Muse Journal

This Is Black: Blanca Burch, Culturally Kreative

Blanca Burch, a Milwaukee native, is a Spelman College alumna as of 2022. A creative technologist, Burch is in constant pursuit of new and innovative ways to tell underrepresented stories. Her belief in fostering representation is what led her to start Culturally Kreative. Founded alongside her mother, Michelle Burch, Burch intersects technology and literature to cultivate stories that not only garner unique experiences, but change present narratives about underrepresented communities.

In the interview below, our Assistant Editor, Brooke Shannon, was able to speak with Burch about her publications, technological artistry, and more.

Brooke Shannon: Describe your artistic journey.

Blanca Burch: I’ve been creative since before I can remember. I enjoyed drawing and any opportunity I could get to create something. I also had the opportunity to travel, see, and experience so many different forms of art. It wasn’t until I found the Spelman Innovation Lab and began to learn more about how artistry, storytelling, and technology touch each and every industry. So in 2018, my journey began by using technology with my storytelling and pushing the boundaries of what art means to me. To this day, I continue to urge people to use new mediums to tell their story.

BS: When does art become advocacy?

BB: As soon as art is shared with someone else, it begins telling a story. Our interpretations will all differ because we all have different experiences and backgrounds. However, the emotions and energy that someone puts into a piece can typically be found. Thus, it is my belief that whenever you create something that is meant to be shared and consumed by the masses, it is important to be intentional with what that piece means to you and the message you want to share.

BS: With Culturally Kreative’s first book–Who Has Hair Like Mine?–focusing on representation of Black hair, how does your publishing company act as a mural for Black expression?

Cover of "Who Has Hair Like Mine?"

BB: Culturally Kreative’s first book is meant to be the foundation for what the future will look like with technology and traditional storytelling. As the foundation, I saw it only fitting to speak to something that would connect with the Black community: our hair. Everyone’s haircare journey is slightly different, but it is a united front for many people. As people unite under the discussion of what their hair means to them, I want them to add to this “mural” as well and share their stories in whatever medium they see fit. I hope to grow the community to not just be a mural, but a gallery that tells various types of stories that are sure to connect many people.

BS: What is your most favorite virtual experience that you’ve designed? Why?

BB: My favorite virtual experience I’ve designed was a piece called “HAIR WORLD,” a virtual reality space curated to depict all different types of hair styles and textures that you could tour virtually (via your phone or your computer). I enjoyed creating a space where people with curly and kinky hair textures could feel embraced. Hopefully, this space also encourages other people to want to break into the Metaverse and create a space for representation as well.

"Representation is key for fostering the belief that anything is possible."

BS: What do you hope consumers find in your work?

BB: I hope by learning about and educating people on different stories, the world can become a place where people are inspired to tell their own stories. In this day and age, it is easy to get caught up in the unrealistic expectations put out by social media. I want people to know that perfection is overrated; we are all works in progress and that is fine. Our stories are what make us unique and can inspire some of the most amazing things.

Image from "HAIR WORLD"

BS: Any upcoming projects?  

BB: I am illustrating two books currently and am in the process of bringing augmented reality experiences to Who Has Hair Like Mine.

BS: What is something you would say to Black creatives of all ages?

BB: We all have a story to tell, so don’t be afraid to share your story. Your story can inspire someone else to take a step into a world they may have never known was possible. Representation is key for fostering the belief that anything is possible.


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