Never a cheerleader (that dream was squelched at a young age in a grocery aisle by her mother as Leslie spasmodically took down a display of Hamburger Helper while “practicing her moves”), Leslie was encouraged to turn her passions toward more cerebral and creative pursuits. Her first success as an artist and designer came when she won a poster contest advertising her elementary school’s Halloween Festival. From then on, she knew she wanted to make a living as an artist, but how? Would she starve?
Leslie likes to think of it as her journey to becoming well rounded. It took twelve years, four changed majors, innumerable part-time jobs, and five colleges until she landed back to where her heart was, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a concentration in graphic design. She met and married her husband, Steve, at college number two (can you believe it? he was a super hot cheerleader!). They added two fine and handsome boys (and she says, brilliant) to their family. Leslie’s career path has been a winding one, from College Relations and Publications (yes, the acronym is CRaP, but she says it couldn’t be further from the truth) to architectural building products to ndustrial design. She began her professional life as a graphic designer progressing to director of marketing and creative, churning out art and design all along the way.
Leslie’s art marries artistic pursuits with practical business requirements. working with both traditional painting techniques and often applying contemporary digital techniques to create a truly mixed media art piece. “I love creating art that sells products and am always experimenting—it’s art that makes you happy and very often is inspired by my Christian faith. I am so excited to be among the talented artists represented by Art Licensing International. I’m glad to say that I am making a living as an artist and not starving,” laughs Leslie.