Creativity can grow in the most curious of spaces. As a West London resident, there's something about heading east that simply excites my inner spirit. Heading east is more than just a couple tube stops away; it's more than the vintage stores and food festivals, and even more than the hipster young professionals sprawling from one cool bar to the next. For me, heading east is imagining a new world full of color, opportunity, and where creativity flourishes in its natural, spontaneous environment. Just walking off the tube at Liverpool Street, I instantly feel a sense of the bustling roads and lanes of restaurants full of friends' laughter. As I walk further down Brick Lane, I see one curry shop after the next and a lineup of vintage stores covering their shop windows with cut off Levi's and leather jackets. These are just the normal sightings on a Sunday afternoon when the streets are full all the way down from the Truman Brewery to the infamous bagel shops. The aspect that catches my eye the most is something so visible, yet discrete, and casts itself around a sense of mystery - the East London Street Art.
From Banksy to Sticks and many local London artists, East London is covered head to toe with imaginative designs and pops of color. Just like a fashionista emerging from a show at fashion week, these creative aspirations come to life at the hands of their artistic visionaries that cause you to turn your head at every corner and sight. As I aimlessly walk around, I find inspiration with my every move as the colors become more vibrant and the originality continues to thrive. When I was an art student, the question at the start of every term would remain the same, "what is art?" To this day, I don't think we can define what lies in the walls of these creative endeavors, but rather embrace the free-flowing nature that keeps evolving as the decades pass and cultures begin to merge. Whenever I imagine street art, I always think of the quote, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." Just because we live in a traditional city with historic charm doesn't mean we shouldn't embrace the progression of modernity in all forms of artistic expression. Sometimes traveling outside your comfort zones (and tube zones) allows you to embrace a sense of individualism that you may never knew you had.
Thank you Ryan Carlson from Coast 2 Coast Photography for the amazing portraits! If you're in the San Diego area and looking for a fantastic photographer, make sure to look him up!