One of my favourite ways to stay inspired is to read about how other people put their creativity into practice and learn to live creative lives. On the first Friday of each month I'll be interviewing someone who is letting their creative light shine. Hopefully these folks will inspire you as much as they inspire me.
I met Kendyl briefly at a meetup for entrepreneurs that I organized. She was only able to come to one meeting but she had plenty of wisdom to offer the group and I was a little sad when I learned that she was moving to Victoria, British Columbia. Thankfully I can still see her fun drawings and constant creativity - and her adorable dog, Breakfast - on a regular basis.
What sort of creative work do you do?
Well, I feel like I do everything... if I can get my hands on it, I do it. I draw, paint, cut things, crochet, ink, design, sculpt, stitch, make whatever I can find. As a profession, I'm a freelance artist. The most common work I do is caricature and character design.
Have you always thought of yourself as a creative person? Why or why not?
I don't know if there was a time when I wasn't creative. I was always really involved in drawing and colouring, but at a level of detail my family recognized as special. I picked up on things quickly, and it was my favourite form of expression. It was also something I valued, as an escape away from noise. I have always valued alone time, bringing my ideas to life.
How did you get started?
I don't know if I got started naturally, or if it was partially because my family was very supportive of creativity. I was always encouraged and never questioned for what I was doing... so I took it with me.
What’s your process like?
My process is different with different mediums. I don't think I have a set process because something could come out differently, for the sake of what I feel from it. Sometimes I do things with ink (no plan, just impulse), I sketch and design compositions and structure, or I wing it on screen until things take shape into how I want them to look. It's a nice method of work because if drawing doesn't work out, I can hop into digital and vice versa.
What or who inspires you?
I feel I'm inspired by everything, which is a blessing and a curse. Someone can say a word and it will take me places. I'm very inspired by artists who work through representation and impulse, like Picasso or Ralph Steadman. I also appreciate abstraction and asymmetrical design. Mary Blair, Jon Klassen, Glenn Hernandez. They don't rely on what is real, or what is 'right', they do it. I sometimes feel their mindset helps me get back in touch with my natural abilities, because it can be easy to become self critical or question how things are supposed to be. I don't like having limitations, it gets in the way of having a good time.
What’s your biggest struggle and how are you coping with it?
I struggle with style. I grew up being taught how to adapt to different styles of art, so sometimes I don't know what will suit a project I'm working on, or if that process will assist in seeing things through to the end result. It always ends up being my style, but it's definitely a challenge when I'm not sure what it is that I'm getting into. I cope by playing with my sketchbook, throwing down ink without relying on the eraser. When I can flow with it, I'm usually quite happy with the end result. It's like seeing your natural voice show through all the other voices surrounding the development of something very special.
What’s your # 1 tip about everyday creativity?
Everyday creativity: let yourself play. I hate when people say they can't draw or do anything artistic because it's basically like a bullshit excuse of saying you can't write, because someone else does it nicer than you. Relying on a standard is putting up a wall for yourself. Let your natural abilities, your natural style show through. Being able to let it out is a beautiful thing, and you have to see that end result as your unique voice. If people can let go of the comparison battle, we'd all be creating every day. PLAY. I can't stress it enough.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a number of things at once. I bore easily, so I need different things for disconnect and reconnection, depending on the day. I have a children's book on the go, some animated projects, a character design project, some paintings I am doing for myself, and I also want to start writing and sharing more about the creative process. I really do think it's important to share. So I am always moving around and getting it out of my system.
Where can we find you?
I'm all over the place online. I have a website for my shop, breakfastjones.com. I use Instagram the most, as a visual journal for what I do. I can record my process, my life, my inspiration, and even my challenges and downfalls. I have Twitter for daily challenges, when I have the drive to do them (@sketch_dailies) which is sort of like getting a small project for the day, to share with other artists. It's a great social media community when you can find that online niche. Facebook. don't bother. I really don't like Facebook for what it is. I tend to just post statuses of whether or not I'm alive, so my mom knows I'm okay. I'm probably using it wrong, but for now IG and Twitter are my number one method of being vocal in the cyber universe. :)