In today's fashion conscious world we're not all gifted with the style gene, hence the need to seek out those amongst us that do. Keziah is one such person and being a Fashion/Wardrobe Stylist is her thing. We're pleased to have her share her thoughts with us. Oh and she's also a Social Media Director.
Cover photo by: Josiah Lendor.
How do you define creativity and what does it mean to you?
Creativity to me is a super power enabled by our life experiences, passions, and inspirations from various forms of art and culture. To me, it is one of the strongest forms of self-expression.
How much of your creative ability do you think is innate? Or is your creativity a skill that you have developed?
I think how much we nurture skill sets play a vital role in determining the amount of it that comes naturally and is developed. With that being said, I'd say 60-70% of my creativity is innate. I rely largely on my imagination and I have been quite surprised with how much of that I have been able to manifest tangibly.
When did you realise that you wanted to express your creativity? Was it encouraged by others (e.g., parents)?
When did I realise? lol! I've been expressing my creativity since the day I was born. I've never held back, even if it made me seem like a rebel. If I ever wanted to express my ability to do something I just did. My creativity was very much encouraged by my Godfather Christophe Pierre for starters, he's been a ride or die cheerleader of mine from the day I was born. It's a type of support system to this day I can't quite understand and it makes me wonder if it's because part of him sees a lot of himself in me. I also have some incredible loved ones and friends who support me like star struck fans and I love them so much for it.
What is your standard for evaluating your creative work and the works of other people? Do you think that monetary rewards can be compatible with creativity in general? Are financial rewards relevant to your projects?
Ha! This is a technical range of questions here. Let me try to knock out one by one. So I evaluate my work by four things:
1. It's impact on my clients/ their satisfaction.
2. My personal milestones and standards which I've set for myself (which are extremely high)
3. The money it brings in.
4. Who it attracts (future clients, agencies, the international exposure it gets) and awards.
Monetary rewards has its place in creativity. I don’t consider exceptional work as cheap. I always say, if you want quality, be willing to pay for it. However, I don’t think money is the only measure of quality work because sometimes there's a lot that's out there that has been paid for that are in my opinion not so impressive and there are underground artists whose works are a complete masterpieces and they are simply poor (sorry for being so dramatic there, it’s a reality for some). It's similar to an analogy of social media; a low-quality picture posted with a lot of likes isn’t always a good measure of quality content.
Lastly, financial rewards are relevant to some of my work projects but not all of them. I choose the projects where financial rewards aren't necessary wisely. If I am working on a project that directly impacts society in a positive way or carries ethics and morals parallel with my personal convictions, money isn’t of relevance, even if I am being paid for it.
Do you think your perception and evaluation of your creative endeavours are influenced by the views of other people? What role do you believe the culture that you live in plays in your creative efforts?
I stay very much in control of what I allow my creative frequencies to take in. I do allow myself to remain open to the critique and ridicule of my work but I know what areas of a critique I want to chew and swallow and what I will without a doubt spit out. I am not afraid to say a lot of what I do and how I operate most times is intentional.
I feel like over the years I have developed a mental antenna that indicates to me what critiques are deemed healthy and what is just bare rubbish. lol! It's subjective of course. As for culture, culture is always relevant for me, not all of it, but some of it and the part that is, naturally impacts my work. I can start a project being a Mozart and by the end, it may completely be transformed into a Beethoven. That's what incorporating culture into my work can possibly do.
What do you do when you experience a creative block?
Oh this is easy... I travel (To a different country that is or just Tobago)... I run- and when I say run, I'm talking about close to 30 laps on a huge open field non-stop (I was a long distance runner in University) or I go to the beach so I can be close to the sea and this may be for a few days on end constantly... Any of those three things have always done the trick.
How do you make the leap from a "Spark" in your head to the action you produce?
My 'sparks' are known as my "I have a vision" moments. Haha! Once that comes I go straight to mood boarding. I love mood boards, they are like a secret fetish of mine. Once I've made the vision into a cohesive mood board, all that's really left is for me to bring the vision to life. I'm very visual so mood boards help me express things more clearly and make execution easier.
