Once Upon a Time…

Once upon a time…

© Herb Leonhard

I think I’ve enjoyed drawing and creating things from an early age. When I was very small, my parents had a few German children’s books, I still have them to this day and look at them often. The artwork in them has always been, on some level, something that I’ve aspired to, apparently even then because the end papers of those books have lots of colored pencil scribbles on them, I’m pretty sure those were mine.

Gasthaus-cover-scribbles

The next kind of artwork to really draw me in (no pun intended) was in the comic books that I’d begun reading voraciously at about the age of ten, people like Jack Kirby, John Buscema and Steranko were what I had instead of sports heroes or rock stars. Well, the rock stars came later and provided the next great wave of inspiration for me, those two things, along with the discovery of J.R.R.Tolkien. That was the big wave that I rode through both high school and art school. In fact I’m still at least standing on that beach after three decades of creating artwork of some sort on a professional basis in the “real world”.

© Herb Leonhard

© Herb Leonhard

Most of the pieces however were things that I created simply for the love of creating them, I’d like to think that I can still remember the fun of drawing for it’s own sake in those early days. Certainly if left to my own devices, free of anyone else’s expectations I’ll invariably start drawing things like fairies and dragons, to which my sketchbooks can attest. Many of my earlier pieces were created for, and the originals currently reside within, a series of self-bound handmade books and are interpretations of song lyrics. Just because. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

© Herb Leonhard

With the advent of computers and the hindsight of experience the artwork has become perhaps more sophisticated, not to mention easier to reproduce and manipulate. I love the tools that our brave new modern world has provided, and my work now is very much a marriage of traditional painting with digital technology. That initial joy in the creation process remains however, and I’d like to think that it comes through in the work. If you like it then it probably has.

© Herb Leonhard