Say Hello to the ICON, Kristián Mensa

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Kristian is passion personified. The kind that can be seen even from afar. His Art as a versatile Artist is both deep and beautiful. The kind that would make one try to imagine the thought process behind each masterpiece. His dance speaks and connects. Kristian is that one of a kind ICON who may have started like every other budding artist but has now continued to thrive beyond all odds.
Join us on this special Heart-2-Heart conversation, as Kristian lets us in on his journey as a Creative, in the most relatable and inspiring way!

Enjoy and Stay Inspired:

You are one very exceptional creative. How you combine dance with a variety of Arts is awe inspiring. How you reflect deep and beautiful messages in between your work should be studied. Can you please share some highlights of how you began your creative journey?

I think there is no particular day I would feel I became an artist or I became a creative. I think things have been forming since I was very small and I remembered since being a little child, I would always go for walks, look for object, I would go pick up some things in the forest and make something from them.

I always liked to imagine that there is a world before our real world and I also imagine that anything that is in my mind could be real but of course there are particular moments that are important moments in my career. When it comes to dance, when I was 11 years old, we went to a family trip to Paris with my family and we saw performance on the street of the BBOYS and I stopped there with my older brother and when we saw them perform on the street and we saw what they did with their bodies and how happy it made them, we realized that it is something we would love to do as well and we came back to pack and started to go to breaking classes and it was love at first sight because before then we were doing both football or soccer and we felt that it was not the healthiest for us.

It is very competitive and there’s a hierarchy of the coach and the players but once we discovered dance and we decided to go to classes, we realized that we are all one despite how old we were and we didn’t bother about who is the coach and all we were all supporting each other and also in dance, there is a strong emphasis on your individuality and how you want to dance and what your body can do. This is what I enjoyed so much, because I felt like in soccer sometimes I couldn’t really fit, I was sometimes slow, I couldn’t run fast, I was very nervous to be in a team against someone else but in dance, I realized that I could just be myself and go in the way of how my body wants me to be.

What does Art mean to you?

I really enjoyed what you said in the beginning. For me, it is something beyond who we are and I think it is sometimes timeless like footprints, where we are and even though we age and we die, Art and what we make is something that remains here and that is a message about the time where we lived, what the artist started to create. For me, it is little footprints that I leave in this world and little messages of what I feel and what I think because I want to lift it out of my body and start its own life whether it is a dance performance or an artwork and just leave it there for people to see and move on.

So I will say it is something timeless and something that isn’t even part of us here and then the artwork or anything that we make has its own life and could speak to people in ten years, in 50 years, in 100 years, etc. It is the print of how I feel at the moment and leaving it out of my body for people to grasp and try to understand.

We are grateful to have you onboard this special ISSUE in celebration of awe-inspiring dancers around the world. Also in honor of the International Dance Day 2023. We know how unique and special the Art of dancing is to each dancer. As an individual passion about this Art, what does dance mean to you?

It is many things that I would just throw to you and you can try to just make it make sense. There is no order. It is just the way it comes to my mind. First of all, dance is the discovery of my body and the discovery of the ways I could use my body because I think people who don’t focus on their body use it on a very small percentage. Just to walk, just to lay down, and just to do normal things but there are a million of things I discovered about my body that I can do. I am still very surprised of the possibilities of my body. It is a way to discover my body and try to see my body make conversation with me which I often ignore but anytime I have something or anything on my skin, it is always a communication with me and I try to see and understand.

So first, it is to discover my body and it is a social thing, it is a way for me to meet people in an easy way because I know we share something, we share the love to move and of music and I think most of my best friends, and close people I have met is through dancing. When I know someone is a dancer, we have already broken many layers because we know we share something and we have something in common already.

It is a way to discover my body, it is a way to discover my skin which sounds large scale but it is also true that sometimes I cannot express how I feel with words but when I play a song and I start to dance, I feel like it is easier for me to dance how I feel and play with the feelings through movement and at the same time, it is to discover my emotions and to also evoke the emotions. If I want to feel in a particular way that really helps me to feel happy, if I start a day and I play one song and I pump myself and I sing, the happiness really comes through the body and through the music and many other things., I discover many things in beautiful songs that I ever heard before, I discovered the world because it gave me a reason to travel and go to different competitions and performances through dance, which is also important. I started to make money and make a living which is a beautiful feeling that I can combine as well which can also be my job.

