Our interview with Indie 184 is one of the most beautiful so far at SuperShe. Indie’s artist reputation and increasing popularity will change many, but she remains humble, real, and open.

This insightful interview with Indie 184 isn’t necessarily one solely about her art, but about rediscovery, understanding that we’re all a work-in-progress, and learning how to have a relationship with yourself before you can love others.

Indie 184 met founder of SuperShe, Kristina, at a recent screening at the Harlem Film Festival to view Some Girls , directed by a friend of Indie’s, Raquel Cepeda. Some Girls is a feature documentary following a group of troubled Latina teens from a Bronx-based suicide prevention program who are transformed by an exploration of their roots via the use of ancestral DNA testing, followed by a trip to the seat of the Americas. On that journey to modern-day Dominican Republic, the white supremacist narratives about American history they’ve been taught are challenged, leaving them free to reconstruct their own respective identities. What does it really mean to be American? And, more importantly, what does that look like? The film, Some Girls, is about identity and self esteem, breaking down the images and ideologies that are forced fed to us through education and mass media. We are chastised to believe, in order to be accepted, we have to look a certain way and conform to omitted history in a patriarchal society. It’s also a celebration to embrace who we are and where we come from. Some Girls puts things into perspective.

I’m glad SuperShe was able to acquire positivity from the film. How does the film resonate with you?

Indie: “There are times where I have struggled with self-esteem, it is the most underrated and important element in humans. It is the foundation of who we are. If we all had a balanced sense of self worth, this world would be a much better place to live in. We are all works in progress, the key is self awareness and being open minded to change.”

“I am hyper aware of what I have to improve, I practice and persevere so I can be a better me, mom, daughter, sister, friend and citizen of the universe. Growing up in the inner boroughs, I can completely relate to how the girls in the film. It’s not a choice they make but they are born into unstable family dynamics, economics and environment. Self doubt and fears are a result and triggers their lack of motivation and ambition to achieve in school. It can be a challenge breaking that cycle. Every grade was a different school and new neighborhood of course it’s all going to have an affect on me. But the beauty of it is that I’m able to handle adversity and keep moving forward.”

Indie shared that she lost herself in a relationship where much of her time was devoted. Now, a proud and independent mother of 3 – a caretaker by nature, it seems as if in the most recent years she has discovered who she really is. But the road to evolution isn’t an easy one, it is a road of constant reflection and harsh realization. She was born in Puerto Rico, raised in New York by her Dominican mother.

“My mom, she lacked a college degree, therefore her opportunities were limited. She worked in factories, as a nanny, a housekeeper all kinds of minimum wage jobs. It created a gap between us. Especially because she was always busy working and I was home to fend for myself and take care of my little brother and sister. I always had to be the caretaker even for her at times. In hindsight, that would impact my relationships with men. When it comes to any kind of relationship, one can make them the icing on the cake, but definitely not the entire cake. This past year I have learned so much about myself and healing from so much trauma.”

“Life can be a fast train, you are constantly on the go and don’t get a chance to tend your garden.”

“Stress can be strongly detrimental to one’s health. It is super important to stop, step back to practice self love and care on all levels. I tried my best not be like my mother and resist that – but here I am. I am my mother’s daughter. But one thing that I won’t settle for is mediocrity – mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically. I want to be the best me – personally and professionally and be a better mother, sister, friend, and citizen of the world!”

“I am breaking the cycle of dysfunctional abusive relationships because I am my children’s role model. I want them to be liberated from the pattern and strive to be successful and independent beings. So, like many women, I suffered from caretaker syndrome. I started to reflect on the times translating for my mom, taking care of people, on my choice of men. I realized I chose men according to what I knew: taking care of people. My 11-year-relationship put me at a crossroad. I realized in order to coexist with myself I had to end that relationship so I can be free and get to know who I am. As the quote goes “I know paradise, but I don’t know me.”

“Some people live in denial. Ignorance is bliss. I’m a bit envious of people that are ignorant – because they live in a worry free bubble. Raise your standards and own your power. I got help, it was light at the end of the tunnel. I met other people – I got to hear other women’s stories and it was so empowering and so amazing to know.

“The first rule of the healing process is loving yourself.”

“We really have to love ourselves, self love is #1. I can’t emphasize that enough. How the hell are you gonna love someone else? I refuse to hide behind a man, becoming their shadow. We attract the energy we put out there, so whatever that is, it better be top shelf. Looking back, I dumbed myself down to fit the standard for my ex-partner. Now, my vocabulary has expanded. I am breathing now. I have a zest for life. I am reborn. I am mindful. Heck, I’m even learning how to play the drums. All that time spent on fixing or helping someone that didn’t want to do the work, I’m putting that time and energy into my own life. I didn’t think that I could be an artist. I went for the wrong things. I did business because it’s practical – little did I know, you have to chase, it sounds cliche, but take your passion and make it happen and the rest will follow.”

“Deep down inside we already know what we want to achieve, it’s the fears that keep us from conquering them. Take care of yourself first. Be fearless. Just grab life by the horns and just freakin’ do it. Travel the world. Live it up. Own your power.”

Indie’s alter-ego is her artist name, Indie 184. From her point-of-view, her alter ego represents someone different than who she is. She says Indie 184 is someone who is confident. A woman that makes things happen. She’s motivated and self-empowered. One could argue that a true artist expresses their pain, their joy, their experiences. Indie’s art has truly become a reflection of who she is and where is from – American some days, Dominican the next. She has found balance. Her use of vibrant colors appears to stem from a life of diversity and reaction to dark times. Bold, beautiful, and identifiable – is how SuperShe would describe it, even if Indie doesn’t believe that this is who she is, it is who she will become.

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