hey Lesley, thanks for doing this with me! I love your art! When did you know that you wanted to create art for a living?
It was a slow awakening. I had the opportunity to attend an art academy for highshcool and that's where I learned the value of art, my love for art. A degree in Illustration was on the horizon.
What about your subject matter Lesley... do you always know what you're going to draw before you begin? And do you draw and paint in the same style when it's not a job for a client?
I enjoy the conceptual process and so alot of drawing and working out of ideas happen before the painting begins. I like to keep myself enchanted and that is why so much of my work is whimsical and fun. Clients tend to seek me out for "wacky" assignments. The best type of art director hires you for your strengths. Much of my illustration assignments and my paintings reflect a constant style. But my original (uncommissioned) paintings are much dearer to me. My concept, my subject matter, my baby.
Is it difficult to find work today? Or would you say that it's difficult to ever catch up?
It has been the snowball effect. Much of my first years out of college have been alot of hard work with infrequent results. But slowly, slowly I have become busier and busier. You have to create your own opportunities. Building your visability and the quality of your work are the most important aspects of making it as an Illustrator.
Do you have good support systems in your life Lesley?
My husband, Rob, is also an artist and a huge source of understanding (looming deadlines, no time for fun) and strength. I also have a wonderful group of artsy friends who inspire me often. Being out of school, I've missed the interaction, healthy competion, and moral support from other illustrators. So I recently attended a meeting of the Los Angeles Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators. It was wonderful to meet with an excited group of talent. It left me very inspired.
That must be very cool to have an artist hubby! So who else inspires you?
Being an illustrator, I admire modern day illustrators who really break the mold. Melinda Beck, Tim Gabor, Joe Sorren, Jordan Isip. The list goes on and on.....
Any words o’ wisdom for someone thinking about creating artwork for a living?
It is a very demanding and rewarding career. Not for the undetermined. Your passion and love for your art must come first. Don't follow trends and assimilate with others artist's styles. Love your own style and have faith in it. The work will come.
Finally Lesley, what do you do for fun?
Anything to get my mind off work!! Heh. Surfing, snowboarding, music, friends and...oh yeah... drawing.
Thanks again Lesley, you're the best!
No problemo. Thanks for the opportunity.