Lauren Kestner [lkestner1]
How and why did you begin to be creative?
I begin to sketch out several different ideas regarding any piece I am working on. I write down notes regarding the ideas that some to me so that they are not forgotten. I become creative mostly out of impulse, I'll see something that strikes me or hear something and my mind starts to turn from there and I become inspired whether I am working on my own personal work or freelance work that is based on commission.
Your mind is your work tool. How do you take care of it?
By keeping it active and in practice. Also as to not get to overwhelmed I make sure I take care of it by mediation and relaxation of both my mind and body.
How do you avoid repeating yourself, or falling into formula? How do you stay fresh?
Practice, Practice, Practice! Talking with other artists or new people in general and going to muesums or gallery exhibits. Keeping up with what is new an out there in the art world (new artists, shows, etc.) and staying current with the events of the worlds day to day news and events. I might also add that keeping it fresh also just, for me, means keeping an open mind and embracing my own life and what I see in the activities and events I participate in one day at a time.
Do you have a ritual like retiring to a lonely place from time to time to cleanse your mind?
Yes, I'll retreat to the Berkshires where my family owns a condo and take sometime to myself to re-group. I'll also take leisurly walks and sit under my favorite willow tree near my house, or if I am in the city or a public place I enjoy people watching and mediating on what I see and observe which helps me to collect myself.
What cultural sources do you draw from the most?
Any form of traveling, mostly in Europe. Greece was so inspiring for me when i studied abroad. Going to Muesums and seeking out the artists who have inspired me over the years. I have many friends who are artists so I'll learn about new work and talent that is out there. New York City would have to be the closest cultural arena that I draw from the most for inspiration.
Who have your teachers been?
Its been awhile since college. I had fabulous professors out at the School of the Art Institue of Chicago. I transferred to Ny and attended SVA. Marylin Palmeri, my cultural survey professor, stood out the most for me. And Tom Woodward, head of the Illustration department was always so helpful in helping me branch out into doing independent studies and internships that I recieved credit for towards my education.
When you accept a job, how much value do you place on each of the following? Money, creative liberty, visibility, and to work with the best.
I place a lot of value on the Creative liberty. Working with a strong team of artists and inspiring minds can be an amazing experience that is never forgotton. Money is very important when it comes to structure and stability. Freedom as an artist can be fabulous but one cannot escape the responsibility of living independently and therefore relying on resources such as job benefits that can come with any given position.
Have you ever had a job that was so stimulating that you could not get your mind off of it?
The job remains stimulating even after its is over because I have always learned so much that its comes with me when tackling the next job.
"To give birth to ideas." Is this only an expression, or are there really parallels between giving birth and creativity?
I believe that that quote has more of a figurative quality than anything realistic. But, sometimes you really do have to "push" to get the ideas flowing.
Does spirituality contribute to your creativity?
Yes. Turning fear into faith is extremely helpful. Knowing that there is a power greater than mysekf out there that i can turn things over to when struggling is exceptionally helpful so that I remain confident in moving forward and not stuck because i am trying to hard to control it all on my own. My faith work through others and help is never something one should be ashamed of to ask for.
It is possible to fall in love with a bad idea simply because it is yours. How do you avoid this?
You don't avoid it. If you love it, despite it being bad you accept it and move foward while carrying the love you had for the idea with you. Who knows, maybe that idea will be good at another point in time.
Must someone be the leader or boss in order for a creative team to function well?
It always helps to have someone oversee what is going on when working with a creative team. There always needs to be a point person, but also important for them to share the credit of a project with creative minds that enabled it to be executed.
Declaration: With what person or business would you like to work?
I dont have a preference. I have worked for many people and dont get picky when an opportunity knocks at my door. So there is no "one" person I can specifically pin-point, I am a very versatile person therefore I am always keeping an open mind to new people and new companies, large or small.
What criteria do you use when selecting someone to be a part of your creative team?
The persons talent, their ability to think quickly and on their feet. Initiative and motivation are crucial as well as their ability to work well with others and have great personal skills.
The armchair psychologist: Is creativity an act of rebellion for you?
No. But, it does give me the freedom to vent stress and frustration when needed.
What is the best advertisement you've seen recently?
Target always does great advertising. Gieco Insurance does as well. I dont watch a whole lot of commercials thanks to DVR so I would need to do more research on this question.
Do you work well under pressure?
Very well actually. Its the pressure that gives me that boost to really roll up my sleeves and dig in. Being thrown into the fire has been the best way i have been trained and excelled at some of my jobs.
What city in the world currently attracts you due to its creative environment?
How is an idea sold?
On how it is pitched. Speaking and personal skills. Knowing exactly what it is you selling and exactly what your potential buyer wants to hear.
What do you feel when, after two or three years, you see an idea of yours again?
Great, it shows me that some ideas are never to old or out dated. But, there can also be some confusion as to why this idea has come full circle...everything happens for a reason though.
Ideas can come simultaneously to different people in different places with no connection to one another. How do you explain this phenomenon?
There are no coincidences, everything happens for one reason or another. Certain creative minds can be exceptionally compatable.
You are as good as your last idea. Wouldn't you like to have a more secure type of work?
Absolutly! Structure and income are vital for me at this point in my life.