Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Artists I Admire : Gabe Leonard

I like Gabe Leonard for a number of reasons but the main one is he convinced me that Artists can make good money doing what they love.

Gabe's Style: Gabe's style is mostly realistic with a tinge of cartoonish nature. His subjects are primarily human figures with a few mythical creatures thrown in here and there. It seems that he picks a theme and stays with that theme for several paintings. He's done fantasy paintings, paintings featuring classic Hollywood stars and his most recent vein has been the "Wild West" or cowboys, Indians and Abe Lincoln.

Gabe's Bio/Education: Based on his website bio, Gabe is originally from Wyoming but got his Art degree from CCAD (Columbus College of Art & Design) the premiere art school of central Ohio. He moved out LA after graduating hoping to become a background painter for a major studio. When he got there however, fate had other plans and he split time between "folding shirts" at Macy's and hocking his art on the boardwalk of Venice Beach. The sales in Venice Beach became more and more profitable until he was able to do survive from the sale of his paintings full time.
Today, he counts himself lucky that he did not get a background painting job with a major studio. Otherwise he would not have the freedom - both of his schedule and artistically - that he possesses today.

Why I admire Gabe: I admire Gabe because about a year and a half ago or so, I saw his work on myspace and started reading his blog. This was after doing a search of CCAD alumni who graduated around the same time I graduated with my Marketing degree. I e-mailed him about if he is surviving being a CCAD grad. He e-mailed me back saying not only was he surviving, he was thriving. This little bit of encouragement convinced me to start drawing again if only to see if I still had my gift. Before I could even try and shop some of my art to local galleries, my first customer "K" complimented me on my art work and asked if I could draw a certain church for her. When I remarked I already had, I shortly thereafter had my first sale. All because of Gabe's encouragement.

My favorite piece of Gabe's so far:

Thing She Saved

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