Emerging Artist | Leon

Being queer changes how you see the world and sparks creativity

Tell us a bit about yourself…

Leon, 19 and from Carlisle…I’m studying illustration at the University of Huddersfield and I make art with every medium I can find, digital and traditional, to use in every way I can. I like to tell stories, customize clothes, show my views, and just make things to look nice! Not everything has meaning or a purpose, but I love when it does. 

When did you first discover your love of art?

I was around 10 when I started exploring different types of music, which definitely sparked my interest in art. I started drawing regularly a couple years later!

Does your queer identity impact your creative approach?

Being queer absolutely affects my approach to my art. I’ve found a lot of inspiration in the love that I feel in LGBTQ+ spaces, or in the music that I connect to, and that love and inspiration is a huge motivator. 

Do you think queerness and creativity are interlinked?

Definitely! Being queer changes how you see and experience the world, and that can spark creativity and different, exciting ways. 

Is Cumbria a supportive place for queer artists?

Yes and no, although it has drastically improved in the last couple years, from my experience, Cumbria being a majority conservative place definitely has its negative affects on queer people, but, if you can find the right people, the right places, the right events, there are WONDERFUL spaces that support queerness and creativity. 

What would you like to see more of for young artists in Cumbria?

I would love to see more workshops for young artists, and I’d love to see them more advertised so that they can reach new people.

What’s your dream creative job or project?

My dream creative job or project would have to be either one day working in tattooing, or work related to music – album covers/merch/ gig posters/ etc. 

Time travel! Back or forward and why?

I’d go to the past, i’d love to be able to see some of the musical artists like Bowie, Queen and the classic punk bands who shaped the communities I interact with now. 

A message for the generation before you?

 I’d just love to hear your stories, your experiences, what made you, you and how has that shaped your life and your creativity?

And the next generation?

For the next generation, be you! there are incredible resources, spaces and people around where you can flourish, don’t hide who you are, be proud!

A message for yourself that you probably need right now?

Take it slow. Take breaks to do the things that you love and look after yourself, focus on the positives.

If art is a protest what is your message? 

Love yourself and who you are, fight for what you believe in and be unapologetically you!

All Art @redbucketart