We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristian Zenz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kristian, why did you pursue a creative career?
Throughout the years, and as I have grown as a person and have come to realize who I am individually, I have realized that I have always been a creative person. From a very young age I was interested in art, music, and creative outlets such as Lego. Regardless of what I am told regarding the lack of stability and financial struggle regarding artistic careers, I have realized that it was truly what I want to do, and it largely makes up who I aspire to be. I want to spread art, poetry, and writing in any way that I can, whether that be advocating for my own works or someone else’s. Art is both objective and subjective, and these attributes push me to become better at my craft and expand my abilities as a creative person. I want to be able to express myself and express the voice that I feel can bring about positive change in an earth that needs it; in a phrase, the love I have for the world and it’s people is unlimited— my art reflects that in some manner.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My story began as an author, where I wrote a book entitled ‘2050,’ a science fiction novel that has proven to be a good read among a genre with many entries. Since then, I have developed a website and become more so of a poet. I have always been fascinated by the way words intertwine and blend in seamlessly with the sounds that surround them and the way that people think in order to create these words and make these sounds. I have always been interested by the way lyrics and words have meaning and the way the delivery of these words creates an impact on a reader. That is, first and foremost, what sets me apart from other artists. I have a tendency to rhyme often and I provide an emphasis on rhythm in my art, making for the gut-punch that the reader will not forget. It is delivery that is the capstone in good poetry, and that is something I aim to exemplify in my art. Secondly, I have also associated my poetry with pieces of art, a visual that enhances the words I have written down, sometimes created by myself, sometimes by another, such as my grandmother. I have become a digital artist and graphic designer, allowing my art to rise into the stratosphere and become enhanced to another level. Lastly, what really sets me apart is my age and my work ethic. Although I am a college freshman with two published works under my belt, I choose not to rest on my laurels— I stay hungry and each and everyday I aim to get better and grow in some or all facets. I aim to be the best artist, and above that, the very best person that I can be. It has been a bit of a challenge, yes, but a rewarding one ultimately.

Above all, I would like the earth to know that, in the words of my favorite band, that I am here to bring ‘Unlimited Love’— I am here to be a beacon of light. I aim to make a positive impact on the world and hope to inspire others to create their own art.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Phoenix, Arizona, was very good to me in the week I spent there. I am an outdoors person, meaning I flocked instantly to the mountains surrounding the city, such as Camelback Mountain. The hike is intense and steep, but the view was certainly worth the journey. The Phoenix Botanical Gardens and zoo also encompass the flora and fauna of the Sonoran desert into a smaller, visible space. It was very fascinating to see the different species that populate this area— the desert is beautiful, to say the least.

Not only is the natural history of the Valley fascinating, but the political history as well— miners at current ghost towns such as Goldfield were paid 5 dollars a day, more than 200 percent more than the typical worker of the 1890’s. The ghost town features great views of flatiron peak as well a great food and gifts, including a Navajo gift shop.

There were plenty of great places to eat and many cafes nearby. The Window Cafe in Phoenix is a great choice for a lavender lemonade or an espresso, while downtown Phoenix is has many great restaurants of not only Mexican but European and Asian culture as well.

Above all else, I recommend a visit to an open microphone night to the Tempe center for the Arts. The venue is striking, being in downtown Tempe along the wide, blue Salt River. It has beautiful, modern architecture and a great neon aesthetic that blends in seamlessly. The leader of the open mic nights, Walt Richardson, is an amazing person who has devoted his time to pursuing the power of music and art. He has showcased this love at the open mic night and is very welcoming. The open mic nights for the Tempe Center are on Wednesday starting at 6 PM.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My grandmother, Jean Dexter Sobon, deserves credit for creating a vision regarding the words I write. She created the cover for my second published book by the name of Deadly Grievances. She created this excellent depiction of the three grade hydra, the beast I attempt to slay (the ‘deadly’ grievances I attempt to get over in my poetry). She has been creating wonderful art for 60 years or so and has been featured in news articles and in exhibitions. She has allowed me to be creative and has encouraged to pursue my endeavors no matter how great or small.

Website: www.kristianzenz.com

Instagram: @kristianzenz

Youtube: Kristian Zenz

Image Credits
The primary horizontal photo was taken by Anna Zenz. Other photo credits include Jake Voegeli, Twon Tze, Keanu Moua.

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