Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Brighton Street Style - Fashion Illustration

Last month I was asked to collaborate with Brighton Girl Mag and writer Hermione Berendt of Revival Collective to illustrate the vibrant and diverse street style looks found in the city of Brighton. I was super excited to make some work for the project, as Brighton is so dear to my heart as a safe haven of eccentricity and free self-expression. I can't decide which is my favourite look. Immaculate historical re-enactment of that one scene in a 1960's French film?  Middle-class trust-fund krustie? Cultural appropriation 101?  You can find the fun article written by Hermione HERE. (FYI, She's not spitting up bile like I am.)

Ink Drawing Fashion Illustration
Brighton Street Style - Goth. Hand drawn Fashion Illustration.

Ink Drawing Fashion Illustration
Brighton Street Style - Hippie. Fashion Illustration Ink Drawing.

Vintage Retro Street Style Illustration Ink
Brighton Street Style - Retro. Ink Drawing Illustration.

Ink Drawing Fashion Street Style Illustration
Brighton Street Style - Hip Hop and Street. Ink Line Drawing.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Apocalypso - My December Playlist to Chill Out and Freak Out To

Sometimes you just need a playlist that makes only loose connections and takes you on a daydream. We have a Nick Cave song AND a song featuring Nick Cave because what else is there as December soaks in bleakly beyond that Australian vampire? I'll tell you. King Princess. Who I love, but I'm getting to that age where new pop people are younger than me in a serious way. So I won't say any more on that. We have two of my favourite songs of all time ever: I Never Cared For You by Willie Nelson and The Village by New Order. You must consider these gifts, and I give them to you in good faith, travel onward with them in your pocket and never neglect them. Byeeee!


Monday, 1 October 2018

INKTOBER 2018 - Day 1

I'm making a deliberate choice to not follow a prompt list for Inktober 2018. I'm still taking on the 31 day challenge, but this year I'm going to follow my nose and draw what I love. I chose a toad for Day One, and I thought it would be nice to photograph it in my garden as it's looking suitably dark, autumnal and moody out there right now.

dark red autumn leaves

toad ink illustration inktober
Inktober 2018 - Day 1

dark red autumn leaves

ink line drawing frog toad
toad ink illustration

See you tomorrow for Day 2!

Wednesday, 12 September 2018


These faces just arrive on my desk, I swear to God. I'm working on a video of the process for these, but don't hold you're breath because my technology is booby trapped and nothing works. I think I like the yellow and black guy best.

original ink illustration cartoonist amy leonard
lilac hair sulky geek

spikey green guy cartoon amy leonard
spikey green guy scaring me

ink illustration big hand amy leonard
black and yellow big hand feller

Saturday, 14 July 2018

New Work

Some new pieces I've been working on, exploring the qualities of ink I like best. It might sound strange, but I find ink crispy and sharp, and I love drawings that do justice to that experience that I have when I'm making ink drawings. The first two ink illustrations here were done after completing a Skillshare class by Tom Froese. I completed the second one first, but wanted to go a bit extra, so redid it, and I love the results with the added yellow touches and the various inky textures. I love the way the textures added at the points of the pen and pencil illustrations seems to make them speak. The class by Mr Froese is only around half an hour long, if I remember correctly, but it has really unlocked some ideas and techniques for me. I opened a skillshare account because it occurred to me that if I keep facing the same blocks and issues, I've got more to learn. I've found it a rich and valuable resource in just a few days of use, and I'm excited to work and develop over the next few weeks. See you soon.

Friday, 1 June 2018

That Was Our Artist Open House - North End House - May 2018

I mentioned in my previous post how grateful I am to have had the chance to be a part of the first Artist Open House event at North End House in Ditchling. May 2018 saw the house open as an AOH venue for the first time, and I showed with Olivia Marjorie Broadbent Smith, who calls North End House home, Beth Flynn and Beccy Bloomfield.

I have learned so much about what my work means to me, and I've been able to see it through the eyes of others. Sharing art is a pickle for me. I love making artworks and illustrations, I get so much joy from the visual work of others, and yet to talk about and share my own work ... It makes me feel that I am like a kid that comes running up to you shouting "LOOK AT THIS THING I DREW!" We all know that all you have to say is "WOW!" and variations of "That's amazing/ you're very talented/ didn't you just go and try your darned hardest" etc. It is this aspect that confuses me. Or has confused me.