Do you have any special rituals that you do to achieve your creative goals?
I pray to God. I read my Bible for moral guidance and I speak everything I wish to accomplish into being. Then I execute. That's my ritual for my work.
Stylistically, has your creativity changed as you have matured? If it has changed, please explain how?
I won't say changed but rather evolved. For the most part, I am a lot more settled now than I've ever been in my life and I think it shows in my work. When I first became a Fashion Stylist, there was a lot of trial and error processes, I was rough around the edges, details would be missed, my work was super vibrant, the editorial story in shoots cohesive but the layers were not as thick. Now, since I vary so much in my styling work from doing wardrobe for tv commercials, to weddings, to personal clients, fashion editorials etc, my thought process and attention to detail is keener and my aesthetic is cleaner and more polished.
What has been the greatest sacrifice that you have made for your craft?
My greatest sacrifice has been my immediate desires which is best summed up as delayed gratification. There are so many things that I would like to have right now and so many new things I would like to try and do but I believe timing is everything. I've been adamant about running Vogue Magazine some day and also stamping the KEZ brand all over the world but it takes time and a lot of patience. I have in the past forgone several trips, leisure, romantic relationships and even comfort to make sure my brand and my life stayed on the course.
Who or what has helped you to persevere and not quit?
God. I always tell people if it were not for my faith in God's plan for my life and the fact that I feel so inclined to fulfil my divine purpose here on earth first and foremost, I'd probably have given up. That, and the fact that I want to make all the people who support me right now very proud. My will power to keep moving forward always exceeds any form of self-doubt.
Do you believe that it is important to be accepted by others as being creative or is just doing what you love to do enough to justify your work? Explain.
I think for all humans whether we would like to admit it or not, some level of social acceptance of your work is important yes. I've never met another human being yet that can say they love rejection. *chuckle* Can I say it's all that matters? Absolutely not. In fact, you will find that I am not one to feel compelled to justify my work or any of my decisions for that matter to anyone. If I do, it would always be with great intentions.
Has rejection ever affected your creative process? Explain.
Of course. Especially as an overachiever. Not that I allow myself to be consumed by rejection but some of it can become very constructive for me. There are some instances of rejection that have made me go back to the drawing board and rethink my methods. When I was a green stylist, it was the rejection that made me do more research, put in more work and master my craft of styling and the process. I deal with lots of rejection even now but it is something I am smart enough to know I should not ever allow it to break me.
Looking at what you have created in the past, would you change anything today? Why or why not?
Yes, I would. There are photo shoots I would restyle and brands whose content marketing I would revamp if I had the knowledge I have now then.
Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?
I know I'm talented but I think my doubts have been in how far it would get me or just my total reach and desired recognition. I know how crippling doubt can be so I work through it by saying daily words of affirmation over my life and work.
What piece of work are you most proud? Why?
The piece of work I am most proud of is myself. I think committing completely to a dream and a vision that not most understand in itself is hard work. I come from a very challenging background that most don't know about and have risen to the occasion time after time. As much as I love what I do with all my heart, putting myself first has been of utmost importance lately. If I am at my best, I can operate at my best in my work or anything I put my mind too.
What is the best advice you've received that helped you move forward on your creative journey?
I have received so much incredible advice from so many people, but I would definitely have to stick to that of my kindred spirit, my Grandmother. She said to me time and time again, "Put Jesus/God first always, have lots of courage and he will always take care of the rest." That has been the cornerstone advice of my entire life.
To a young Creative emerging in your field, what advice would you impart unto them?
Create, don't compete.
Don't compromise your values.
Never ever give up.
For what would you like to be most remembered?
My love for God and the dreams that will all become a reality because of it.
If you were a crayon, what would be the name of your colour?
Aaaaahhhh! Too easy! It would be Effervescent Iridescent. I embody that crayon colour /name completely.