Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Dominic Loise from our tenth issue.
Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?
Dominic Loise: For me, writing started out of art therapy. Besides journaling, creative writing is a way for me to work on being present and not get lost in racing thoughts.
Tiny Spoon: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends that you look up to?
Dominic Loise: My friends who are an ongoing part of my mental health recovery team are a gift and guidance in every aspect of my life. After I hit my rock bottom, I was in a vulnerable state and these were the people who helped me find my true self. People who have given me a safe space to talk and helped destigmatize the conversation around mental health awareness. They got me out of my own way as I got to work on myself and eventually onto writing.
Tiny Spoon: Are there any natural entities that move your work?
Dominic Loise: When I first got out of the hospital after being inpatient, a big first step for me was getting out and walking around the block. Part of my therapy in these walks was to notice the environment around me and not remain in my head. Soon, I began taking photos of things I saw, writing poetry of the images for art therapy and just posting it on Instagram. It was a daily activity that taught me to be in the moment and remain present in the natural world outside- not in my head.
Tiny Spoon: We love insight into the creative process. Could you share what it is like for you, either with your work that appears in Tiny Spoon or in general?
Dominic Loise: I enjoy rewriting and working with editors. I have had the advantage of seeing that there isn’t just one path in life after I started over after the hospital so I do my best to not be a “one and done” draft writer. It takes me a few drafts to get what I want to say with a piece just like how it takes me a while to dig into something in therapy.
Tiny Spoon: Do you have any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to share?
Dominic Loise: I have personal mental health awareness essays, book reviews and interviews online at F(r)iction (www.frictionlit.org). My team of editors at F(r)iction/Brink Literacy Project have been amazing and I can’t thank them enough for the support they give me or shine a big enough light on the work they also do with their literacy nonprofit programs.
Tiny Spoon: What book, artwork, music, etc., would you recommend to others?
Dominic Loise: One of my favorite reads of last year was the novella The Bruising of Qilwa (Tachyon) by Naseem Jamnia. They have built an incredible fantasy world, which is very relevant to our own. It is a book I love discussing. The Willies (Button Poetry) by Dr. Adam Falkner is one of those “right books at the right time” scenarios. I truly appreciate what Falkner has to say about knowing your own personal truth. And Stephanie Phillips is doing some great things in the comic book industry. Particularly, her work on Harley Quinn (DC Comics) and how the character is helping others overcome trauma from The Joker.
Tiny Spoon: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you, your creations, or beyond?
Dominic Loise: It took me a long time to break through the stigma of asking for help for mental health. That stigma caused me to treat therapy at first like a sprint instead of like a marathon which led to a hospitalization. After I got out of being inpatient, I learned that there is help and people who are willing to talk about mental health awareness. So, I would say that if anyone reading this interview learned anything it’s that a stigma should stop anyone from asking for help.
Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?
Dominic Loise: I’m on Instagram & Twitter at @dominic_lives.