Curiosity: In Devotion to Creativity

 
Photo:  Justin Curtis Photography ; Art direction/model: Kara Mandel

Photo: Justin Curtis Photography; Art direction/model: Kara Mandel

Originally written and published for The Moment

The creative process can be a tricky one - at times, elusive and slippery. Inspiration might flood my imagination; creativity bubbling forth as if it were my truest nature. Yet, just when I feel I have created some formula to cultivate it at my command, it disappears. I have learned over the years that when it comes to inspiration and the creative process, curiosity is my greatest ally. 


Curiosity doesn't always require the fiery intensity of passion that while beautiful, can burn out just as quickly as it ignites. Curiosity can withstand quieter moments. And although I can’t bring forth inspiration on command, it is within my power to remain curious. I feel that this spirited dynamic between myself and the world around me nurtures my creative process. 


Often the slow exploration I’ve come to recognise as curiosity yields inspiration that transcends my expectations, leading to artistic expression that feels ripe, rich, and deep.  


Invoking a sense of playful and conscious curiosity in my life means that my creative process is directly informed by my lived experience. Through the exploration of meditative practices, biology, sensuality, movement, and nature, I have seen my perceptions of the world shift. As such, the dance between these physical, emotional and spiritual forms has profoundly influenced my art.  


My creative process is a deeply personal practice of sifting through these fascinations and how they influence the narratives we store within our imaginations and bodies. I’ve learnt that an individual’s personal and collective experience shapes their perceptions of the world to create a lens through which they define themselves. I am interested in visually revealing the essences of these stories, and how they intersect, morph, and feed one another within my imagination. I encode these interpretations through the use of form, line, shape and colour.

Art allows me to express deep stirrings of which I cannot find words. It allows me to re-examine and reaffirm who I am when external constructs slip away. It is my hope that each person that encounters my work feels called to explore their own perceptions and experiences with the same frame of curiosity.

- Kara Mandel