Meet the Makers is a series of posts dedicated to featuring local artists in Davidson, NC and the surrounding area. We will also feature Regional and unique fiber artist.
It only takes five seconds on Leslie’s Instagram or website to see the power in her artwork. Her use of spacial design and structure lets your eye glide over her work with ease and satisfaction of balance. She even has some recent pieces FLEUR I and FLEUR III that are mixed media using fiber, which we love!
Between her answers to our questions, and reading more about her journey, I can certainly relate. Creative minds (in my opinion) tend to take a winding road to create works of art. To say “it’s complicated” is an understatement.
Artist and crafters live in their creative heads for a good portion of the day. We try to make sense of our thoughts and figure out how to express that creativity which has become an obsession in our minds.
Creativity is a journey of ups and downs, of euphoric inspiration and break things frustration. Sometimes we throw our hands up and start over, and sometimes we persevere as Leslie tells us in her proudest art piece.
Who are you as a craftsperson?
I am an abstract and figure artist.
Tell us about your business/craft.
I primarily work in acrylics and pen and ink, but I also love to do collage work where I integrate all sorts of layered things including small paper figure studies.
How are you motivated, what inspires you?
My inspiration generally comes from interiors, art, and fashion, but music is the catalyst for my work. I collect photos of stuff I like – I think I have over 10,000 on my phone right now. The pics are of color combinations, poses, interesting compositions, and just ideas in general. When I paint, I listen to very loud dance tunes which help me get out of my head so that I can work more intuitively and expressively. Otherwise, I think too much.
What are your passions? (Does not have to be related to your craft or art)
Currently, I enjoy making iced espressos, studying German, and watching World of Dance. I love anything related to my family, my dog, and travel. And I gladly support the missions of The Dove’s Nest and Safe Alliance in Charlotte.
What do you find the most frustrating or difficult in your creative process?
Sometimes it’s just hard to start. I’ll have a hundred ideas of things I want to do, but instead of picking something, I walk around and pet the dog, unload the dishwasher, eat a handful of chocolate chips, and wind up sitting in the studio staring out the window.
How do you overcome that challenge?
I’ve been working on writing down a ‘short list’ from my One Hundred’s List at the beginning of each week. Then every night I lay out my projects so that they’re ready for me in the morning. I like to work on several pieces of art simultaneously, so this system is helping me streamline and accomplish things in a more ordered fashion.
What is your favorite tool, or the one crafter tool you couldn’t live without?
Honestly, I love to paint with my fingers. I like the tactile feel and the freedom to get messy which is ironic because everyone tells me how neat I am. I do have a favorite brush for abstracts and one for figures, and I adore all of my drafting equipment from my interior design days.
Is there a piece you’re most proud of? Why?
I did an experimental piece – a large abstract – a few years ago. It was one of those piece’s that was so fun and so great when I started, and then it took turn midway through, and I was ready to throw it in the dumpster. I was so mad and frustrated. I stormed around, did a little huffing and puffing, and gave it a good talking. Then, I made up my mind that I was not giving up on it, and that I would paint for however long it took until it was respectable. It took a long time. I am not a patient painter. But now that painting hangs in my parents’ dining room. My mother doesn’t even like abstracts, but she tells me every week how much she enjoys various things about it. That makes me very happy.