When you walk into a room as an artist and poet, you let your craft speak for itself. Let the flow of rhythm and story-telling bring your audiences together. For Yvette "Tinys_Creations" Santana, she lets her poetry and artistry speak for themselves, so that way, people know who she is "at all times".
Who is Yvette Santana aka Tinys_Creations_-the poet, artist, author, ambassador, community curator, entrepreneur/CEO? Please share with readers your background and where your stage name originated from.
Yvette G Santana is a young Afro-Latina driven to aspire change within her community. When touching the stage, I refer to myself as Yvette Santana. Some people may ask why I keep my stage name/real name the same. Well, it’s because my mother once told me “When you enter a room, ensure every single person knows who you are and what you are here to do; that is how you will make them remember you.” I want every single person to know who I am at all times, whether in my personal life or my poetry career. I, Yvette Santana, strive to expose the inner workings of the most controversial topics known to our world. Eight times out of ten society dictates the way we speak, feel or learn; my art allows me the freedom to challenge that.
Mental Illness is one of the deepest and hardest topics anyone can discuss. You never know what people are suffering through, but Yvette has made it her mission to bring mental illness to the forefront and show that it's okay to talk about it in safe, open spaces. In her novel "Healing Powers", she discusses how mental health creates a place of darkness within one's self, but you aren't alone. You aren't alone in your fight to escape that darkness and find your inner light again.
What is the message that transcends through your other best seller and self-published novel "Healing Powers"?
Through the novel “ Healing Powers”, I attempted to expose the rawness of my own mental illness. I did this so that others would know they are not alone. I wanted people to have a person, a book, a friend, or a mind similar to theirs during their times of darkness. Healing Powers was set to have others understand that throughout their journey of darkness, light is obtainable.
What does healing mean to you?
Healing is a loaded word that may look different for every individual. Ultimately, for me, healing is not only surviving but knowing you deserve to breathe in this world.
When Yvette first wrote "I'm Not Crazy", she had in mind to bring people together through self-healing and community. She wanted anyone who read her book to know that they are not alone. While their fight is heavy, hopefully, this novel can be a comfort.
Mental health is most times overlooked in Black/POC spaces and communities but you along with your best-selling anthology " I'm Not Crazy: An Anthology Centering Mental Health" have brought unity within, along with other writers, activists, and poets. What is the message that this novel sends to readers who struggle with mental health and can't seem to break away from the hold and chain that it has?
The "I AM NOT CRAZY ANTHOLOGY" was set to display the inner workings of a person's mind behind closed doors. A lot of times, specifically within the Black/POC community, there tends to be a set president for what we should feel or how we should go about what we feel. This leads to self-isolation. Why? Well, if every time you expressed just 10% of your emotions and a negative response was given, it would condition you to then withhold any future expressive communication.
How does this novel heal and bring peace?
The "I AM NOT CRAZY ANTHOLOGY" was a statement. It was to regain our power. The anthology was created to break generational mindsets of “survival”. Our ancestors had no place or room to feel, so in turn, it was how we were taught. However, I wanted to rewrite that narrative. I want to create a world in which our people feel safe with their tears or with their smiles. No matter what your mind is designed to feel or think, we should feel safe expressing it. Personally, this novel has shown me that I was never alone and that within itself changed my life forever.
What has your movement personally taught you?
This movement as a whole has taught me that growth is continuous, it has shown me that being your true self is acceptable , it has shown me that there is always beauty within chaos, we just have to adjust the perspective in which we see.
How did this movement grow to be what it is today?
About three and a half years ago, while writing in my journal, I wondered what the world would think if they ever saw my mind behind the scenes. I wondered if they would think I was crazy or would they empathize with an individual such as myself. Then, I realized someone somewhere in this world would feel exactly how I did. I came to a conclusion, no, I am not crazy and neither is anybody who would relate to all thoughts which lie behind my mind. The 'I am not crazy' movement project was built on the idea that we, as a community should embrace all levels of mental health. Despite what the world makes us think, we are not crazy. Although we may be misunderstood, we should not be labeled as “crazy” just to suit the inadequate levels of education that others may lack. Art is freedom and with it, artists choose to speak their own truth.
What is the movement's mission and how does poetry form within it?
This mindset was carried into action, alongside the amazing Cheyenne Tyler Jacobs who is the founder of the SheWillSpeak Series, partnered with the "I AM NOT CRAZY ANTHOLOGY". This anthology launched back in April 2021 reaching the highest Amazon charts for Medical Ethnopsychology, Best Sellers, New Releases, Poetry Anthologies, and more for its first month of retail. This anthology was not only sold in various countries but has featured work illustrated and written by individuals from Asia, the United Kingdom as well as all over the United States.
Follow Yvette Santana via:
Facebook: @ Yvette Santana
Read her article in the PDF and Print copy of RGP Muse Magazine!
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