by Grant Koenig
Why do you create?
I create because I truly want to. Creativity is all a process for me and by no means is that process perfect or even proficient for that matter. It’s usually frustrating and almost always ends poorly the first time or two around…but the failures are a critical part of the drive to build again; to do something better tomorrow, always hoping to accomplish something I am proud of.
What does being creative mean to you?
Being creative means a lot to me simply because it has been apart of my life as long as I can remember. I still have vivid and fond memories of spending time in our small wood shop in the basement of our house… my dad and I building Christmas gifts in particular. As time went on, and I got older, the projects got bigger and better.
Eventually my dad and I built a mini half pipe in the backyard. At that point my creative outlet changed and evolved into imaginative tricks and moves I could do either through skateboarding, snowboarding or wake skating and that was also a critical time for my growth and development. I think it’s easy to understand the value in learning a trade or skill like woodworking but I can’t discredit the creative outlet that those sports brought me as well. I think that also holds true for so many different hobbies and sports. The ability to think differently and try new moves or plays, whatever it may be, is what creating is all about. Everyone has it in them it is just expressed differently.
Why do you think it is important to create?
I believe that being creative, especially early on in life, isn’t necessarily important, it is more so inevitable. I would say that the more critical follow up to this would be how to keep your imagination and creativity alive as you grow. Unfortunately as the school system evolves and kids get older it is much harder to find those outlets to create simply because school has standards that students have to uphold to move forward. There is constant pursuit in the school system to simply teach students to know the right answers while the opinions or subjective work isn’t valued as highly. It’s not to say these areas are not important but I feel like the process could be improved to allow those students that learn differently or have different views to succeed as well. School aside (if you couldn’t tell school wasn’t really my forte) hobbies and the ambition to learn are the most important factors in continuing a creative process in my eyes.
How should someone begin exploring the creative process?
One creative outlet for me is photography, many may recognize this photo as it has been a popular print that we sell at Grain Designs and can be found in various homes/offices around the region. This curious photo was completely unintentional and simply a product of exploration and the creative learning process; my pursuit to learn something new. I believe that the best place to start is by finding the project, process or activity that interests you.
Behind the Scenes: This second photo was shot by my sister of me capturing the “Grazing Mad Cow” photo above.
The easiest way to start is to begin seeking out information whether that’s through a friend, a professional or just YouTube to help get you started. From there the only thing that matters moving forward is putting in the effort. Again creating is not just about a tangible piece, it’s about a process of using your mind to do something different, something you haven’t done or thought of before. The most important thing is to simply try. In the end it doesn’t matter if your process of creating becomes a lifelong outlet or an anger filled week that goes down in flames. The fact that you had the ambition and mindset to try is what being creative is all about, and there will never be regret in that pursuit.
How has your creativity developed and what are your goals for creating?
Starting Grain Designs has allowed me my dream job as a creative outlet. When the company started I was designing and crafting in the shop. Now my role has become more office based from computer design work to creative conversations regarding business, marketing, and product development. Although my means of creativity continue to evolve as the company evolves it is still the creative process I enjoy.
At this very moment I feel like I am just finally getting the itch to really dive into some new trades, designs and techniques. I have always wanted to work with concrete on a more critical level and I want to create totally new pieces that will help create new potential within the company. I also want to spend more time behind the camera and really work on both photography and graphic imagery. My creative goals are hard to measure because to be honest I am completely unsure how skilled I am at working with these new materials and mediums but that is also what excites me to pursue something new.
At this point I have nothing to lose so I’m ready to give it all a shot.