An Interview With An Artist - Leesa Kensington
Leesa Kensington is an Artist, Photographer and the inspiration behind our article The Power of Creativity.
Leesa is also a strong believer in inspiring everyone to be creative, so we asked her questions about her journey. It started from drawing murals on walls to starting her art career and launching her own gallery.
Q) What was it like when you first started as an artist?
When Leesa first started her career, the art world was confusing because there are so many different forms, methods and styles. She encourages aspiring artists to find what resonates with them and uses fashion as a way to explain it.
"You'll find that everyone has their own style and you know what you like when you see it." – Leesa Kensington.
Q) What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
If you're about to host a party and you want to add something of your own such as a cheese or even a wine, then you can worry about the responses all you like but all it takes is for one person to taste your smelly cheese or fruity wine.
So, it's not how people receive it, but you who added your own flavour. Sooner or later someone will like your stuff.
Q) What are your top skills for an artist?
- Take something not real and make it real somehow e.g. metalwork, sculpting etc.
- Make that leap from the imaginary into something tangible.
- Focus and stubbornness to stick with it when it goes wrong.
- Individual flair – allow it to come out and let your style take the centre stage.
- Nothing happens the first time. Stick with it and have the determination to manifest it.
Q) What's integral to the work of an artist?
What's important to remember is that artists express themselves differently and they should celebrate their individual flair by fusing their personality with their artworks.
During an artist block - have a day off. It's okay to do nothing sometimes, it'll come back.
Q) What's your most important artistic tool? What must be there?
Imagination. No masterpiece without a muse. If you have that then you can create anything.
Q) Professionally, what's your goal as an artist?
Keep growing and developing my own skills. I want to open galleries worldwide and make art more accessible to people who may not have it.
Q) What's your favourite artwork?
I'm proud of all them but in different ways. They each have their own story e.g. capturing something I wanted to make tangible, I learnt a new skill or used a new technique for the first time.
Q) How do you know when an artwork is finished?
An artwork is never finished. The artist needs to learn when to stop because the more they look at it, the more they think to add to it.
Q) What are your biggest influences?
Leesa is a big fan of Banksy and thought the recent ‘shred-gate' auction was brilliant.
Other influences are Dali, Esher, Picasso and the stories of Enzo Ferrari and Chanel. Her artwork ‘Wild Stallion' is a tribute to the life of Enzo Ferrari.
You can read a review of it here: Artwork Spotlight - Wild Stallion.
Finally, artists like Picasso because teach us that you can design in a way which means you don't need to draw within the lines. Anything goes.
Q) How have you developed your career?
Leesa was involved in an accident which severed her hand. For two years, her hand was paralysed and there was a chance that she would never paint again. She defied this and went onto paint again.
Now, she continues to challenge herself by painting with new materials and using new techniques to help her create art in line with her idea and design. An example of a challenge was painting Wild Stallion with 24k gold.
Q) What is art to you?
It's expressive, it's who I am, I am art. There is no art without the artist. It's in the core of my being - it's my being.
Q) What is the role of an artist in society?
They are everything. They are the key to new design, invention, they are the dreamers, storytellers and integral to every part of society.
Q) What would you tell your 16-year-old self?
Relax. There is no one way to create art. We are all unique for a reason. If you spend your whole life trying to be someone else then you will become a cheap version of them. You need to be uniquely you, and this helps you to bring something new.
Life doesn't work out the way you planned but it doesn't mean that it's a bad thing.
Every creative will face their own journey. The creative world is so big, there's a place for everyone. As Leesa put it, there's no one way to do art, so why not add your own personal flair to it?
Creatives play a huge role in society because they inspire the world you see today. When you get inspired by a feeling, experience, sight etc., take that something abstract and try and make it into something which is real. The how is up to you!
What is Leesa Doing Now?
Leesa recently launched Kensington Photography on Facebook and she's also working on new media such as jewellery.
The goal is to incorporate more things into art. This is part of her own personal journey to continue learning and growing as an artist.
2019 will be a huge year for Leesa as she announced a tour. Leesa and her team will tour around England visiting museums, art establishments and young artists.
There will also be a special guest on tour who is making a name for themselves in the art world.
Check out Leesa's website for for information about the artsit.