LSD Fashion LAB Featured Artist LEANNart Interview
Leanna is an extremely talented budding artist I interviewed that is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. This girl is very easy-going, friendly, straightforward, and intriguing all in one. She told me that her inspiration is to meet the heart and the realness of every person, situation, feeling, thought, and emotion—and more importantly, to capture these elements in order for it to never be forgotten. As fun, easy-going, and bubbly as Leanna’s personality is, you can definitely get a sense that this girl has depth through her thought-provoking paintings that leaves us all wondering.
E: Did you always want to get into painting or did you just stumble upon it by chance? And what got you started with painting?
L: Well, I’ve always doodled. All over my marbled composition books in grade school.
E: Haha…I did that in school too, but my doodles always consisted of chicken scratches…hehe.
L: Well, it originally didn’t come to me easily. I took my first drawing class in 10th grade and discovered it was something that I could do fairly well. Then I explored it again by taking a class in college, but never wanted to pursue painting because colors scared me for some reason. Pencils and erasers were just fine for me. But, finally decided, don’t knock it ‘til you try it, so I signed up for my first oil painting class at Mesa Community College in 2007, and here we are now…painting in black and white, or some rendition of it. Haha.
E: Haha…so you get the best of both! You get to paint in black and white.
L: Yeah, for this series, at least.
E: Okay, next question, what sort of emotion do you want to depict from these paintings? And Why?
L: Uh…I’d like the viewer to want to kill themselves or spiral into deep depression. Ha…Just kidding.
E: Haha…I appreciate the sadistic humor…
L: No, I was just in a space in my brain where my choices were to either paint or go see a therapist. Painting was the cheaper way to deal.
E: It definitely is! And your feelings can definitely be expressed to everyone. I’m glad you chose painting over therapy. =)
E: And how has your work changed over the years?
L: Well, I’ve only been in the game for a few years, so I can’t really say. I guess an easy answer is, “Practice makes Perfect”?
E: Haha…it sure does! I need to have that same mentality, and then maybe my chicken scratches can turn into stick figures…LOL ;P
E: Okay, enough of my dorkiness, now what sort of music do you listen to get in the painting mood?
L: My iPod’s filled with different genres so it can go from zoning out with Radiohead’s OK Computer in the background, or being on the verge of tears listening to some soul with Anthony Hamilton. Depends on what kind of day I had, I guess.
E: I see…music and art really are contributing factors to one another…
E: Okay, so who’s your biggest role model/person of inspiration? And why?
L: Hmmm…I can’t say that a person is a role model to me, but rather that a person can, and quite often, has inspired me. People that genuinely are happy with who they are, where they are, or are in pursuit of any version of that inspires me. Whether it be someone who has found and rocks their own personal style (i.e. LSD Girls ;P), or an individual who’s totally dancing off-beat but having the time of their life and not giving a shit who’s watching…inspires me. All the way to someone who can drop everything in pursuit of their dream career or dream lifestyle, is someone I can admire. It’s not about counting successes or wins. Just people who, I guess…walk their walk. People who say who they are, and believe it.
E: Wow….that’s deep…
L: Nah, let’s just say Michael Jordan…circa 1986-1993.
E: So what other talents/hobbies do you partake in other than painting?
L: I’ve dabbled in the world of digital photography and have just started a class for Black & White Film photography. I want to learn how to develop my shots before the art form becomes completely obsolete and dies out.
E: Wow! You’re so multi-talented! Watch out, triple threat coming through….hehe.
L: Oh, and I play volleyball with the goal of not getting mad at my own teammates.
E: Oh, cool! Now can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Background? Education? Childhood?
L: I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, and on the Peninsula in the Bay Area.
E: Wow, really?! I’ve been on that island! I absolutely love it! Everyone is so down-to-earth and laid-back!
L: Yeah, I also use to surf there.
E: Cool! Not many people I know surf…
L: Yup! And I am the youngest of three girls. I went to college at the University of San Diego and graduated with a degree in Chemistry. And now I work at a pharmaceutical company here in the Bay.
E: You’ve definitely been all over…
L: Yeah… and I also enjoy going to Indie/hip-hop/R&B/Reggae concerts, Korean food, and using coupons at clothing stores.
E: Okay, now onto the juicy stuff….any crazy/funny/embarrassing moments you’d like to share? Don’t worry…we all have our moments! I know I’ve had too many to count!
L: Man, I do a bunch of moded things. But my latest one I guess is recording a live performance on my iPhone, and then having it play back, while the dude is still singing and me not being able to fricken figure out how to turn it off in time. Homeboy looks up and pauses during his song, and says “Hm. That’s weird.” Which is my cue to apparently run out the front door of the club with the recording still playing. So stupid.
E: Ahhh, don’t worry! It happens to the best of us! How about the one thing you can’t live without? And why?
L: Lately, it’s the family dog, Charlie. He’s crazy but we love him. And he licks away your tears…after he licks his own balls. It’s the best. Hahaha
L: And my boot collection. I love my shoes.
E: Yes, I agree. A girl can never have too many shoes. =) So, tell me something unique/special about yourself?
L: Uhm…I expressed and purified the proteins for this paper:
“In vivo incorporation of unnatural amino acids to probe structure, dynamics, and ligand binding in a large protein by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.” (J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Jul 23;130(29):9268-81. Epub 2008 Jun 25.)
E: Wow, not only are you artistic….but a nerd….hehe…jk. I really respect a woman who is knowledgeable. Power to you!
E: No really, I mean it! Anyway, what was one experience/event that has really shaped who you are today?
L: Wow! Loaded question…
E: I know, but I really want to give our readers some insight into your mind and soul…hehe
L: You know, there are a lot of pivotal moments in my life that I could choose from but I truly and honestly believe that person-shaping is a constant, daily event. Yes, some days are more mundane, and normal than others, but then there are those days when you’re on your morning run and have your “Aha!” moment of: I think I want to try a 3D animation class (which I did) or even just: I think I feel like painting today.
E: Ahhh, I see….like one of those eureka moments or maybe just something else that has affected you emotionally?
L: Yes, I know you’re thinking, “Gurrl, just say it was when you got your heart broken/stomped on/shit on.” Which yes, was inspiration for some of my paintings, but I refuse to think that it “shaped me”. I think with age and maturity, I’ve realized you can take every day as a day to decide to become something, either better or worse. It’s always your choice.
E: Ohh, I’m sorry to hear that. But it’s good to know you definitely didn’t let it get the best of you. :) Which brings me to my last question, would you share some of your future goals/aspirations /life motto/or words of wisdom to the readers?
L: I guess my goal is the same as my life motto and (two) words of wisdom. Of just: Do you. What I mean is to go ahead and find out who that “you” is. Take that class you’ve always wanted to take, or move to New York if that’s always been your dream. Or wear those pieces you’re not sure you can pull off. There’s no guarantee that you’ll like it. And there’s no guarantee that you’ll succeed. But who cares. Move on to the next.
E: Wow! Definitely some great words/advice to live by…I’ll definitely try to follow it. :)
L: Oh, and as for a future goal, I want to be a drummer in a band. I should probably take lessons first.
E: Haha…you should definitely go for it! Anyway, it was a pleasure interviewing you and I hope the readers got to really get a look into the mind, inspiration, and soul of LEANNArt.
For more info on LEANNArt, check out her blog