You have continued to thrive as creative, named a Forbes 30 Under 30 fellow, worked with many big names in the industry and more, what do you consider most fulfilling right now as a recognized dancer worldwide?

Of course, the priorities change with time. I remember when I started dance and someone bought me my first flight abroad, it was the most incredible thing because someone invited me to go somewhere or I am offered to be in a music video. I felt like this is it, this is the top I can achieve but with time when I experienced more things from the commercial world., I realized that what is really fulfilling to me is something different and this moment is seeing how my dance has impact on someone else. Most of the times, it is through teaching, I have a class and I really feel like I have inner power to also give it to people who comes to the workshop, not just to give them technical moves or to just teach something simple but I realized that for me, the dance class is to really transfer the power from me to other people who come and I realized that it is possible because few times, we have a class and we experience so many emotions through dancing together, people cry at the end or they say they never felt like this before and this really fulfills me because what I feel is the true impact of me as a dancer when I can try to share the same feelings and have guidance to people who maybe never danced before and they came to their first dance class.

So, it would be sharing and giving my power to other people through workshops or through performances because sometimes, on stage I see people in the audience, some people see the audience as part of the wall but for me, I see the audience as part of the performance and I have sort of responsible to really inhale them and come closer to the stage in a way. I hope it makes sense.

Your expressions as a dancer communicate in all depths, beauty and simplicity. Can you share some of the impact you hope to make through dance in the coming years?

I think right now, it is not really about projects and things like this because I know how stressful these things could be sometimes, you are happy about it two, three days and then, it fades away but I’m hoping to have something that last a little bit longer.

Right now, it would probably be to have a dream of mine to have more dance studios and to teach there and to also have a lot of people that I can share my dance with my students to create something with them, use the studio as a place to perform, for Art gallery, it is something I would work on, it is something that would take time, it is not something that would come tomorrow but it is on my mind and it is something that would bring a long term progress in what I do.

Do you feel creatives in developed countries are at advantage than those in developing countries?

Unfortunately, I would say yes because if I look at the dance world in developed countries, the amount of events and opportunities that happens in Europe and I compare it with the amount of events and opportunities that happen in developing countries in Africa, let’s say Ghana because I visited Ghana November last year because we have family relatives there. I could feel that there is a little imbalance on the amount of opportunities and platforms where artists could work on and at the same time, it doesn’t mean that the passion and the fire that people have is low. Like for example experiencing Ghana, the dancers have so much passion and so much drive to practice and to get better. I never felt their passion anywhere else but I think it makes sense because the less opportunities you have, the more energy you have to work on yourself and to get out of maybe where you are and get to somewhere else to experience the dance practice. To experience the dance practice in Ghana, in Accra for example, the dance was so powerful because the dancers were physically, mentally practicing as a group and sometimes, I practice in Czech it seems that the people who come don’t even want to be there, they just come because they have to and this is what I have never experienced in Ghana. One country out of hundred but what I feel sometimes is, the drive is very big from people there. Dance is the way to freedom, the only way to feel that they can “conquer” the word. This is beautiful to see and I wish that there could be more opportunities for people that live in developing countries.

In July, 2022 you had a workshop on ‘Moving with Elegance and Inner Confidence’ and ‘Authenticity in Movement Embracing Order and Chaos.’ These are powerful topics. Can you please share a few highlights of what they entail?

What I would really like to work with in dance are few topics with elegance because I came from break dancing and BBOY and a lot of things that you do in breaking requires strength and power that sometimes might seem aggressive or very intense but what I try to do is the same things but with elegance and lightness to almost make it look like it is so easy to do even though the thing that I was learning took time, but at the end, I like to add a little bit of flavor that is interesting and easy.

