The amazing thing about art is how broad the definition can be, and ultimately it is define by the observer and not the creator. There is photography, sculpture, painting, illustrations, pottery, and so on, but an exciting new outlet is that of original skateboard design. An artist that is advancing this medium into a art form, and still finding time to create other incredible pieces of art is Leanne Biank. Pennsylvania artist, Leanne Biank, has a BFA in Illustration from The University of Arts in Philadelphia and is currently a designer for Villanova University.
Recently, Leanne was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:
Orange Alert (OA): How would you define your style of painting?
Leanne Biank (LB): I guess if I had to call my style something I might say its a bit of a mix of tongue in cheek, whimsical, surrealism or something like that.
OA: In the current world of art, what is the distinction between art and
illustration, and how do you, (if you do) keep the two separate when you create?
LB: Well I actually went to school for illustration and to me "illustration" and "art" can easily be one in the same. As long as you are constantly putting yourself and your own ideas and thoughts on things into your work, the "illustration" you may have done for a cd cover could just as easily have hung in a gallery. Plus alot of the times galleries, that might show your "art," will give you a theme for the show, to give you something to work off of, which alot of the times is the same way that an illustration job might be done. I guess I could say that illustration is getting an idea across through an image, well I would hope that an artist would be doing the exact same thing with their "art."
OA: What is your typical starting point for a new piece, and how long does
it take you to complete that piece?
LB: My personal way of working out and starting a piece, is by doing a bit of research on whatever my idea might be, through books, Internet ect. Then I'll make out a pretty big list of any words that might come to my mind about that idea, after that I sketch out about 20 thumbnail ideas until I have something set. From there I just sketch and sketch in my book until my characters, backgrounds and ideas are solid enough to transfer to the wood that I will eventually turn into a painting. It usually takes me about a week or two to finish a painting because I also work two jobs I dont get to sit down every day and paint, unfortunately.
OA: Who are some of your biggest influences artistically?
LB: Some of my biggest artistic influences are titian, monet, Bernie fuchs, jeremy fish, jeff soto, joe sorren, blaine fontana.
OA: Do you listen to music when you paint? If yes, who are some your favorite musicians to listen to? Does their music impact your painting in anyway?
LB: I do listen to music when i paint, or sometimes ill watch a movie on my laptop or something, but usually ill listen to music. Lately i've been listening to; sufjan stevens, clap your hands and say yeah, the decemberists, iron and wine, explosions in the sky, modest mouse, me without you and the get up kids. their music definitely impacts my work for sure they put me in this certain mood that really gets me into what i'm doing, I tend to not think about anything else but what's in front of me and kind of zone out.
This spring Leanne will take part in the "Across the Sea" group show at the Fuel Gallery (Philly) on March 16th, the "Pick of the Harvest: Batch Four" show at Thinkspace Gallery (LA) on April 13th, and the "I Am an 8-Bit" show at 1988 Gallery (LA) on April 17th. For more information on Leanne Biank visit her website.