Creative of the Month: Emily Saenz

Creative of the Month

Emily Saenz

Instagram // Website

 1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you consider yourself a Creative.

My name is Emily! I love being a daughter, wife, sister, and friend. I’m spending my 27th year of life learning to be more like a kid. I have a serious obsession with movie-theater popcorn. I also love airports, learning, singing songs from my favorite musicals in bathrooms with good acoustics, driving, and lately, listening to The Liturgists podcast. I’m a non-stop wonderer who is learning to embrace uncertainty and mystery.

I’ll admit that I have trouble owning the identity of “Creative” because I don’t feel super skilled at using my imagination or coming up with a lot of original ideas – in fact, when I thought about being an Art major, I felt too scared thatI wouldn’t thrive in that environment of having to create things out of nothing all the time. Photojournalism seemed like a safer route in a way – I could capture real life, still try to do that artistically, but take more of an observational approach.

That being said, when I really think about it, I realize that all my life, I have loved creating things – it started with singing and dancing in the car as a little kid, then lettering as far back as elementary school. I eventually became addicted to writing, power-journaling my journey from 7th grade until now. I developed an interest in layout & design, good typefaces, and photography late in high school, and now my days are kind of a blend of all these things I’ve mentioned, which makes me really happy, thankful, and enchanted.

2) Who inspires you the most?

Ooh, that’s hard. I love people so much and am constantly inspired by so many, but first, I’ll have to say my husband. His adherence to authenticity, the fact that he constantly creates, and the way he’s pushed me to do the same has brought out creativity in me I didn’t know existed. I wouldn’t be as in touch with my desire to create if it weren’t for him.

Other people I’m super inspired by include: Abigail Mary Green, Amanda Cook, my sister Katie Arnold, Leah Lu, Whitney Darling, Eve Peterson, Ben Platt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the kids from Stranger Things, Pasek and Paul, Ryan O’Neal, Chance the Rapper, Andrew Garfield, Tori Kelly, the list could go on forever really. Anyone who demonstrates courage to step outside their comfort zone and create with confidence. People who aren’t afraid to do their thing.

3) What is the last book you read and what is your all time favorite read?
The last book I read…hm…I tend to read books in a really scattered way so I’m currently quarters and halves through Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle, The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp, and Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. I know I actually finished a book recently but I can’t remember what it was.
4) How do you express yourself?

First thing that came to mind: Conversation. Words. Writing. Disposable cameras. Making melodies.

5) What is your most favorite project that you’ve ever worked on?
I used to do something called Madrigal with my friends Andrea Vaughan and Chris Rasmussen. It’s one of the only times I’ve been a part of something from conception to actual follow-through. It was a collaborative effort to pair poems and photographs and was really fun to be a part of. My high-school yearbook. A mix-CD my husband and I made as wedding favors – some originals of his and some covers. Working with Dayna Copeland, photographing some of her epic fashion creations. That was really rad and new for me. Oh, and participating in the Cluster of Students “Fortress” EP and “Not My Own” album. Still surreal to me.
6) What would be your biggest and wildest dream concerning your creative talent?
Wow. This changes a lot actually. Right now, it’s to be on Broadway or write a stellar musical with Jordie. Not sure if that’s a fleeting dream, so I’ll give a second answer – I think it’d be really cool to be the founder and curator of a space for a bunch of creative people to gather together, display their work, and enjoy art, food, socializing, music, etc. I’d love if every aspect of the place was a carefully crafted artistic endeavor from the food to the drinks to the decor. So like an art gallery/restaurant/coffee shop/collaborative workspace/venue.
7) Describe your perfect day.
Waking up early. Enjoying an almond milk, rose latte. Reading and journaling a bit in the morning with Jordie next to me, doing the same. Embarking on some trip with him and some friends and getting to the airport with enough time to breathe it all in. Arriving in an inspiring place and hopping on a train. Stepping out of the train station into 50-degree weather to witness an epic view and a city buzzing with creative energy. Strolling through parks and streets with some delicious beverage in hand. Watching the sunset from a super tall building that overlooks the city while we all enjoy some laughter-filled, gratitude-imbued conversation. Then after a nice-ish dinner, we’d head to a performance of some sort (movie, musical, concert, comedy show) and then it’s back to bed – a really comfortable king-sized bed with perfect pillows.
8) If you had one tool for the rest of your life to express your creativity with, what would it be?
GAH. As 2017 as this is, I feel like I’d say iPhone because it’s one tool that contains all the others tools that allow me to do everything I love…haha. I think that’s cheating, but this is like someone asking if I’d rather go blind or deaf. Impossible to answer!
9) If you were a character in a book, who would you be and why?
These book questions are confirming the fact that I need to read more fiction. I could try to come up with an answer but my character database is embarrassingly low…


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