Creative Of The Month
– Leah Lu –
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself
Hello! My name is Leah. I’m 18, currently a freshman at Biola University majoring in Journalism with an emphasis in Writing & Publishing. I’ve always had a love for words, both reading those of others as well as stringing together my own. The way our hearts find homes in sentiments and stories that remind us of the simple yet profound truth that we’re not alone is so powerful to me. I began illustrating and making art because I wanted to find a creative way to share the words that shook me with others, and that grew into a hobby that has become a big part of my life and has seeped into my career path as well.
2) How do you get inspired? By what or who?
I seek inspiration in many places, but I find myself mostly intrigued by individuals who intently dedicate themselves, mind and soul, to refining their craft – musicians, artists, writers, comedians, etc. The crazy process that includes creative lulls, failure, and rejection is all necessary to unearth true character and originality. People who are transparent about their victories and struggles alike, telling stories that allow for people to relate, are the ones I’m drawn to. Whether they be big-time icons or freelance artists on Instagram, those who are unapologetic and full of heart move me the most. (And strong, influential, spunky women. The best.)
3) How do you best express yourself/ your creative side?
I’m admittedly not the most confident/eloquent speaker, so being able to sit and really externally process my thoughts and feelings is something I cherish. I’m also a big feeler – emotions are pretty much my driving force, which is a blessing and a curse. I try to channel the weight of feeling by projecting it into everything I create, which usually affects the style and mood of the piece.
4) What is your favorite piece you’ve ever created and when did you create it?
I actually created a video of a piece just last week based off of a spoken word poem titled “Boundless” by Levi the Poet that I layered over the song “Indian” by Sleeping at Last, two of my favorite artists. The style is quite different than my usual, but the concept for it literally came to me in a dream. Levi describes the intensity and infiniteness of God’s love by comparing it to the impact of waves and the depths of the ocean. I wanted to find a way to creatively capture both the illustration as well as the full power of the poem, so it just made sense to record the process.
5) What would be your biggest and wildest dream concerning your creative talent?
I’ve always wanted to be part of a team that does larger-scale installations for stores like Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie, or even create physical/digital pieces for different kinds of sets. That would come with a lot of future training and learning. I also hope my art will eventually be a part of my ministry, whether that be through missions or on whatever platforms I currently have – wherever I’m called to spread messages of hope and truth.
6) What would be a perfect ideal day for you?
I’d start off with brunch, spend the afternoon art museum hopping in LA, walk around the city (and coffee-shop hop too!) until golden hour, then drive down Sunset Boulevard to Malibu to watch the sky burst. The Griffith Observatory is one of my favorite places ever, so I’d go up there afterward and look at city lights and the sky with people I love.
7) If you could only have one tool for the rest of your life to express your creativity with, what would it be and why?
A pen! Words are my refuge. “Words save us, sometimes.” (Neil Gaiman) They hold the power to make us laugh and cry and love, all while learning more about ourselves and the beauty that exists in the world.
8) What kind of music do you listen to when you’re in your studio?
Depending on my mood and time of day, the genre of music I listen to varies. However, I work best late at night, so I gravitate towards somber + lyrically-heavy artists such as Sleeping at Last, Keaton Henson, and Noah Gundersen.
9) What makes your heart beat. What do you stand for / believe?
Stories. In the end, it’s all about the stories. Being able to express our own and capture the ones happening all around us through whatever medium we’ve been given – art, music, literature, photography – is a gift that is too compelling to ignore. Moments of authentic expression and feeling are the ones that shape us – driving during the sunset with your friends when the perfect song comes on at just the right time. Spontaneous dance parties. Celebrating little victories. Learning to be vulnerable. Even the sense community that forms during moments of pain. These are all things worth our attention. We all have stories to tell, and every single one of them matters.
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