The “Fearless Girl” sculpture placed as the opposing force against the Charging Bull on Wall St. was created by artist Kristen Visbal and became an iconic landmark almost overnight. SMA Prep cadets asked questions to learn about her journey as an artist and her passion to promote the value of gender and cultural equality worldwide.
Planning, completing projects and speaking engagements are abundant since “Fearless Girl” occurring in Norway, Germany, and Africa. Cadets were fortunate to share some precious time with Ms. Visbal. Jumping right in with questions, cadets were curious about what inspired “Fearless Girl”. Ms. Visbal explained that she responds to realism, was meticulous about measurements, and that her friend’s daughter Ellie inspired the figure. She likes to work from real life as much as possible and the real young girl also had the right attitude.
Originally commissioned as part of an ad campaign to promote gender diversity in business, the statue was installed on March 17, 2017, the day before International Women’s Day. Ms. Visbal went on to explain that the young girl sculpture was to represent the future of what women in business could become and was requested in bronze to be an imposing figure in response the Wall St. bull.
Cadets are always curious to ask those that have pursued their passions if they ever failed at what they do. Ms. Visbal responded, “Every time I make a sculpture, I look at it and say I should have done this or that. After 20 some years, I learned to accept it and release it and move on. You get smarter as you go.” About another trying experience she recalls, “I lost an installation and I cried but telling the story helped to cope and then I started to exercise and eat right and I move on.”
She admitted to not liking school overall but did like history because her teacher was a good storyteller. She also loved art so much and enjoyed time to herself . She once got approval with a note from her mom to work on her art at home. What inspires her as an artist is marine-life and movement. As an artist, she notices movement in her surroundings and tries to capture moments in time. This explains the movement of wind in the skirt of “Fearless Girl”.
Ms. Visbal explained her larger goals as an artist and the impact she hopes to have in the world in response to being asked if she ever thought “Fearless Girl” would become such a big deal. She explained the initial commission and installation was only supposed to be 4 days but turned into a permanent fixture in NYC and a favorite tourist selfie spot that also sends a powerful, global message of gender equality.
Ms. Visbal’s is currently focused on what is going to have the biggest impact on gender and cultural equality. Promoting the value of leadership for women and equal pay and education in the workplace for all.
Ms. Visbal set a goal for cadets to, “go out today and look for the motion around you, capture an instant in time, and one day choose a career you are passionate about. One that allows you to have a positive impact in the world.”