Anything created and inspired by someone’s soul.
Art at it’s core is self expression. A chef fusing flavors is as much of an art as a mother loving her child or Beyonce lighting up the world on tour. For me it’s about looking at it on all levels and seeing how it moves you. I’m most fed and inspired by watching other people making their art, its really about community for me.
I think however you identify yourself, it’s about giving yourself a voice without asking for approval first. It’s important for anyone who has the spark in them to create to see that through. Whether you seek to turn that creativity into a profession or just see it through because you love it and it fills you, it’s so important to release that spark into the world, because the world definitely needs it.
For a long time I struggled with the question of “Why am I making art? Why am I writing music, what do I really want to say?” It was important to me to have an answer to that question. Ultimately, for me, it’s about creating a sense of freedom and a space (or song) for people to step inside of that allows them to peel away whatever skin they have to wear 90% of the time and get to just live in what is most real and comfortable to them. That takes shape in so many ways, often for me, it’s about standing strong as a woman and saying, this is who I am and how I feel today and I’m owning that.
My friends keep me the most inspired. I am so fortunate to have truly amazingly creative friends. Between all of us we have a stylist, music video director, screen writer, fashion designer, several actors and a set designer, so getting to see all of their work and watch them grow is so inspiring to me.
Also, my first love was theater and it continues to be where I come home to to find myself creatively. I started in theater, doing off-broadway and ultimately fell in love with avant-garde theater and the downtown theater scene in New York. No matter what city I’m in I’m always searching for what theater is happening there. In London I try to go to West End shows as well as classical theater, in New York I’ve been floored by the immersive theater projects that are happening. I just have so much respect for those performers, their endurance and their love for creating. It pushes me to think outside of my own box and apply what I’m seeing them do to my own project and medium.
Recently, I created an immersive event with my team called “Light + Space.” The event is a combination of immersive theater, a party and a live show. The aesthetic and visuals for the show are all based around the Ariana and the Rose creative, pulling from the cosmos and otherworldly visuals we use in the music videos. We also had an amazing makeup artist glittering all of our guests up, actors mingling about giving people secret missions and several secret rooms for the audience to explore. One of the rooms is based on the vibe of the 70s era mud club meets outer space, which is where the band was. So the audience could step inside this disco and feel like they were in the middle of a galaxy while dancing.
We launched the first party in London this past May and it was one of those moments where in the middle of the evening I just looked around at all of these people, strangers, dancing and laughing, running out of these rooms we’ve created with these joyous expressions on their faces and it really felt like we’d created something worth while. As an artist, that’s what I strive to continue to do.
I have redefined and continue to redefine the meaning of love for myself all the time. Ultimately, I think it’s about the heart recognizing a counter point in another heart.
I create in many different spaces. When I’m writing music I’m in a studio or at home at my piano. When I’m creating our live show I’m in a rehearsal room or venue. Sometimes I’m on a plane or a hotel room writing a melody or working on a treatment for a music video! I’ve learned that you can turn any space into a place to create if you’re in the right head space.
When I’m writing music often its quiet around me but sometimes I’ll listen to a bunch of other music in and around writing. I’m really influenced by sounds, so sometimes I’ll take a walk outside if I’m feeling stuck or I’ll watch something completely unrelated to music and a sound within what I’m watching can be the beginning of something that gets used in a song.
Depending on the art and the artist, I try and take it in and I try not to make snap judgements. I’m a bit fast on the trigger with my opinions sometimes, so I always listen or watch things I don’t like more than once to get a better sense of what I don’t like about it. I think it’s important to be as thorough with yourself about the things you don’t like as you are with the things you do.
Ya know, actually sometimes I really have to sit myself down and say “focus!” There are so many components to being an artist today, so many ancillary things to look after; social media and “branding.” I’m always writing ideas down, I have a note for all random ideas in my phone but it’s about making the time to take those ideas and craft them into songs or apply them to the live show. I think making time to create is as much a discipline as your actual craft.
When I was 3 or 4 I had a few imaginary friends (don’t judge me!) and we’d put on these dance shows in my living room. I mean, we didn’t have an audience but I didn’t care, we were at Madison Square Garden in my mind.
Don’t wait for the right “moment” or “time” to make the things you want to make and put them out into the world. Even if it feels like nobody’s listening or watching at the time, the only way people will see you is if you show them who are and what you’ve made.