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Community Highlights: Meet Toseima Jiles of Creative Arts International

Today we’d like to introduce you to Toseima Jiles.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I am an individual with an overall interest in helping people overcome the unexpected. Partly because somehow, with every challenge, I find great courage, hope, and resilience in times when those traits don’t seem logical, ideal, or even possible. My friends actually used resilience to describe me so often that there was a time in my life when I thought I was actually born for certain inevitable shortcomings. Let me also say that I have since learned that a changed mind for the better is one of the most powerful things a person can personally own. Most people want the so-called fame and recognition that comes with being a survivor, very few people sign up to the pain and suffering associated with that ‘for lack of a better word’, notoriety. Creative Arts International Inc. has provided nearly 30 years of Arts & Business Consulting services which continues to remind me of how necessary ‘people who care’ remain to the world.

As a parent company, the focus has always been arts and business and the introduction of arts within the community through the Speak Resilience initiative for Firefly Poetry & Open Mic Night provides an outlet for artists to be vulnerable within a world of canceled opinions. The introduction of the TOSEIMA J Television Network provides opportunities for businesses to spread the word and therefore extends outlets for quality programming for people, artists, and businesses to find a platform. The Creative Arts International Inc company group represents the balance of winning through the losses and serving despite challenges. Preferring that one not overshadow the other, I hope to leave you with a desire to keep going in the direction of what sets your soul on fire, whenever, however, and wherever possible. I am a normal, everyday, run-of-the-mill Chicago native woman with goals, dreams, and aspirations for success. I received my 1st oratorical award at a young age and as long as I could talk, I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing. Around the same time in life, dance was introduced, followed by singing, acting, and modeling which introduced directing, producing, and songwriting. On top of all that, pursuing a Double Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a concentration in Marketing and Management seemed like a healthy mix for both my left and right brain to comingle. I’m grateful for the statement my Mom said to me, “I know how much you love the arts but I think you should major in anything BUT performing arts”.

Although I didn’t understand why she would say that at the time, I took her advice and bypassed the dance and theater major theories I was determined to pursue. Accepting that wisdom has introduced a full collaboration of growth, insight, and I would likely not be the person I am becoming without it. The painful experiences I have encountered are not uncommon, the responses are the only thing that through the wisdom of those around me, can help teach a lesson, edify a mindset or encourage someone in the journeys we each take, with every breathe we take. I wish for you many discussions that create true freedom from any subject which seeks to shackle your mindset, limit the gravity of your potential to be a better person, and sustain broken-heartedness. Every single collective endeavor has a mission to add joy, evoke thought, and stir up the resilience in you. You are larger than any challenge which you acknowledge facing and take responsibility for rising above, when you do, its negative power over you is far more limited. When life offers lemons, accept them – then make the best lemonade, heartache, failure, and disappointment can create! Toseima J is about ‘helping people through words, stories, products, television/radio programming, workshops, fashion, articles, music, and opinions’. Read on. Watch on. Love on. Live on. In joy!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I think of a smooth road, it certainly does not fit my journey. Actually, my small circle of friends would often describe me as one of the most resilient people they’d ever met; Speak Resilience was born through the struggles. An excerpt from one of my favorite poems entitled, ‘Mother to Son’, by Langston Hughes comes to mind. “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. It’s had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor—Bare.” I believe that every challenge draws us closer to our final purpose in this world because some of our challenges align and some don’t but we are each learning in real-time what is required in real-time. I remember wearing penny loafers as a child and I was soo grateful to have those penny loafers. I was a huge Michael Jackson fan and my Mom lived with many trials including dyslexia and a history of abuse. She could only afford the bare necessities but I remember wearing those penny loafers until my toes were hanging on the outside of the shoes. Not only did I love the penny loafers, but I also needed them, I relied on them and it is the first time I realized we just didn’t have enough at times. There were many struggles, too many to mention in a single article but I am grateful for every single one of them. . .even more so today.

We’ve been impressed with Creative Arts International Inc, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Creative Arts International Inc. is the parent company of Speak Resilience, Firefly Poetry & Open Mic Night, and the Toseima J television network. We are an arts and business consulting firm. We are positively impacting children and adults because the world needs positivity driven by results. Our Arts Consulting platform allows us to provide a unique experience by teaching workshops and 1to1 training with a focus on life skills and stem skills through performing arts. Our Business Consulting platform allows us to provide a unique experience by building morale through corporate team-building workshops, income protection education, instituting supplemental health benefits through Aflac, and motivational training to help increase the bottom line.

I am most proud of all the amazing people we have had the ability to help, inspire, and develop leaders because we are there when people need us. What sets us apart from most bands is that we have found a way to make the arts an integral and tangible aspect of productivity and growth. We have seen numbers increase in astronomical ways with many of our clients. Our brand is designed to allow art to be its driving force. Our superpower is vulnerability and growth. Our services are available online and in person. We provide free consultations to help you find the most convenient, specialized program for your child, team, and group. ‘Life is art. Get into it.’

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
The most important lesson I have learned along my journey is that vulnerability is the only path to true growth in any area of life. I often say that vulnerability is my superpower. Because I have learned to lean into the very thing many people fear. Children have an easier time being vulnerable than adults however, in general people are not as willing to recognize the things that cause them to be stagnant or not produce yet that is the very thing they must learn to consistently walk through in order to grow and inevitably change for the better. This is true for any challenge facing our world today.

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Image Credits:
Fred Bell Jr. – Staxx B Entertainment – Photo Credit (All)
Philip Short Photography for the main headshot photo with me wearing the yellow shirt

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