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Genue Inc.
August 9, 2018

Genue Perspectives: Reflecting on Creativity, Part I

Here at Genue, we acknowledge the journey it takes to find your creativity, and the honesty it takes to embrace your genuine self.  This three-part Genue Perspectives installment, by our in-house designer and all-things-creative guru Hannah, explores her personal experiences with creative expression and shares tips and ideas for both how to find and express your artistic identity.

 

 

It’s not easy to be creative. It seems like it would be something that would come naturally, but sometimes, creating something on your own (or even just finding inspiration) is hard work!  I’ll be beginning this exploration with a reflection of my own personal journey of how I’ve expressed myself, from childhood to the present. Hopefully, between the silly and the serious moments I’ve had throughout my life, it will inspire those of you out there to also embrace yourselves!

 

I was blessed to have a childhood where expressing myself was encouraged. My grandmother was a painter, and my grandfather a jazz musician—it was a running joke in my family to ask whether their grandkids would also inherit their creative traits…and as it turned out, they weren’t far off at all! I admired my grandmother very much and wanted to be an artist like her for as long as I can remember. I was gifted with all kinds of art supplies and would practice drawing every time I visited her.

 

Like most kids in the 1990s, I loved all kinds of media—cartoons, video games, and books were my biggest inspirations. I loved fantasy-setting stories the most, especially those involving dragons and fairies! When I was a preteen, I discovered Japanese “anime” and comic books and started developing my own art style inspired by that. My dream was to grow up to be a cartoonist or video game designer. I spent hours making up elaborate stories in my head and drawing character designs.

 

 

My interest in anime lead to discovering the creative street fashion by the youth of Harajuku, which made me look at fashion in a new light—I had never considered fashion to be an art form before,  until I saw the amazing creations that were being worn by those captured in street fashion magazines like FRUiTS. I was enrolled in sewing lessons at age 13 in order to learn how to make my own clothes. The first thing I ever made was a backpack with floral and skull print fabrics—my teacher thought I was pretty wild!

 

 

Throughout my teens, I continued to be interested in fashion design. I was constantly researching my favorite designers, drawing designs, and attempting to sew my own clothes. I modeled all of my fashion experiments to school, from the good to bad—I would wear vintage petticoats from my grandmother with striped socks, and animal ear hats from the party store. I became infamous around the school. A teacher I was close with once confessed to me that they used to tell stories about what I was wearing that day in the breakroom! I guess I must have had some talent though because my classmates voted me “Best Dressed” for the yearbook.

 

 

Now let’s fast-forward to the past few years: I just finished my bachelor’s degree in fashion design. My projects involved coming up with a core theme for a collection, creating mood boards and illustrations, and then creating the garments themselves. It was a long and hard journey, but I improved my craft and made so many of my own designs in the process. Some professors and students liked my designs, and some definitely did not—taking criticism, no matter how brutal, was something that I had to learn while I was there. Now that I’m finished with my degree, I’m not totally sure where the future will be taking me…but expressing myself creatively will always be something I’ll carry with me, be it in the form of hobby or professionally. It will always be an outlet for my ideas and emotions and something that will forever be part of who I am.

 

 

Do you have a favorite way to express yourself? Stay tuned for part two of this series, where we discuss the benefits and struggles of being a creative!

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Hannah Grace

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Hannah Grace Smith is a freelance artist and writer. She is a recent graduate of Mount Ida College, where she received her BA in fashion design. Her whimsical designs for women and children have a surreal-but-cute style.

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