An Annual Celebration of Inspiring Couples in The Creative Industry
Being a Creative is a lot in a world full of ‘noise.’ To find someone who can listen, relate with your words, your dreams, the happy tears, and even the challenging moments is one of the best gifts to have, not just for a moment, but for a lifetime. We understand that having the right partner can make life a lot more enjoyable and fulfilling. Having someone to support your creative journey in all sincerity and love all you do and all you are is a priceless gift.
We are super excited to have Svetlana Chernienko and William A. McMillan aka X-WAM pioneer this special issue.
Two amazing humans that paint a perfect picture of what it means to love.
Enjoy and Stay Inspired:
To Svetlana: Can you share highlights of how your husband has contributed to the growth of your creative journey?
Svetlana: It’s truly amazing having a supportive partner. Being a creative and someone who’s in the public eye it can be difficult to have a relationship if it’s not solid.
X-WAM and I have conversations all the time , we are open and honest . We listen to each other and give the other person the love and support that they need to flourish. Knowing that I have someone at home that supports me and is my biggest cheerleader helps me get through the ups and downs of being a creative. It’s important to have that . It helps keep me grounded.
To X-WAM: What will you consider most fulfilling about having the right partner?
X-WAM: Having a partner that has inner strength beyond belief. There are couples that can promise to each other their loving intentions however my wife’s words are written in stone and cannot be broken. Her devotion and loyalty to me if not our family is her creed and will safeguard it by any means.
To Svetlana: “He is my calm, my strength, my biggest cheerleader and motivator…” These are some of your words about X-WAM and these give a beautiful glimpse of how you see your husband. What was the first attraction to him for you? And that do you think has kept the love and connection strong?
My first attraction to him was the way he made me laugh and smile . He always wanted to see me happy. To me that’s a very attractive trait, besides the obvious; my husband is a very sexy man.
Our love connection is deep, he’s my soulmate my twin flame. We knew each other as teenagers and I felt when we reconnected we had a second chance at our moment. Our connection is so deep because our love is unconditional. That’s what has kept our connection so strong.
To X-WAM: “Her presence is with me even when we are not around each other.” These are some of your words about Svetlana, you also call her your biggest fan which we think is just as how it should be. What was that one thing that made you know she is ‘the one’?
Well… it wasn’t one thing. The biggest thing was the overwhelming love of family. Having that… LOVE! is beyond words that transcends being my biggest fan. Because when the show is over and I come home the security and safety of a real HOME is what she gives to me.
We see the recent injustice on racial profiling at the bank and how you were denied access to your funds. We sincerely hope fairness prevails and the case gets all the needed attention for justice. We understand how life throws unexpected challenges but we are all standing here still, because of the will to fight wars that bring peace and rise through the ashes. How do you both best manage challenging times?
X-WAM: It’s rolled into one word “devotion”. We promised each other regardless of anything our devotion to us, our kids, our home we are going to fight to protect and move forward.
Svetlana: Well it’s definitely not easy . It creates stress and many times it has challenged our relationship. At the end of the day we realized that the storm will pass and if we do it together we will come out on top.
Social media somewhat makes the picture of love, marriage and relationships quite blurry. One moment we see love everywhere, the next moment we hear breakup stories. But X-WAM’s words below makes the picture clearer:
“Understand what you see is not the complete story, do not assume to know. Strength, power, independence, wisdom, love is just beneath the eye catching cover.”
Can you both please share more highlights on this deep insight?
X-WAM: My journey with my wife is not a made up story for social media. Its real like her public name “The Real Svetlana”. Her passion goes beyond the screen people log into and feel on a personal level. I have the pleasure of living it every day, showing up and working with her every day. We truly understand what it means to be a couple not many get that opportunity or learn this lesson on their own path.
Svetlana: Social media can be a difficult place to share your life, especially your private life. Most people show the narrative of what they’re comfortable sharing with the world. I have been someone who shared my life as an open book in order to inspire and motivate others to be different and go against the grain and also find the courage to deal with difficulties in their life.
Many times people see me on social media and think my life is easy just because I make it look easy however it’s not . There are many difficulties that we don’t share being married , raising kids , career choices and just being human . It’s definitely not easy , so I wish to people to be kind to others especially those that you see sharing themselves openly on their social media platforms. We don’t always know what somebody’s dealing with behind closed doors.
Don’t make assumptions because only the person wearing the shoe knows where it hurts them . One thing i can say the love that you see in public or and social media between X-WAM and it is so real and so deep.
To Svetlana: We would be wrong to call you just strong, you are strength. How you’ve risen from being a 19 year old woman who suffered from domestic abuse to being a beacon of hope to all is awe inspiring. You continue to shine as a light through the dark as you share inspiring highlights of your son who has special day needs with a neurological disorder that affects his speech. Your vulnerability, honesty and passion is everything. What role do you feel your marriage and family have played in helping you remain the strength you are to all?
