it. And I’m, I’m learning from the name.
Elizabeth DiAlto 41:10
Same exact thing with wild soul. I love that so much. Thank you for sharing. Okay, people who want to check out the book. It’s called radiant Wildheart. People want to find my experiments radiant. Well. Is your website also radiant Wildhorn SATCOM,
Shereen Sun 41:22
it’s already in Wildheart. Yep. Future is going to be radiant. Wildheart
Elizabeth DiAlto 41:26
people, no issues finding you. And is there anything I didn’t ask you that based on the conversation you’ve had feels like an open move, or like one more thing you want to share, or anything else that feels important to say?
Shereen Sun 41:38
Yeah, one thing I’ll say, especially since we’re talking about ways to stay connected. Within the book, there is a Personality Typing quiz that I’ve created. Oh, it’s the elements of archetype quiz. So you can take it in book, you can also take it online, because some people don’t want to write in their books, and it’ll take you two minutes. And it’s really a wildheart.com/quiz. When you do that, it’s going to tell you what your elemental archetype is. So what I found is that as I’ve worked with 1000s, of wildhearts, we can be categorized into about five categories. I base it on the elements, but there’s also archetypes that go along with it. You get a Personality Typing system, I made a playlist, and it’s going to tell you your gifts and challenges as it comes to expressing your radiant Wildheart in the world. Yeah, yeah. So I find that different people, like, if you’re a water element, or if you’re a call it the healer archetype, then your gifts are to be connected to your emotions, and people come to you, this is your strength, this is how you’re meant to serve.
Shereen Sun 42:39
But then on the flip side of that, if you’re not careful, and you let the water overtake you, you can get stalled out in your motions for a very long time. So you’ll get ways to navigate the common pitfalls and how to strengthen the gifts of your elemental archetype. So I’d recommend everybody take that. And then in the book, each chapter has a little spread that links your element to archetype to the chapter.
Elizabeth DiAlto 43:02
Oh, I love that. And I love archetypes and quizzes. So um, that’s another thing. I can take that myself. Thank you so so much. I’ll talk to you later. Yay. Thank you.
Shereen Sun 43:11