The Instagram aesthetic authority and mystical word queen talks her lifetime love of poetry and writing through hardship with little infinite.
Stephanie Valerie is the author of Mystic Metamorphosis, a poet, and an artist. Valerie’s poetry journey began when she was just thirteen; now she has a published book.
Mystic Metamorphosis is a collection of poetry and prose that takes the reader on a journey of healing and rising through four sectors throughout the book. The four sections in Mystic Metamorphosis are; The Purging, The Merging, The Flight, and The Freedom. We need a lot of all four parts. Sign us up.
Valerie opens up and gets real about what publishing her debut book was like, and how an intense hardship changed the way she approached poetry and social media.
little infinite: When did you know poetry would be the writing outlet for you? Introduce us to your journey to poetry and what sparked it for you.
Stephanie Valerie: Well I’ve been writing (and illustrating) stories since I was old enough to write out full sentences. But my journey into poetry really sparked around the age of thirteen. Book characters were my best friends as a child and poets became my best friends as I became a young adult and began exploring my emotional worlds. And so poetry for me has always been about releasing, healing, understanding myself and expanding through depths and heights of feeling. My heart beats in rhymes.
li: Your debut book launched on June 29th, congratulations! What can we expect from Mystic Metamorphosis? If you could describe your poetry in three words to a stranger, what would those words be?
SV: Thank you! I’d probably tell you to read without expectation, to stay open and receive it the way your intuition leads you to.
That’s so difficult, but if I had to choose three words to describe my poetry they would probably be: soothing, rhapsody, awakening.
li: All of the illustrations in your debut book are original. How did you decide that you wanted to illustrate this book? What was it like choosing which illustrations match with each poem? Lastly, which came first writing or drawing?
SV: I think they always came together! Like I said, I’ve been illustrating with my stories since I was a kid, and that naturally evolved into illustrating with my poetry. It’s always different though-sometimes a poem will spark an image or an image will spark a poem.
li: On your Instagram (@steph.valerie) you are vulnerable about your journey through creating your debut book, Mystic Metamorphosis. Why do you think you are able to share through your journey and be vulnerable with your audience?
SV: Honestly it took me a little while to get comfortable sharing my art online. For a long time, I had anxiety every time I shared something. But it was part of my healing journey. And now for some time, I am always so excited when I share because it is a chance to connect with another heart. Building true and lasting friendships on this platform has been a pleasant supportive and a big part of my inspiration to keep going. I have a humble following, but even so, I get comments or messages daily telling me that my feed is where they go to feel calm, or that my voice and writing is soothing. That means a lot to me. That through my art I can hold space for others to take a breath and remember themselves and their magic.
For a long time, I had anxiety every time I shared something. But it was part of my healing journey. And now for some time, I am always so excited when I share because it is a chance to connect with another heart.@steph.valerie
li: What is your creative process like? Do you have a certain space you write or workflow that you stick to?
SV: Not at all for the most part! Haha. I typically write a lot after coming out of meditation but otherwise I create pretty sporadically. Words and images come through in random moments of inspiration and I jot them down for when I have time to feel them fully for what they are.
I’m a mom of two kids under four so I do my best to cultivate time to work through the ideas that come to me when I can! I always feel most inspired around books, flowers, trees, and the wide-open sky.
li: How has your creative process evolved since you started writing your debut book, Mystic Metamorphosis three years ago? What is the most surprising aspect of putting together a book that you didn’t expect in the beginning?
SV: I don’t think my creative process has changed much in the three years of working with this book. But I will say that I definitely learned to spend more time in creative flow as I cultivate presence and learn to bring creativity to the mundane parts of life. I’d say my writing style has definitely evolved through this process as well.
I guess I didn’t exactly expect to watch this book transform as I did. It was really interesting to observe the evolution of my inner worlds outside of myself -through writing Mystic Metamorphosis.
li: What was the editing process like for Mystic Metamorphosis? What was the biggest challenge you faced during the publishing process? How did you overcome this challenge?
SV: The editing (and overall) process for Mystic Metamorphosis was a lot easier than I expected. As I continued uncovering myself it was easier to discern what I wanted to add, take away or alter in the book. The most challenging aspect for me was the technology itself. My computer crashed multiples times and so I’ve had more than a few set-backs and re-writes in that regard. But I’m those setbacks I was granted the time I didn’t know I needed to birth this book exactly as it should be.
li: Let’s talk about social media for a minute. Your Instagram is poppin’ if we do say so ourselves. It’s crafted artistically and speaks to the nature of the language in your poetry. What was it like figuring out your place in the social space? How did you come to your aesthetic?
SV: Thank you so much! It took me a minute to realize that I was posting what I thought others would like at first and begin to really tune into my heart and post from there. Once I did, I never looked back! My aesthetic is and has always been a reflection of my inner worlds. I’ve always been an avid dreamer. So really it’s just been about sinking into my own magic, trusting and flowing with that.
li: What inspires you to continue to not only write poetry but to share your poetry? Was there ever a time where you were intimidated by sharing? If so, how did you overcome that?
SV: I was intimidated to share my writing for most of my life, probably because it is the truest and most vulnerable part of my expression. I created this account and began sharing after I suffered a stroke in 2016 (my baby was only 9 months old) and lost mobility on the right side of my body. It was then that I had my spiritual awakening and many healing revelations while healing in the hospital. After re-learning to walk, write and do other basic and not-so-basic life things I never wanted to take my passions, voice and overall expression for granted. So that’s when I pushed past my self-inflicted limitations and began sharing!
li: What is the best piece of career or writing advice you have ever received? Why is this piece of advice special to you as a writer?
SV: I always take my advice from spirit, and the greatest lesson or advice I have learned is essentially that what’s yours comes to you when you embody your authentic self. For me, it’s not necessarily about working hard but aligning with who you are.
li: Poetry for Life is Little Infinite’s trademarked mantra, introducing a new generation to the world of poetry, growing through poetry in different phases of your life, etc. In reference, Poetry for Life can hold sentiment in various aspects, which is why we love it. What does “Poetry for Life” mean to you?
SV: Wow, I love that! Poetry for Life, to me feels like poetry that is multidimensional—like life, like human beings. Poetry with layers, with seasons, poetry that moves. Our art evolves with us.