We had the good fortune of connecting with Kanika Lal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kanika, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I ask this question more often than not these days. At first, when I stepped into this creative jungle, I did not feel the need to question my intention, my reason, or my decisions. After a while, the career can drain you of your bright spirit, your willpower and your reason for existence.
I know I sound dramatic, but I’m sure some of you who are in the field can agree that making a living in the creative industry takes patience, strategy, and help from others – most importantly, however- it takes belief in yourself. I question my decision all the time, and whether or not I should take a different path.
While we are always evolving, my foundation will always be in the creative arts, despite the difficulty. I remember the impact art has made in my life, and I remember how badly I want to do that in my own career.
I took a chance in this career because I always felt moved, called upon and destined. Although my mother may disagree, as she always said it’s something I chose, I believe it chose me, and it’s up to me to live it through fully.
Art – whether that be a painting, a song, a poem, cooking recipes, documentaries, Youtube videos or a book – is reflective of our society. It represents a time period that we lived through, the stories and opinions that came with that time period, and a person’s true passion. How would we know anything about our history, our ancestors, our forefathers if not for the art that was left behind?
If I can contribute a small fraction of the lasting impact that art makes in society, my soul would forever remain satisfied.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I would say I’m proud of my efforts and where that landed me. I’m proud I did not give up, I tried a bit of everything throughout my early career, and the lessons it taught me. I said yes to most opportunities, was not afraid to take risks and jumped outside my comfort zone. For those reasons, I advanced, I grew, and became the person I am today. Of course, it’s evolving, and I’m only just beginning. I do have to say, though, I am still on the journey of being able to say there’s one thing I’m proud of, as I believe I’ve just found more of my purpose as an artist and communicator.
It seemed at first that I was juggling a lot, but I saw it as ways of refining my voice and my interests. I wrote for magazines, worked on talent management desks, helped produce digital content, acted, starred in reality shows, tried stand-up, interviewed on red carpets, created fun, food documentaries, hosted educational series, and the list goes on. The challenges that came with this was a bit of burnout as well as self-doubt. The way I overcame it was the reminder of why I’m doing it in the first place – and how I see myself contributing to this world. What can I be doing everyday that helps me contribute a bit more every day? That, and aligning myself with the right people and support group in my life. Those that support me mentally, physically – such as yoga, running and fitness – and emotionally.
I want the world to know that I am as connected with the world as it is with me – and together we can help share the stories.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love the city of Los Angeles – and I always feel there are new places to check out every day! Despite the fact that I have lived here for nearly 8 years, I’m still discovering so much to this city. If I were to entertain my friend for the week, some of the places we would visit would be a mix of hiking, beach, and city.
I’d grab my maltipoo and take us on a scene hike to Runyon Canyon – scenic because some of the best looking people go there! It’s good motivation. The hike does have nice views, and we can always start there and hike another day in Malibu, followed by Malibu Farms. If she’s feeling fancy, Nobu in Malibu is also tasty. Another day we would walk around Main St in Santa Monica, take a picture by Ocean Park and maybe check out a rooftop hotel / restaurant. Venice is another great area as I LOVE walking/shopping and dining on Abbot Kinney. My favorite areas have to be parts of West Hollywood as well as Hollywood. The street shopping is charming and unique as well as tons of restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course, we would go to The Grove as something is always happening there. I would also take my friend to Silverlake as there are great coffee and food spots there – and it’s close to Downtown – home to great food and rooftop views. If there’s time, maybe we can check out Laguna. Overall, L.A has some of the best food in all areas of the town, so my friend better be hungry because we will eat our way through the town in order to see how locals live and eat!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Of course, my family will always be the first people that deserve a shout-out as they are the ones who have always encouraged me. Without them, I would be largely lacking in foundation and optimism. That being said, I would love to give credit to my alma mater. Though at the time, it wasn’t always enjoyable working late on research papers and midterm exams, my school refined my skills in every way possible. The morals and values they instilled in each student are lifelong qualities. I will always be thankful for my writing abilities, time management, well-rounded talents, and most importantly, the school motto that we graduated with. I will find a way or make on. My school, Holton-Arms, was a community of gifted, talented and intelligent young women. I’m proud to be a part of the community that pushed us to find our way into the world – blue and white for aye!