My family is what keeps me going even when I feel I can’t go on. I look at my children, my mother and my husband and I know that I can take on any challenges I must face.
My strength comes from my faith as well. God made me this strong for a reason so I tap into that so I can carry on. My best friend always tells me I was built differently and my pastor tells me I have a supernatural power of courage strength and resilience…
I’ve been a fighter and it’s what I know to do, however it’s damn hard sometimes. I’ve fallen to my knees and cried with my face in my hands.
People on the outside don’t get to see that side of me. When I’m curled up on my bed crying because I feel that I can’t but I look at my family and I dig deep and I’m able to get up dust my shoulders off and keep it moving. Allowing my self to feel the pain and work through it gives me strength.
To X-WAM: How do you perfectly combine being a host/MC, vocal artist, DJ, step dancer and beat boxer?
X-WAM: Well it is associated with my name. WAM is my name “William A. McMillan”. However the “X” is because I embody all my life’s arts so there is no need for a MC-WAM , DJ-WAM… you never know what your going to get and with every show I take on the energy of the crowd to dictate its outcome.
To Svetlana and X-WAM: What does Art mean to you?
X-WAM: “Freedom”, a time to just be free to be… YOU.
Svetlana: Art to me is allowing your creativity to flow through your entire being. Allowing your soul to be care free and just be the incredible individual you are.
To Svetlana: As an advocate of Mental Health, can you please share few tips on how to balance work time, rest time and family time? Especially for Creatives.
Svetlana: As a Mental Health Advocate, my tips for a good work life balance is that you need to find Moments for yourself. You need to be able to re-align yourself.
I know that many times that I didn’t make my mental health a priority I wasn’t able to be creative.
It’s important to find that balance and make mental health a priority. To me physical health and mental health are truly important and I hold them in the same regards.
Take moments of self-care and shut out the world. During these difficult times it can make taking those moments for self that much more challenging however it’s needed. We forgot ourselves a lot .
As a mother, wife and entrepreneur at times it could be challenging to put myself first, I also have learned throughout the years That being a little bit selfish is ok and putting my needs first is key to my mental health.
To Svetlana: Since majority of our magazine’s team members are from Nigeria, we look forward to hosting you and X-WAM here someday (soon). We see how passionate you are about Africa, especially Nigeria. We saw how you raised your voice against injustice during the ‘End SARS’ battle. We see all you do. We understand all humans should show love for all, but please share highlights of your special fondness for Africa and Nigeria in particular?
Svetlana: My Fondness for Africa especially Nigeria holds a very special place in my heart.
Besides it being a part of my blood the core of the culture, the music, the food deeply resonates with who I am.
To me Nigeria takes over your soul with it’s profound love of food culture, music, family and beautiful clothing in my opinion can’t be compared to anywhere else.
When I lived in Nigeria In ( Edo state ) It brought me so much joy. I was able to to feel so free. Trust and believe me my aunties made sure I knew how to cook pounded yam and egusi soup before I left lol…
Nigeria feels like home to me like I was always meant to be there.
I look forward to going back soon I haven’t been back since 2013.
To both Svetlana and X-WAM: Do you feel Creatives in developed countries are at advantage than those in developing countries?
X-WAM: Yes, the technology helps in all aspects of creation and simplifies the process from thought to completion.
Svetlana: I definitely do think that developed countries are in an advantage however they take it for granted. With social media these days depending on where you live in developing country you can still excel and have visibility. I’ve always felt that no matter where you come from if you’re a creative you will have a different way of showing your creativity. You should never allow where you come from to hold you back. You should always dream and work hard to achieve what your heart desires.
Our only limitations are ourselves.
To both Svetlana and X-WAM: What does success mean to you?
X-WAM: I guess seeing my wife happy, my kids being independent and achieving their dreams.
Svetlana: Success to me is not the amount of things, cars or houses I can attain. It’s the freedom to be able to live whatever life that I choose to live on my own terms with no limitations.
Being surrounded by my family and friends, being happy. I don’t chase money that isn’t success. I work towards freedom of life and with that money always comes and gets me closer to achieving the life I want to live.
To both Svetlana and X-WAM: Let’s go a little poetic: If poetry is a rainbow and you have a choice of one color in that pallette, what would that be and why?
X-WAM: Unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to choose one color. Like my art I freestyle and do not confine myself into a box, it’s too restrictive. All the colours represent different things and I enjoy them each individually but especially as a rainbow.
Svetlana: My rainbow would be painted green, it reminds me of nature and many happy moments of my life I spent outside. It makes me feel grounded and Centred.
The ICONIC Team.