Don't you just love Leslie's color combinations!
Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I have always loved to draw, paint, write, sew, and decorate. While others stood out for their athletics, musical talent or clever wit, I always felt most secure using my creative gifts. Studying business Administration at the University of Maine was a very practical choice motivated by limited resources and a misunderstanding of the career options in the arts. Although I don’t regret my path, I acknowledge that I am a late bloomer. These days I spend a good portion of my time scouring the internet for new sources of information about art, design, trends, tools, licensing and the industries that rely on art to sell products.
What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
Growing up on a small Island off the coast of Maine where time stood nearly still and craftsmanship was highly valued, I have carried with me a love for nostalgia, simple lines and traditional forms. I find a tremendous amount of inspiration in the buds and blooms of the spring that follows the harsh Maine winter.
Do you work in just one medium? Several?
Right now I concentrate almost exclusively on drawing. It is so simple and portable. I am most productive when I carry my sketch book and iphone with me so I can document everything that catches my eye. I use Adobe Illustrator to refine, colorize and layout finished patterns.
What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on a paisley print. I have always shied away from paisley for fear that it had all been done before. I challenged myself to put a new spin on the traditional pattern. I allowed myself to create some really ugly sketches and eventually, it started to feel more comfortable-even fun.
In the bigger picture, I am working on designs which I hope will grab the attention of art buyers in the home fashions industry. I have worked with home decorating fabric in making window treatments, bedding, pillows etc. and I’m eager to break into this category. Currently, I have licensing contracts in the tabletop, rugs, cases for mobile devices and quilting fabric. My fabric collection, Unity, was manufactured and distributed to independent quilt shops through Clothworks Textiles (http://www.clothworks.com/index.php/fabric-collection/unity.html). The others are still in the product development stage, so I’ll keep you posted on those.
Anything else you want to tell everyone?
I try to acknowledge my gratitude every single day. I surround myself with a great group of people who also live in gratitude. At the top of my “thankful for “ list is my amazingly supportive husband of 23 years, 2 teenage boys who are kind and fun-even with each other, a loving extended family and a core group of girlfriends that keep me laughing and on track.
Are you an early riser? or night owl?
I am a night owl. I could work all night but I resist the urge knowing I will suffer the next day in the real world.
What is your favorite food?
That’s a tough one. Probably anything made by someone else. I am so over cooking. I do make a mean, green protein smoothy.
You can find Leslie:
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