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Meet Blair Mahya Quinones of Infinity in Altadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Blair Mahya Quinones.

Blair Mahya, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My journey as a writer started in my first year of college. I was writing and journaling all the time. Poems came to me so easily. They were fairly short, emotion-driven pieces based off the feelings I felt every day. At the time, I was tied to a situation I clearly was not meant for and I poured those feelings into my poetry. In my second year of college, I enrolled in a poetry workshop which was like candy for me. I fit right in and loved the work. From then on, I told myself I would be a writer and I would be confident in my poetry. Before I took that class, I did not know what my role was as a student or if I even wanted to stay in college but, I decided to use college to perfect my craft. I’ve developed an identity through writing. She is Infinity and I am her. Infinity came from a line of a poem I wrote and it’s been a part of me ever since. She became me when I was going through a major shift in my life which was sparked by heartbreak. The way that experience unfolded was somewhat traumatizing so at that point, I realized I needed to do the work to heal, grow and love more profoundly. That experience forced me to tap into emotions I had never felt before. It forced me back to my roots like I never grew, and I’ve always been thankful for that. I focused my sadness into my journaling and poetry and was able to use the experience as one big lesson. Writing has allowed me to understand my Self better. It has allowed me to unfold myself in front of others so that they, too, can feel anything at all. My goal with writing is always to pour love into the words to heal myself, to heal those who read it, and to always, no matter the feeling, ignite a feeling in others.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been an interesting road, nothing smooth about it, but writing about the bumps in the road is a lot easier than writing about anything else. Once I exited the heartbreak shift in my life….the tunnel was so clear. I was not even sure what I’d write about. And that’s when I realized all over again that love was the goal always, as it had always been. I started tapping into feelings other than despondency and used the techniques I was learning in workshops to perfect my art. It was a struggle to find inspiration outside of my sadness, but it just took time and effort. I think a struggle for me today is putting out work for people to see. I use Instagram as a tool to share my thoughts, prose, and poetry but, as I’ve been getting more serious about my craft, I’ve been focussing on different outlets for my poetry. It’s a struggle right now, through this strange season of life, to make those visions come to life. BUT! I remind myself that it’s not impossible and I’m doing the work to make those ideas come to life.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My artist name is Infinity. I say artist because I don’t limit myself to just one of the things I do. I write poetry, prose and short stories. I model, creative direct, and perform spoken word. I do everything I crave to do and I’m always willing to get better at it all. I’d say that I’m known for my poetry. I’ve been announcing on my socials for some time now that my first poetry book is on the way. And it’s aaaalmost complete! I’m also building my blog so that my thoughts, poetry, and everything else I create can have one place to live that’s mine. I’m creating my own little room for all things Infinity. What sets me apart from other poets is my style of writing. I write in free verse but use techniques that I’ve learned and am still learning in school. I study poets from all over the timeline, I study songwriters and rhythm, I study words and syllables and I inject all of what I learn and inspires me into my own writing, with my own taste. And the best part is that it comes to you with so so so much love.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I will always give credit to my mom Donna McKenna, and my older sisters Bianca Leonor and Bailey Rose Quinones. They each show/teach me every day what love is, how to love myself more and properly and how to love others. So much of what I write is inspired by and dedicated to the love they’ve taught and shown me. They’re my best friends and my inspirations every day. I also give credit to my former professor Patty Seyburn who led my poetry workshop class for two semesters in a row. She is the reason I care about technique as much as I do. She brought me out of my comfort zone and facilitated the journey of discovering a new world of ways to write and things to write about. I’m also extremely thankful for the role Enrique Bautista has played in helping me put together my first book and website, for his unwavering support and mentorship!

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Image Credit:

Amy Maldonado, George Jenkins, Jordan Williams, Cathryn Rose, Jess Meany, Christen Dickson

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