Interview conducted by Katie Brown in the The Crossings’s series on creativity and diversity within Bethel University’s student body. The heart behind this series is to explore creativity in a broader sense and to be encouraged and inspired by the creatives on our campus and the things that they are doing.
Kendall Clark is an Art Education and Studio Arts Double Major and Graphic Design Minor here at Bethel University. She can usually be found in the FA (Everest Roher Fine Arts Department) in either room 150, the graphics lab, or simply hanging out in the theatre lounge. Even when she’s not specifically finishing up homework, she enjoys sitting down there to work on commissions.
How would you define creativity?
I would say creativity is defined by being able to show your emotions and your personality through a tangible meaning, not necessarily physically touchable but in a way someone can listen to or feel. So, in other words, a way of expressing your emotions other than blatantly saying, “I feel sad” or “I feel happy.”
How do you express your creativity?
I think I do mine through many ways, I love to crochet, draw, create characters, and write. I love colors and being able to put my emotions in my artwork through color of lack of color depending on the piece.
At what age did you discover your outlet?
Art has always been my thing. I’ve drawn ever since I was little. I never really stopped. I had a teacher when I was in elementary school who’s named Ryan Sergeant and he really inspired me; I wasn’t really liked, I was bullied a lot and he kind of took me under his wing and taught me how to use art for good and use art as a way to cope with the things going on in my daily life. He ended up being my art teacher all the way up to my senior year of high school.
Do you have a routine? If so, what is it?
I try to have a routine. Usually, I try to be up at 6am. Throughout the week, I usually try to be down in the art room at least a couple times a week, but my schedule is pretty packed with everything between school stuff and work and running my couple of commissions bases on the side.
Do you gravitate towards a specific kind of art? If so, why?
I feel like I gravitate more towards physical art. I never really learned how to play an instrument—I do have a guitar, but I don’t know how to play it very well. I can sing, but I’m not as confident in my voice. My brother’s the singer. But I grew up with my uncle and my grandpa. My uncle was a woodcarver and a painter. So, I grew up with them around that stuff all the time. So, I like to put it in a physical and tangible mean—not necessarily meaning touchable either. Music isn’t really my strategy, it’s more of the physical side of things for me, the drawing, painting, and sculpting.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere, sometimes it kind of hits you. I like to keep a sketchbook with me at all times. Sometimes it’s something small. The other day, I was at the apple festival and a bee landed on my face, just on my cheek, and I got the idea for maybe a sculpture of a bee sitting on someone’s face, but only the bee in colors or something like that. Sometimes you see something that you don’t normally see, like maybe a butterfly land around you or you just happen to see one flower in a flower bed as a different color than the rest. Sometimes it's things going on in your life, sometimes it’s the loss of a loved one, so I want to use that feeling of loss and put it into a piece so other people will understand that form of emotion.
How do you balance your workload with being creative?
For me with my major being involved with art stuff, I get to do both. So, I usually do as much of the creativity that I can through my art stuff and what I can’t do, I try to sketch at least once a day to get my thoughts out or I journal my thoughts and emotions a lot. I like to keep a prayer journal or just listen to music. If I don’t have time to sit down and sketch one day, maybe I can just listen to whatever song that gets stuck in my head when I am walking from point A to point B.
Is there a way that you specifically explore your creativity on campus?
Again, I hang out in the FA a lot. So, A lot of the stuff I like to do is continue past projects. For example: I want to continue a project I did last year; I made a sculpture of a large sloth, and he didn’t stay up the way we wanted him to, so this year, I’m trying to reinforce him so he can go up in the gallery, or I sit outside and draw sometimes. That, or you’ll find me in the Acorn drawing or doodling. Whatever else you’ll see me doing.