Elly once told me about a book she read on structured creativity. The book mentions that creativity flows easier when it is first thought out and organized. A strange concept to think of being that we often see creativity as something being completely free and unfettered. Yet to my surprise, she mentioned that this concept inspired her, and gave her a lot to think about in terms of her own attitude and perspective towards her work. However, knowing Elly on a personal level, I feel as if she already somewhat embodies what she aspires to be; a structured creative.
Other than being a project manager at The Plant, Elly is a painter, a self-taught musician, a thrift shopper, and an avid R&B lover. Her love and passion for creativity is a constant topic in her weekend escapades, and her colorful fashion is a reflection of her vibrant personality. She spends a lot of her time after work or on the weekends painting, and at times we find paint stuck in her hair for weeks.
Elly is a creative and a free-spirit on many levels, yet as you look deeper and get to know her more, she is an independent woman with a strong and structured core. Her paintings are well thought out. She knows what she wants in terms of her creative output. She sketches out her image, and researches the details of what she wants to paint. She taught herself how to play the guitar, which in turn allows her to enjoy her passion for music even further.
This mix of creativity and structure is evident in the tasks and attitude she has towards work and her career. Originally from Korea and New York, Elly took a leap of faith to move to Tokyo to build her career.
I wanted to take this chance to build my career, experience the culture, and advance my Japanese skills. I love Tokyo because it’s diverse with a lot of subcultures that I can explore. If you want to be creative you can find any group of people and create your own community -- it allows you to be who you are.
And her decision to move to the city had allowed her to connect with her creative side; to be more of herself.
Her future plans include being a successful woman in the male-dominated business field. And together with her passion for creativity, art, and her strong-willed curious attitude, her life seems to be just like her paintings. Well thought and sketched out, yet at the end, is a unique and innovative canvas that captures her free-spirit.
Author: Kana Hihara
Illustrator: Carina Kikuchi