Read our fun interview & get-to-know session with artist Annelisa Leinbach from Austin, Texas.
You can see Annelisa's profile or commission art from her at http://www.mademay.com/annelisaleinbach
How would your best friend (or someone close to you) describe you using only 3 adjectives?
Adventurous, curious, adaptable.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
I get up, go for a short walk, and get to work on a variety of freelance projects. I like to paint outside as much as I can, whether outside my apartment or in a nearby park. The natural light and sounds of birds and plants around me help me to channel the kind of energy I hope will show through in my work.
Who inspires you?
I'm very inspired by artists who have been able to combine storytelling, complex historical and scientific knowledge, and visual skill: the "Renaissance" ideal. Some of my heroes are Hayao Miyazaki, Leonardo da Vinci, Carl Sagan, J.R.R. Tolkien, Bill Watterson, and Yayoi Kusama.
What is your favorite quote?
"If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I'll bet they'd live a lot differently." Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes.
What is something you wish you could change about the world?
I wish that our education system would focus more on teaching children entrepreneurship and how to create independent projects, and also build agency among youth through teaching them wilderness survival skills on backcountry field trips.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I love languages, and can speak fluent French and German as well as some Spanish, Latin, Arabic, and Japanese.
As an artist, what made you get into art?
My parents are both geology teachers, so I was lucky to constantly be their student; I grew up in Arizona spending my time outside throughout the Southwest, camping and learning about environmental science. I began to make sketches of the rocks, animals, and plants around me, and soon I began to invent worlds of my own. Thanks to my family, my deepest inspiration comes from the wisdom of nature.
What is your favorite thing about art commissions?
To me, each and every human face has its own depth and personality, and I view painting as honoring the subject by spending time carefully learning and expressing that personality on paper. This slow, intimate process is a celebration of a person's humanity that cannot be replaced by a simple photo. I love feeling like I can use my artistic skills to give someone else the gift of being seen and celebrated in this way, and it brings me great joy to see the happiness commissions can bring to other people.
What is your favorite piece of artwork? (from someone living)
Infinity Mirror Room Fireflies on Water, by Yayoi Kusama.
What is your favorite piece of artwork? (from someone dead)
Garden of Earthly Delights, by Hieronymous Bosch.
What do you want people to know about you?
My greatest artistic dream is to communicate a sense of adventure, a connection to nature, and a wonder at the deep mysteries of the world. I'm just at the beginning of my journey, but I throw myself into every portrait I make because of my deep love for expressing the human spirit through art.