Creativity has been the source of the biggest changes in our being. Defining the word is near impossible because it's everywhere.
Look around yourself and you'll see. The clothes you wear, the stories you hear, the books you read, the music you listen to and the films you see. In short, Henry David Thoreau said, "the world is but a canvas to our imagination".
But how do we define it? Can you? Well, Eric Jerome Dickey summed up creativity in this way: "It's impossible to explain creativity. It's like asking a bird, 'How do you fly?' You just do".
What we can take from this is that creativity is one of the most powerful forces in the world and yet, it's inside all of us.
William George & Co. sat down with contemporary artist, Leesa Kensington, to uncover the power of creativity and the impact that art has had on her life.
Leesa Kensington's first memory of drawing was at the age of 4 when she drew murals of unicorns on walls. What's remarkable is that she was drawing before she was speaking!
In hindsight, she always knew she was going to be an artist, and this was illustrated by her ability to get creative wherever she was and culminated in her being called ‘Arti'. This has since become her tradename and you can find this signature on her artworks found at the Kensington Art Gallery.
One of the driving forces behind her creativity is her philosophical approach to art where she explained that artists don't paint things, they paint feelings.
The Art of Capturing Feelings
What does that mean? Ask the winning bidder of Onement VI, an artwork by Barnett Newman which sold at Sotheby's for $43.8m. Outrage ensued because the Onement VI is a blue painting with a white line through the middle – so why did it sell for so much?
Artists like Leesa and Newman are able to capture feelings in their artworks which transport the viewer to a place other than where they are. You can read more about this here: Artwork Spotlight - Wild Stallion.
Leesa, who is very fond of Monet, explained how his artworks are able to resonate with her because they capture feelings which are unique to the viewer. Perhaps this explains the reason behind Newman's sale?
In a sense, it's not what's in the artwork but the feelings conveyed through the artwork.
But something is missing. How do artists know what to convey? How do they know how to form it? The answer lies in the creative process. Of course, this is different for each artist.
The Creative Process
The creative process is a fascinating tale about human imagination - but no tale is the same. Think back to the times you heard the origins of your favourite book, film, song or artwork?
Where does creativity come from? How do you harness it? What does it even look like?
The answer to these questions is interesting because it's different for everyone. Let's take a look at Leesa.
Leesa is a versatile creative who takes inspiration from many things. We explained how inside all of us, you'll find creativity, but this can take many forms. For Leesa? A dream, walking through a park and even on the beach. However, one of her latest projects celebrates another form of inspiration, photography.
Leesa recently launched Kensington Photography on Facebook where she captures ideas for her artworks from nature and things which inspire her. She developed these photography skills from her time at college and often did street photography.
Her photography has since become an extension of her art and it reminds us of how much inspiration we can attain from the things around us to develop ideas.
What happens when you get an idea?
Once Leesa gets inspired by an idea, her meticulous work ethic compels her to explore it further as she attempts to unlock it.
This endeavour can even mean working through the night as she attempts to turn this idea into a design before tasking herself with creating it in the best way she can.
Piecing this all together can mean that the future artwork could be deemed a jigsaw, as Leesa attempts to formulate it in the way it was intended - or wait for it to reveal itself. This can mean that some artworks can be in this transitional phase for months and even years.
This level of commitment illustrates Leesa's endeavour to portray her idea in the best way possible, and it can also mean that she will destroy her artwork. Why? Her creativity wants to add to it in a different way, so she re-creates it. In a way, it's like an ever-evolving clay.
What Can a Creative Learn from Leesa?
Leesa's creative process shows us how an artist will go through different stages as they transition from their initial idea to the finished piece. It also means that each piece will hold a special place in her heart because they tell their own story.
Leesa Kensington's Advice for Aspiring Creatives
Leesa is a strong advocate for encouraging young creatives and was the inspiration behind this article. She wants to use her story as a way to inspire people to get creative.
We performed a Q & A with Leesa which you can read here: William George & Co Meets Leesa Kensington.
The Creative World Today
From the Q&A with Leesa, you were given an insight into what it was like for her navigating the art world and the wisdom she learnt during her journey. For a creative, their journey will be a unique experience but what is it like today? It's changing.
How Creativity is Impacting Design?
The concept of creativity is changing because it's now entering new areas and taking on new meanings. In this example, we will explore how it's impacting design.
The Naples metro station is a fascinating spectacle. Completely laden in creative art, it's transformed the look, feel and meaning of the station. A hub of creativity, it's a sight that breathes a new lease of life into the viewer.
What you can take from this is that design is more thoughtful than it used to be. It's taking on new forms and challenges our own notions.
The Influence of Social Media
Social media has transformed the way that we communicate with the world.
With a SMART device, you can have the whole world in your pocket. The use of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and more enables us to interact with anyone, anywhere at your fingertips.
This phenomenon has allowed creatives who would previously be unseen, get the exposure they need to break into the market.
In the future, there will be even more platforms where they can show off their talent. Why? The role of a creative is changing because creative forms like art are becoming accessible.
Why is Creativity Important?
Creativity is important because it enables us to tell those stories that we cannot express merely with words. Creative forms like art are a fantastic expression of things that words cannot capture. Leesa coined it perfectly when she said that it's a language that's beyond words, it transcends all boundaries.
It's this ethereal element that Leesa endeavours to capture in her artworks.
This is the same for a dancer, pianist, sculptor and any other aspect of the creative world. If they could say what they meant with words then they wouldn't dance, play piano, paint, sculpt etc.
What can we learn from this?
At the beginning of this article, we asked ourselves about the power of creativity and came across the incredible story of Leesa Kensington to explore it further.
From her journey, we learnt a valuable lesson about its presence inside all of us but creativity requires inspiration before it can manifest.
This inspiration is then passed onto someone else, who unlocks their own sense of creativity, to contribute to the creative arts in their own way. It's this conscious development that's evolved as much as we have throughout humanity.
Inside this never-ending story are the creatives, like Leesa, who create in their own way and this inspires other creatives who, in turn, inspire another and it's this perpetual motion of inspiration that's enabling creativity to get bigger and reach new areas.
As Leesa put it: "We are all artists, only our medium varies".
As time goes forward, the way that we express ourselves will change. We've seen that with new mediums, materials and technology. However, one thing that will not change is the influence of inspiration and creativity.
Forms like art will always reflect something within society and so, it will always be integral to our society's growth.
What are you going to create today?