This particular adventurer is a dear friend of mine whom I've known for years. She's a fellow creator, but not only does she write: she also dances and arts. (Which is most definitely a verb, okay? People art. She arts amazingly.) Her sketches and paintings are stunning, and the craziest thing is that she basically taught herself. I know there are probably more artists than writers among my readers, but some things hold true no matter what creative medium you choose.
She possesses a dry, quirky wit and a brilliant smile and a soft heart. I think you'll find the following chat rather inspiring. Plus ALL THE PRETTY PICTURES. Petting is allowed. Stealing is not. Ahem, carry on.
Ladies and gentlemen, questers and adventurers and journeymen and traveling minstrels, I give you . . . Kianna!
|Self-portrait of Kianna|
Tell us a little about yourself—personality, hobbies, favorite dessert, anything!
Hi. My name is Kianna Giesbrecht, I'm 20 years old, and here's a little randomness about me:
I'm a neat person, though when it comes to painting I somehow manage to get paint all over myself. When I draw, my pencils tend to end up in my hair, behind my ears, and/or in my mouth.
My first painting I ever did on canvas, as opposed to cardboard or whatever I could find, I think was when I was ten. And it was a copy, off of a pot holder we have, of the Buchard Gardens. At that time I had no idea it was a real place, only that it was pretty. I showed my dad and he recognized it (so I guess it wasn't bad :)) and he said, "Hey, I've been there."
I like to draw people. It's funny, 'cause often I've gotten the comment that "aren't people hard to do?" I dunno. I've been drawing people my whole life. I really like the expressions of a person. Maybe that's why I favor that art subject.
I love eyes. LOVE eyes! They hold such character, mystery, and beauty.
I like tigers. My favorite color is green. I love sunsets and thunderstorms and butterflies. I like to bake. I'm a daydreamer. I love the fall. I love cold weather. I like dance and listening to different genres of music. I love the sound of violins and the saxophone! I sometimes write poems. I love dabbling in writing novels. I like fantasy, fiction, mysteries! I like old school animated Disney classics: Tarzan, Treasure Planet, Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, Aladdin, Peter Pan, Robin Hood, etc.
I was homeschooled from grade 2-12. (Awesome!)
I LOVE vanilla ice cream! I'm a little claustrophobic, dyslexic, random, and weird. And I love hugs!
How long have you been drawing and painting?
I've been doing art for as long as I can remember. I started with scribbles and coloring and making little doll houses out of cereal boxes.
What made you start?
I dunno. I was never put into art classes or anything. Art was something I simply did. It wasn't something I necessarily understood to be art at the time, only that I loved to create. It was fun. Made me feel good. The one place where I made sense as a struggling school student, and I could be free to express myself in the only way I knew how.
I think what I love most is that it's your own. You can study and learn the techniques, but ultimately how you apply them is up to you. Art is a story—it should tell a story—and that story is yours, your decisions. And that's something I absolutely love about it. It's passion that can be expressed in so many different and creative ways. It's only as limited as your imagination. It's something you can share with people. It's a vulnerable, personal, beautiful thing. Your talent is a gift from God. What you do with that talent is your gift to him. So between you and him—from one artist to another—to create something is like nothing you could experience from anything else.
What inspires you?
Inspiration is a funny thing. It can hit you or it can seemingly hide from you. And I realize it's different for everyone personally. But art is a privilege. Poetry in color. A mystery not meant to be solved. ART IS EMOTION. So: whatever moves you.
I get inspired by anything. Whether it's something I heard, like a quote for example, that begins to form a picture in likeness to the words that dawned the inspiration. Or, say, the screeching of a train slowing down. Reminds me of nails down a chalkboard . . . Ooh, shiver . . . Or like claws. Yes. So right away I get this bud of a picture, thinking how I could interpret something really cool from that. (I think of Fantasia, how shorts are created by the aroused imagination through music. That kind of symbolic art is cool.)
If I'm sad, I'll draw or paint in reflection of that, same if I were happy. But both of those opposite ends of the scale are things that equally excite me.
I LOVE COLOR. I love creating things that pop, but things that are interesting to me and not necessarily usual. As well, I love to create things in the reverse; that are gray; are an intriguing image of pain, or hope, or anger, even strangeness—meaning something very unique, very creative-licenced. I believe art is a safe place to express any emotion. It's simply giving face to whatever I'm feeling.
What's the hardest part of an art project?
For me it totally depends on the project—especially my mood. If I'm frustrated, I have to take a break or I'll probably ruin it. But then it's always an experiment for me, and I've been realizing, even if it takes a dozen tries, it's never a waste as long as I learn something.
If I wanna draw something that I don't know how it's supposed to look, that's a very hard part of any project. But that's why I'll look up references, snap pictures, pose my head so I can copy it—whatever. Nature is the best teacher. And art is a journey. You never 'arrive,' which I think that's the beauty of it. It's about the climb; about amazing yourself. Gary Jenkins likes to say, "Art is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're going to get."
The most satisfying?
Stepping back to take in the finished project and being amazed at myself. The gratification of the reaction of friends and family touches the heart like nothing else. But mostly to say, "I did that," to amaze myself, even if midway through the project I feared wouldn't turn out right. That is a very beautiful, very satisfying thing indeed.
Where people/experiences have helped you grow as an artist?
Friends and family have always encouraged me with my art. (Which is a needed natural nourishment.) Without that I don't think I would've developed my self-taught art as I have. So their support has naturally influenced my growth. But recently I've had the privilege to do some illustration for family. It's challenged me in a very new but good way. Being able to give face to my own ideas is awesome in and of itself, but then also to experience giving face to someone else's ideas is very exciting. To assist in something so unique as someone else's imagination is incredible.
Where do you hope to go with your art?
First of all, art is such a big part of who I am—it is me—it gives me a voice. It's something I can't imagine doing without. But I honestly don't know where I hope my art to go. Naturally I'd love to do it full-time, and I have had half a dozen paid requests and several requested gifts.
Illustration is something I'm interested in, or simply filling requests. All I really know is that I want my art to mean something to people.
Any encouragement for fellow artists and creative people?
Art comes in so many different forms (acting, photography, dance, music, baking, fashion, whatever!). And art is for everyone. So if you wanna do it—do it. But be you. Explore. Experiment. Enjoy! Embrace your passion and bask in its beauty.
Now, if you're like me, it's not always something beautiful.
"Creativity takes courage." —Henri MatisseSo if you're feeling unappreciated, remember you're smart and talented. Someone is cheering for you. Always.
Never give up on what makes you smile!
"Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do." —H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
"Creativity is intelligence having fun." —Albert EinsteinSo dare to dream, to be vulnerable, bold, courageous. Get excited! God is. He wants to be a part of what you do. Art is loose. Your gift. Free. Beautiful. A perspective on life, and what you make of it.
Say it with me: "I'M (you're) AWESOME."
Fan that flame.
someone like you
Thanks so much for joining us and sharing your heart, Kianna! I love how you said that God is excited about our dreams, dreams that He's given us. He's even more excited about it than we are. And that is truly mind-blowing.
Well, readers, I wish I could link you to a slice of internet belonging to Kianna, but alas, she dwells in the mysterious land of No Internet. The Q&A you just read was copied off an exchange of good old-fashioned handwritten letters. But do drop a comment here for her—I'll be printing off everything to give her a hard copy later, and we'll see if I can find a way for her to personally respond to all of you too.
I know you're bursting already with comments and questions, so I'll shut up and let you have it!