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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    From shadow boxer to snails

    Eleonor Leone, a visual communication and illustration senior, started marking art with a card for her mother, is inspired by her children and is influenced by Lisa Frank. She currently has her work exhibited at the Lionel Rombach Gallery.
    Eleonor Leone, a visual communication and illustration senior, started marking art with a card for her mother, is inspired by her children and is influenced by Lisa Frank. She currently has her work exhibited at the Lionel Rombach Gallery.

    Eleonor Leon, 36, is a senior majoring in visual communication and illustration here at the UA, and she has already worked with former Lisa Frank designers who branched off into their own firm. Now she is getting her Bachelor of Fine Arts to further her education.

    Wildcat: When did you start making art?

    Eleonor Leon: My earliest memory of art was just making a card for my mother. It opened up, it had a window and you opened it and it was a cut paper flower. For me that was the earliest memory and that’s kind of what I do. Things are always tactile; I like to make things be seen through a window or somehow you can open that up and you can touch it.

    W: Your work is currently exhibited in the Lionel Rombach Gallery as part of the “”Emerge”” exhibit. Can you describe your work in the show?

    L: My work has a lot of variety. The first piece you see when you walk in is an apron. It has sewing in it and it has drawing on the apron. It has a 1950s doll that comes out so he’s still tied to its apron strings. It’s about motherhood and I’m also a mother so that’s really important to me in my art. I also have an oil painting and a shadow box of my son. I have studied painting and a little bit of sculpture prior to getting into the U of A’s vis-com program. It’s highly competitive; they only choose 25 designers and 25 illustrators out of 100 to 300 applicants. And then I have an editorial that I sewed by hand, beaded and then I photographed it and manipulated it digitally, and printed it, which is great for me because it’s that whole process that I do and it’s turned into something printed. The exhibit is actually juried. They juried it by three former U of A visual communications students who were here 10 years ago and are now major professionals. The exhibit runs through May 13.

    W: What is special about your art?

    L: I feel that it’s unique because people can draw, people can use the computer. Mine incorporates domesticity; it’s unique because it’s like one-of-a-kind art and it’s always unique – there’s only one of them.

    W: What inspires you?

    L: My children, God, nature, music, my family, definitely people who are around me. For some reason whoever’s around me, they will somehow emerge in my art. I don’t know it but psychologically it’s there and then I’ll see images and it’ll be, ‘Oh, these are the people that I’m around or things that are influencing me.’

    W: What is the nastiest thing someone has ever said about your skill?

    L: That I couldn ‘t draw, that I just didn’t get the figure. That was the best one I ever heard. That’s the worst one you want to hear because you’re an illustrator.

    W: What was the nicest thing someone said about your art?

    L: That I was very very talented.

    W: What will you do after you graduate?

    L: I’ve already taught at Pima (Community) College, digital art last fall. And then I’ve taught three semesters at Tucson Design College, so I feel that I’ve already done that so next year I will be the art director for Persona magazine. That will be a major undertaking for me. After I leave I would love to go work in a design company where I would be using my skills conceptually.

    W: What is the grossest food that you have ever eaten?

    L: I think escargot was a luxury but I kept thinking that I was eating the snail so I think it’s kind of gross in a way. I ate it because it was a luxury but I kept thinking, ‘Oh my God.’ It was just crunchy, slimy, runny and it had a baked feel. I just kept thinking, ‘Oh my God, there’s this snail in my stomach.’

    W: You worked with people who previously worked with Lisa Frank. I have heard rumors that she is a raging alcoholic. Have you heard anything in regard to those rumors?

    L: I’ve never met her personally. They just said that psychologically they would forever be tainted by her presence. Just influenced, like it’s like a bad dream that would never go away. But I also heard great things, that their work ethic and the way they perform is due to her. And I believe she’s influenced me, even though I’ve never seen her, because of them.

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