Interview with Leyla Safa, Part One

This is the first of a two-part feature on the illustrator Leyla Safa. The interview can be found  in it’s entirety through the month of March in the Featured Artist link to the right.

© Leyla Safa

© Leyla Safa

 

 

Leyla Safa’s art is imbued with a warmth and magic that is all her own. Through the use of her her unique color palette ranging from the subtle to the vivid. and characters who can be by turns comical and haunting but always charming and memorable, she is a master storyteller whose work transcends boundaries.

© Leyla Safa

© Leyla Safa

 

How would you describe your work in general?

I have liked painting since my childhood. I would sometimes design postcards and give them to my teachers. I was 25 years old when I began to take painting seriously, and persistently work to improve myself.  I then bought a few oil colors and canvas, sometimes painting as soon as I awoke in the morning. At first I did copies of some popular and well known realist painters that I knew and admired. I continued painting that way for about 13 years until I understood that I wanted to paint the images in my dreams. Because of this I stopped copying others’ works, and began to bring to life the images in my dreams, I illustrated them, whether they were happy or sad images. My favorite times in life are when I am listening to beautiful music and painting these dream images.

© Leyla Safa

© Leyla Safa

 

 

Any favorite projects that you’ve worked on?

I’ve been making illustrations for only a short amount of time and because of that I haven’t done a lot of work. I like my book titled “Let’s Play in the Snow”, and if that story had two human characters, instead of two trees, I would like it even more.

© Leyla Safa

© Leyla Safa

 

Who are some of your artistic inspirations?

I like a lot of illustrators’ works that are inspiring to me, like Chris Dunn, Rebecca Dautremer, Benjamin Lacombe , Jim LaMarche and my daughter Fatemeh Haghnejad. These are some of my favorite illustrators. My favorite illustrator is PJ Lynch, I love his works because they are very dreamy, and I feel they are very close to the mental images that I experience.

© Leyla Safa

© Leyla Safa

 

 

Please tell us a bit about your general work process.

Sometimes most of my moments during the day pass with painting or talking with my daughter, or my sisters who are illustrators as well. We speak about some of our future plans, or about our work and we really enjoy these discussions. I usually bring my painting tools along when I visit my relatives and paint when I am able to.

© Leyla Safa

© Leyla Safa

 

Leyla’s work can be found on her facebook fan page,

and her blog  Leylasafa.blogspot.com

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Jos Biviano on March 15, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I enjoyed this article very much. Leyla Safa’s work is brilliant, well-conceived, and full of love and emotion. I enjoy her work. She is a magnificent artist and illustrator. – Jos Biviano.