Kadira Jennings is a creative artist celebrating and encouraging the creative in all of us. In Kadira’s words, “my works are complex. I am an artist who is constantly challenging you the viewer and also pushing my own boundaries in terms of technique and content.”
Kadira is really excited to merge the digital and non digital arenas together, combining the fine detail you can achieve with digital with the rich texture, colors and tactile qualities of oils. Her next exhibition will be an exploration of these mediums and techniques.
Kadira’s blog “Unfolding Creativity” is a discussion, a resource, and a hub for creatives and those of you who think you might be creative but aren’t sure yet.
Why did you decide to change your name from Bernadette to Kadira?
- Last year was a huge year of personal growth for me, a time in my life when many things changed, including the end of a 30 year marriage. I felt like I was in a sense being born again and wanted a name thatreflected who I am growing into being. I chose Kadira because it is different and it means powerful woman. I also had a numerological assessment of it done before I finally accepted it. The on May 24th last year I had a unique name changing ceremony done by my beautiful friend Lani Neilsen who is a medicine woman. I was very privileged to have her perform a special aboriginal ceremony for me which she was given permission to do. Unfortunately one of the conditions was that no photos were allowed to be taken and we respected that – so I have no photos to send of that.
So, since you ask this question to your readers, I will ask it to you: When you look at an artwork, what do you see?
- I think the first thing I always look for is beauty on some level. I am always attracted by color first and form and design second. I find that meaning is important to me – I look for what the painting or art work is trying to tell me. How does it make me feel? Does it engage me enough to go back for a second look. I always remember the first time I say an original Monet – it was one of his haystack series. I was absolutely mesmerized by that painting. I must of spent at least half an hour looking at it. Every time I went to walk away I just couldn’t leave it. The color, texture, light – everything about it was so stunning, so magical. It was a painting that had to be experienced not just looked at. I think ultimately that is what I would like to be able to bring to my own art – that experience for others.
How do you feel when people interpret your artwork differently?
- I expect that everyone will do that actually. We are all totally individual and as such no two people who look at my work have the same background or reference points. I have always considered art to be a totally subjective experience. I can only express a point of view, an idea, feeling or expression of beauty as I see it. Some people will love it others will not and everyone will probably take away something different. I believe my work can only ever reach a person in terms of their current life experience anyway, however I hope it will perhaps give them food for thought.
What/Who inspires you?
- In the past I have been very inspired by Georgia Okeeffe I love her work and her story is such an inspiration in itself. There are so many talented artists out there these days and I draw inspiration from looking at others work on the net. I think we all have much to offer and share with each other which can then be incorporated into and re shared through our own unique lens or viewpoint. Currently I’m finding a lot of inspiration in using photoshop because I’m very into layering images and ideas so Im composing images in photoshop and then painting them in mixed media on canvas.
How do you feel after you finished or while you are painting?
- Thats a tricky question to answer. When the paintings going well, I’m in the zone – time ceases to exist and 2 hours usually goes by before I even come up for air. If on the other hand its not going well or I’m not sure what to do next I usually have to just sit down and almost doze off. At about that point inspiration strikes, I jump up knowing what to do next and carry on. The subconscious has had time to get in on the act and I’ve managed to get out of my own way.
Did you ever feel like giving up?
- You could say that! In fact for the last ten years you might say that I had given up really. I do remember saying quite clearly at one point -‘ Thats it! I’m never painting again.’ I have been through a long, hard and difficult time personally, during which time I painted the odd painting here and there but some how the creative spark inside me was dead. I just couldn’t find the passion any more. In fact never mind passion there wasn’t even a spark of desire. It is really only this year that it has come back again. A lot of this was tied up with the whole starving artist, syndrome and struggling to make money doing other things which I hated. I tell you, I’ve been there and lived it – all those cliches …..I guess it just gets to the point where you just have to get over yourself and either get on with it or really give it up. I think if there is one lesson that I have learnt it is that for me anyway, ultimately its not about ‘being an artist’ its about ‘being a creative’. The artist label was to limiting for me and I just couldn’t live up to it. However when I think of my self as a creative that allows me to play in many different sandboxes.
Thank you Kadira for participating on the interview.