Hello, my name is Leigh Viner, I am a full time freelance artist and photographer. I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado where I still reside.
I’m a mother to an almost 14 year old daughter who is about to start High School in the Fall.
I’ve been working from home since she was born, building my business when she was little to now still supporting myself full time for over 10 years, which is such a blessing!! Thanks are due to hard work, perseverence and the tremendous support from my fans and family all of these years.
I also love to travel as often as possible, along with daily simplicities, of well being, reading, music, taking walks and soaking up local discoveries around my hometown.
Depending on the mood of the piece or from inspiration each day what I create from will vary, but most often I love to create using mixed media of watercolor, pencil, pen and pastel.
Being always curious, I love to also vary my work from oils, acrylics, ink, to charcoal as well. Then in-between, I will create with my camera and focus on my photography.
I cannot remember in my life not having the motivation to create something, I use it as a form of expression that has always been natural for me, since I was young and especially being shy as a child. It helped open those doors of expression I would not otherwise have known how to open.
Also being naturally curious I find that so many things inspire me, from magazines, editorials, travel, design, beauty, especially since I was a makeup artist for many years. films, other artists. It overwhelms me at times how much inspiration I can take in on a daily basis.
For my creative process, I usually gather inspirations, from my phone, tear sheets, notes and organize them for the week ahead. I use a calendar to separate and plan ahead for which days I will be working on what. For the last few years though, I have been booked with commissions and larger projects, so personal creative stuff has been set aside a bit. It can be hard as I really miss the constant personal creative time, so I’m planning on slowing down on the commissions for this summer so I can focus on my personal work again.
When I do create, I usually have a marathon of some tv show, music or a movie that keeps me company. I will create and just get lost letting the moment decide the medium. When I feel the piece is finished, I usually scan or take a high res of the work for detailed computer final touches for a print version.
It can actually be challenging with so much going on in any given day with the business side, home life, etc. So I do feel it’s important to schedule it in my calendar as blocked off time. If not the day will get away from me.
If I could just create all day I would, but it’s so important to have some sort of balance with work and my personal life.
Each piece and project that I have created, has a special place or memory for me, so it can be hard to narrow down, but as the years go I can look back and some pieces and projects stick out more so then others. They all make me proud and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work for brands and clients that I would have only dreamed of when I was just starting out as an artist.
When I started working for myself, there was really no set rules to follow to sell my art online. Ebay was my first outlet, and then I followed my instinct to start a blog in 2006 along with networking on Myspace, with that it just started to naturally take off and my fan base started to grow steadily. Also back in 2006, I had a fan on that asked if I could start selling prints of my originals. I researched and gave it a go then opened an Etsy shop in 2007, from there it was one of the best decisions to begin my business in the right direction.
There are so many I love, from the old masters of Matisse, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt etc, to modern artists like, David Downton, Daniel Egneus and fellow artists like Stina Persson who I had a group showing alongside in San Francisco. They’re really too many to name who inspire and those that I admire, but over the years, David Downton had a large influence on my style in the fact that when I would look at his work it brought the encouragement for me to let go a bit and try to find my style with less restriction.
I honestly do not think in those terms while creating my work, I feel as though I really create from where I want to without restrictions at all.
Gratitude for each day that I get to do what I love and for those I love and care about being a part of my life. It’s all about appreciating each day and noticing the simplicities and living in the moment as often as I can remember to do.
Simply by saying to just do it, and daily. Practice even in small amounts everyday to help develop your style.
I am currently working on a few projects that I cannot discuss just yet, but excited in the near future to share the news. Along with that, building a new website and store so everything will be in once place. I am also expanding into larger scale and abstract works that I cannot wait to add to the new website.