I used to think art making was egotistical. Not wholly, but there must have been a part in it that is driven by the brittle attention seeking ego. That would be the root of all the self-consciousness and anxiety that so many artists feel. I'm pleased to say I don't think that anymore. Exhibiting goes far beyond that. Talking with visitors and seeing the joy of pottering up North End in Ditchling and sharing in community, and creative thought, and taking in the view and the scent of flowers, what a beautiful thing. The overwhelming feeling I have is one of collaboration.

Human society exists because we share and collaborate. A monkey taps his monkey pal on the shoulder and shows him that if you smash that rock on this rock it makes an entertaining noise. Monkey pal says "OOH! OOH! OOH!" and does it too, and in a heartbeat, The Rolling Stones are making $10 million dollars in t-shirt sales alone. (Are you keeping up?)

The only thing that moves you to make art in the first place is that you saw something somebody else did and you were moved. You might have enjoyed it, it might have annoyed you, you might have been unsettled or activated or you might have thought "I can do better than that".  But the thing was shared, and you saw it, and you moved forward.

Here's to an evolution.

North End House Art In Ditchling 2018
North End House - View From the Road

North End House Art In Ditchling 2018
Our Work Together - Olivia Marjorie Broadbent Smith, Beth Flynn, Beccy Bloomfield and Amy Leonard

North End House Art In Ditchling 2018
Olivia Marjorie Broadbent Smith - North End House 2018

North End House Art In Ditchling 2018
Beccy Bloomfield's sculpture and painting of Marjorie Broadbent nee Bourne

North End House Art In Ditchling 2018
Beccy Bloomfield at North End House

North End House Art In Ditchling 2018
Beth Flynn at North End House

North End House Art In Ditchling 2018
Amy Leonard at North End House

North End House Art In Ditchling 2018
Preparing for the Private View

North End House Art In Ditchling 2018
Sneaky peak through the doors. Did you make it?

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Artist Open House 2018: Ditchling Trail @NORTH END HOUSE

Olivia Broadbent Smith is an artist and teacher, and she is opening the doors of her family home North End House throughout the weekends in the month of May as part of the Artist Open House Ditchling Trail. There are 18 venues in total taking part in Ditchling this year and I am proud and excited to get the opportunity to take up space in North End House with Olivia, Beth Flynn and Beccy Bloomfield and play my part in this celebration of artistic endeavor. North End House is rich in local history. It was once a Private School and has direct links to the family who founded Ditchling Museum. 

North End House Ditchling Artist Open House
North End House - Ditchling

is the link to the Ditchling Trail on the Artist Open House website, where you can find information about the dozens of artists contributing to the trail in 2018.

Below is the Ditchling Trail book cover with beautiful art work by Ashley Hutchinson of Ashleaf Printmaking and design by Sebastian John Pendley.

Art In Ditchling 2018

This is the page for our venue in the Ditchling Trail book mentioned above. A selection of works including images from host Olivia Broadbent Smith @OliviaMarjorieBeth Flynn @BethFlynnArtwork and Beccy Bloomfield. As well as little old me.

Here's a sneak peek at some of the work I've made for the show:

artist open house foliate head

foliate head mixed media amy leonard creative

amy leonard creative may queen drawing

Ditchling has an old fair tradition, although they hold it in June and select a Fair Queen then, the tradition of a May Queen and procession has a deep root, and I was inspired by the themes of Beltane and the image of the May Queen and Green Men that persist within folk traditions across the UK. Foliate heads can be found across the world, and what I find most interesting about them is that they have no single concrete origin or meaning, but are instead generally evocative of the relationship between man and nature, a lost pagan history, and the hope in the rebirth of spring.

I'm kicking into high gear in terms of preparation as there's only a week or so left before we have to put the show up! It's nerve-wracking, exciting, but most of all an astounding privilege. I can't wait.

Coloured Inks

A foray into colour, but still dark. Something really tasty about a white gelly pen over a textured background as well.

Amy Leonard Creative Milagros

Blue Ink Amy Leonard Creative

Sunday, 25 February 2018

A Narrowboat Holiday in February

We went on a narrow boat holiday in February at the edge of the Penines. We've always wanted to do it, and we didn't let the cold weather put us off. I learned that ducks are nice. Until they try to get girlfriends. In which case, violence.