Our new featured artist is representing Seattle, Washington. For 8 years, this talented man has dedicated his life to the field of arts. He is best known for creating sophisticated graffitis in his city, but he is also passionate about pretty much anything that involves visual arts. His murals will leave you awed and astonished in a way that you won't forget what just hit your eyes.
His name is Leo Shallat and he is a true visionary. Every little thing inspires him. His story on how he started doing this for a living will no doubt bring life to your world, especially if you're an aspiring artist. May his interview with us motivate you and make you appreciate art like never before. Once again today, we give you, Leo Shallat.
An Interview with Leo Shallat
APA: What is the root/birth/foundation of your creativity… how did you get started?
Leo: Graffiti is the foundation of everything I produce. Graffiti was the first time I got inspired to make my own mark on the world. Graffiti evolved into wild styles, lots of wildstyle piecing turned into a more focused love for typography. From an interest in typography, I developed a love for calligraphy and fused those interested together for graphic design. That foundation gave me the inspiration to merge all the disciples together.
APA: What do you want people to obtain when they look at your work?
Leo: I want to leave people with a sense of wonder, curiosity, a desire to know more and to go deeper. I hope that my work inspires people to look at how they can take on being more creative in their own lives.
APA: What is your workflow? What is your creative process from start to finish?
Leo: It depends on the project. For my fine art, I start with an idea or concept I want to explore then find colors and compositions that I think would be interesting. For more commercial work I approach itlike I would design. I’m trying to use creative problem solving for a client while lending my artistic influence to the mix. Usually, that process looks like meeting with the client, talking about their vision and inspiration, seeing what parallels I can find in my work, and sending them different mockups of designs until we collectively come to something that works best forthe space. I like the commercial work to be as co-creative as possible.
APA: In the next decade, what do you wish to accomplish with your creative gifts?
Leo: I want to continue refining the calligraphic style I am building on to be razor sharp. One goal I have right now is to continue working globally on mural projects that transform and uplift public spaces. Getting financially supported to create work that helps me evolve while enriching the lives of the people who see and interact with it is the dream.
APA: What do you do to keep going when you are not motivated or inspired to create?
Leo: It’s counter-intuitive but sometimes when I hit a block I take a day from the studio and go outside. Doing something like snowboarding for the day or going on a hike gets me away from social media and the buzz of the city plus kicks me into my body. I get full from that and am able to come back to the studio the next day with fresh energy that helps me get over whatever problem I’m trying to solve.
APA: What most often inspires your work?
Leo: Music is one of the greatest contributions to my work. Because I work with text and writing, I’m always staying open to music with a message that inspires me. I’ve createdseries of work from single lines in a song. After music, it’s dance, philosophy, conversations with friends, and taking time to listen to what’s going on in the world and pay attention to what struggles people are experiencing and which of those struggles are universal to all of us.
APA: What is the most challenging part of being an artist?
Leo: It’s going to be different for each artist. Personally, self-discipline is hard still. Being strict about timelines and most of all doing the work when it doesn't feel good is something I’m working on a lot right now. Being a professional means you get it done on time, regardless of if you want to or not. You have to have a strong connection to your word.
APA: What do you wish you knew about the art business before you got started?
Leo: You can work commercially without compromising your creative integrity. Commercial work is amazing because it pays well, allows you a chance to flex your creative problem solving/critical thinking brain and for me, helps makes space in my schedule to allow me the time and resources to hustle on my personal work.
Follow Leo on all of his social networks linked below. You can also visit his website to know more about his updates and latest art releases.