So the whole dance becomes visually pleasing for me because I don’t have to put so much to do something, there is for example the topic of Order and Chaos, I would like to work with this because it is the metaphor of life, sometimes, everything is in order and sometimes everything is in chaos, sometimes both, we know it so well, I know it from my life, I plan my day but then it falls apart so I have to improvise and I have to find a way for the chaos and this is same way in dancing, we can prepare what we can do and improvise in between and also feel comfortable like we don’t know what to do but we feel free with the music. This is what we do during the workshop and I like to teach it more and more if I have a chance.

Balancing work time and rest time is a struggle for many creatives. Please share a few tips on how you try to balance work time, rest time and family time?

I think it has to start small. For me, it is the small steps, for example I turn off my phone, or turn of the INTERNET on my phone to lift the necessary things away because I realized that the more information I receive, the more stressful I can get. So first, I think it is the limit of what comes to my mind.

Secondly, for me. How I rest is to be alone, it helps me a lot to relax and to really make a clear mind. And then, the little things that will all know is a good sleep.

For me, what I realized about myself is that I get more stressed when there is a lot on my mind and I realized that they are little things I just postpone or I just procrastinate on. It could be just one message that takes me one minute to write and I just graduate from the amount of tasks I have to do. For me, it is a change in me that decided to make me feel better and do the things I can do now and leave them away or if someone else can do it for me and help me with it, I sort of take the issue and push it to someone else. It is constantly leaving out things for me, to try to make me more empty and more empty in terms of undone tasks and not to gather things without actually doing them.

So, it is just to know first what maybe takes the least time, do them quickly and I have space to focus on bigger projects that if I just try to do everything and I write emails and I go through another emails, it is quite much. So I start from the shortest things and do them and then I have time for more important things. I hope I make sense.

What does success mean to you?

Success at this time is me being happy with myself and not to have any idea that someone else does things I also want to do or need to do, it is just to be happy with what I am doing, being content, being satisfied with it even if I do one illustration a week or I have a dance class and I know I might have an impact on one person, it is already a success for me because I know that in a small way, I have made the world a better place without trying to change millions of people at the same time so in that way, I feel my life is already successful.

Tell us a little about you being an illustrator.

At this time, I usually do not combine these two Art worlds. I really enjoy it because there are days when I just focus on my visual art and there is a day I just focus on dancing and when I focus on one thing I know that the relationship and the patient on the other is better because I don’t do it. I really enjoy having these two worlds and I think it is more and more important in today’s world, not to be afraid to do more than one activity and to start new things because eventually, they all communicate with each other and I can feel I improved as an artist and I improved as a dancer.

As an illustrator, I try to maintain the view that I act as a child which means to look at the world, not the way I want to see it but to play with the reality a little bit and to see that there is something beyond the reality that is nice and playful and fun. It is just to take simple things, object, topics or words or language and try to twist it and play with it in my mind to see what else it could mean because I think many people in this world would look at the way it is but I think that the world is more than we think and we can apply our own vision to the world and make it special.

In terms of the technical aspect, I like to draw very simply, I am not a realistic or academic painter but I just like to express myself through simple drawing and things and I am happy with both simple drawings and simple illustrations which has meaning of what I want to do or give it to.


Please briefly tell us something we do not know about Kristian Mensa.

I think there are lot of things because on social media, I don’t share part of what I feel is private. For me, Instagram is like a gallery and a platform to share what I create but not so much every day of how I feel and what I do. Actually, there is a great beauty in mystery and secret and not knowing. So there is a lot the world doesn’t know about me and at the same time, I feel I am a very simple person and I do not have any big secret or I don’t do things people would be surprised about.

But I think what is important to say is that I am human and maybe on Instagram it seems that I might have reached the top of the world but it is not true and every day, I have doubts and I think every day if my journey is going well, if what I do is good, etc.

It is just important that people know that I have doubts on myself and not different from those that do too, they are humans and I am human too so the most important thing is to make sure that we make each other feel good in this world.

Let’s go a little poetic: If poetry is a rainbow and you have a choice of one color in the palette, what would that be and why?

I think what I would do as a painter, what I love to do is to mix colors so I would probably see what happens if I mix all the colors together and find new colors out of them minus the rainbow that already exists. It is not one color I would choose but I would discover more colors with the colors I have available.

Massive Love Kristian!



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