Monday, April 13, 2009
Check out an interview that I got to do for Ofifteen Magazine. Thank you Olan for the wonderful opportunity. Make sure to visit her wonderful blog and leave commentshere.
Ofifteen: Can you tell us a bit about your business?
Leigh: I sell original art, prints of art and photography on my online shop and through outside contacts. I am also currently expanding into fashion soon. Along with all of that I work as a freelance Makeup Artist part time.
Ofifteen: What inspired you to become an artist?
Leigh: I was always inspired to be an artist since I was quite young. I have always had it in me and feel lucky that I have, I think the struggle was how to express my interests over the years, I feel that I am at a great point in that now and could not imagine my life not creating.
Ofifteen: What are your goals for your business, where would you like to see it in 5 years from now?
Leigh: My goals are to continue to put my all into what I do and expand in my learning of new techniques. I want to work with larger scale pieces and with oils more. Also showing more in Galleries and shows. I will be definitely doing that this year but cannot yet share the details as it is a bit far off at the moment. I would also love to be able to spend summers overseas with my daughter in a rented flat working and being immersed in a different environment.
Ofifteen: What motivates you?
Leigh: The excitement of an idea, the tiredness and pleasure of creation and the freedom of completion. The fact that each time I create something it is new and fresh to me. I never know from each week what I may be inspired from to create, and the challenge that comes from that keeps me away from predictability.
Ofifteen: Which of your art pieces is your favorite?
Leigh: My favorites change all the time, I try to be in the moment with each one I create so a little cliche but all of them have a special meaning to me.
Ofifteen: Do you have any advice for those wanting to start their own business?
Leigh: Perseverance, patience, and being able to put more hours than any job where I had to work for someone else. If it is your passion and you are doing what you love it really doesn't feel like work. I am so rewarded with my satisfied customers, it was drives me to continue to do my all and to discover other areas that I can challenge myself and stay fresh in the artistic community.
Ofifteen: How would you describe your studio?
Leigh: I only wish I had a studio, I actually prefer to paint in my kitchen. I set up my easel and paint or draw from my kitchen table when my daughter goes to sleep at night. I am really organized, so while my kitchen may turn into a studio most of the week, I have set aside a cabinet where I store everything for when I am not working.
Ofifteen: Would you be able to talk a bit about your professional background?
Leigh: I am a mostly self taught artist. I have taken drawing and commercial art classes back in high school, while also continuing my photography education in to a few college courses. I used to work full time for a stock brokerage than for a builder in the finance department. When I had my daughter in 2003 I decided to stay home with her and at that time I was able to refocus my goals and dive into reaching customers with my art instead of just using it as a hobby.
Ofifteen: What would a normal day for you be like?
Leigh: A normal day for me is taking care of my daughter first and foremost. She is in part-time kindergarten so I have a very challenging schedule when I can work. I usually take care of my correspondence in the morning, shipping out orders and such while she is in school, and I also work part-time as a freelance makeup artist which varies as well. I have been pulling away from the makeup more as I am getting busier with my art and photography and the expansion into fashion. So into the night after all of her reading I really begin most of my creativity and networking. Sleep is good when I can grab it.
Ofifteen: What would be your favorite quote?
Leigh: I have so many favorite quotes, but my current favorite is from Diane Von Furstenberg, "Absence is to love what the wind is to fire. When it is a small fire the wind kills it, but when it is a real fire it intensifies".
Ofifteen: What are the 5 qualities in a person that you appreciate?
Leigh: Loyalty, humor, kindness, civility to others and patience.
Ofifteen: Favorite TV shows?
Leigh: Twin Peaks, Sex and the City, Flight of the Concords and little Britain for humor, and yes I have to admit at 34 Gossip Girl. And I love to listen to NPR or BBC radio while I am driving.
Ofifteen: Do you feel that your business reveals who you are?
Leigh: Absolutely, I feel that I want to create from my emotions and experiences from my life and put it into my work. Sometimes it is in a small detail, but all of what I put out comes from within.
Ofifteen: Is your personal life different from your work life ?
Leigh: I do not think it is different as I feel as though I am very disciplined when it comes to my professional life, organized, dedicated to making sure my customers are satisfied. I also think that applies to my personal life as I am just as much dedicated to those important people in my life. I will always try to put my best foot forward each day if I am working or not. I also think that is important as well with me being a parent, I have to keep a schedule with her and help in her growth and learning each day and show by good example.
Ofifteen: How do you like to spend your free time?
Leigh: When I let my self have free time :) I love to read, take my daughter out for those simple things, like ice cream or a walk. Sitting in the sun for a bit, and getting out with my friends when I can and take advantage of not being so serious all the time. I think it is important to have balance and I need to allow myself to take advantage of that more.
Ofifteen: What would you like to try that you have not already tried?
Leigh: I have at least tried many things in my life once, but I do know for sure I want to try more simplistic things like learning and taking risks with my work and expanding into new interests that grab my attention. The future is open to new possibilities and I try to go with the flow of the moment.
Ofifteen: What are your pet peeves?
Leigh: A mess of any kind, I am particular about putting things in there places and when others judge to quickly.
Ofifteen: What music have you been listening to lately?
Leigh: I have such a vast variety of musical interest and listen daily to different genres depending on my mood, but a few albums that I have recently bought that I am enjoying are Royksopp's Junior album, Fever Ray, The Shanghai Restoration Project and today it is raining outside so I am enjoying Julee Cruise floating into the night album. I am also anticipating Depeche Mode's new album, Tour of the Universe this month.
Ofifteen: What are your favorite book(s)?
Leigh: This year I have finished, Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road and Gabrial Garcia Marquez's, Love in the Time of Cholera, both were fantastic reads. I also love the short stories and writing of Haruki Murakami. And a few past favorites are Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and Wally Lamb's, I know this much is true.
Ofifteen: What would be your most prized possession(s)?
Leigh: My daughter and my friendships with those I love, and well if I had five minutes to grab anything and had to leave the rest, it would be my photographs for cherished memories, my camera and my computer, as those are the tools that help me make a living.
Thank you Leigh for for such a wonderful interview!