September 10, 2007

Me... Kinda Sorta.

So, I've had this account for a while now and I've never used it. But I figure I should. I'd started using Livejournal, but it was kind of tainted for me for various reasons, and now I really don't have any desire to go back. It's just as well, really, since I deleted the account.

Anyway... My name is Leanne and I'm an illustrator. I used to work for MVCreations as an Editor, Office Manager and Illustrator. I've worked in comics and drawn an issue and a cover or two, and have done freelance stuff for different companies. Hasbro, RE/MAX, things like that. I've illustrated a children's book and have seen my work in print on various things (like wrapping paper, activity books, toy packaging and such). My favorite band is the Beatles. I don't like cocky artists who think they are above anyone else. My favorite color is blue. I'm left-handed. I love comic books. My favorite movie is The Silence of the Lambs. My favorite comic hero is Robin. I find it very hard to take compliments on my art. I am my own worst critic.

All my life I've wanted to draw. It's the only thing I've ever been truly passionate about (apart from the Beatles, but that's another story entirely). But somewhere along the line, since I left MVCreations, I've slipped. The freelance stuff isn't as frequent and I've fallen into the "boring day job" trap that has become my life for nearly three years now.

I have had many favorite artists along the years, people who have inspired me in one way or another to draw and have helped trigger my imagination. My favorite artist, in any medium, has always been Mike Wieringo. His stuff was just flawless, with a life all its own. His characters lived and breathed and moved. I was truly honored when he drew up an 11" x 17" drawing for me of my favorite Masters of the Universe character Stratos. I have it framed and hanging in my office next to my light table, and it has been the single most cherished piece of art I've ever owned. It's beautiful.

And Mike didn't have to draw me that piece. He did it simply because he knew I was such a huge fan. He wouldn't accept payment for it. He didn't even have to draw it on a big piece of actual comic art board, but he did because he wanted me to have something special. That's just the kind of guy he was.

I have many regrets in life. One of the biggest is that I never spoke with Mike more often. I even had the chance to speak to him a couple times on the phone, but chickened out. Mike was always this huge inspiration, this larger than life guy. I always convinced myself that I wasn't good enough to talk to him, or that I'd say something stupid if I ever plucked up the courage to do so. Stupid, I know. Even at the time I knew it was stupid. I apologized to Mike via e-mail and exchanged a few e-mails with him afterward. I told him how awesome he was and how much I looked up to him. He told me I shouldn't be awestruck by any artist-- "it's just art and it's just comics," he said. And he was right. Except I still couldn't shake the 'starstruck' feeling I'd get when I'd look through his work or read his blog or whatever. And let's face it, Mike was this brilliant illustrator and I was just little ol' me. The same girl who shyly shuffled up to his table at a convention in '99 and had him sign some of my Robin and Tellos comics and probably didn't say two words to him other than "thank you" because I was so awestruck. Sigh.

I wish I could go back in time and change things. But I can't. I literally cried so much I made myself sick the day after he passed away. It sucks. And it's not right, and it's not fair. And what sucks even more is that few things in life are right or fair.

So... I stopped drawing for nearly a month, and only last week managed to start up again. But I have this drive now to start doing what I love again. It's small, but it's growing larger by the day. There are projects I want to work on and things I want to accomplish in life, and I need to get to it. I'm going to make a push for this stuff soon and see what happens. And I'll post 'in progress' sketches here along the way.

So we'll see. Should be an interesting ride, anyway.

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