I met Leona Leppers at the Sunday Market in Amsterdam a few weeks back and was immensely captivated by her wearable art, being the magpie that I am – I can’t see anything shiny and colourful without being automatically drawn to it! I bought a couple of pieces from her and thought I needed to share her work on my blog as I know some of my blog friends will love it too! I mentioned it to her at the time and she kindly agreed to do a little interview along with a photo feature. Hope you like it.
How would you describe your work?
My art is colourful and soft, folklore and hip. Soft jewellery made of velvet, art bags, theatrical hats and Queen-rings.
What (or who) is your main source of inspiration?
My inspiration is the folklore from around the world, from countries such as Viet Nam, India, Tibet, Africa and China. The festive clothing worn for parties or at every opportunity. It’s so colorful and many are hand-embroidered, that speaks to me tremendously and makes me very happy.
How did it all start?
My mother is a creative woman and had a lot of clothing sewn for me. She sent me to ballet lessons, where I discovered as a little girl how fine it is to express oneself in dance and I’ve never stopped dancing with my fingers.
It also started with my own business using all my art skills: I can give art lessons, dance workshops for children, I make my own art and sell it at markets and on the internet. I wanted a job in education but that was not available, therefore I started my own business.
Have you had any specific art training?
I have no creative training in textiles but do it intuitively. I am a Drama-therapist and have years of training in counselling and working as creative-therapist. After that I got into the textile artwork. I gave fashion workshops at a school and that was when I discovered my soft jewellery technique.
Are you preparing any exhibition soon?
In March 2013 I am organizing an art exhibition at home. Also every year I am at more festivals with my super fun tent, which is like fairytale. And I also run a B&B where people can sleep in my colorful world!
What is your favourite medium and is there any you would like to experiment with that you haven’t tried yet?
I play the harp and would like to make film music, that seems super to me! Also it would be very nice to make jewellery line designs for the fashion brand Manoush.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to chill out?
I love watching beautiful movies, facebook (Leona Leppers) listening to music, lying in the hammock, decorating my house and garden, buying vintage clothing, and entertain myself in the sea swimming and going to Amsterdam.
Thank you Leona, for being so nice and graceful! If you want to find out more, you can find Leona’s website here and her Etsy shop here. If you want to immerse in Leona’s colourful world you can always book a weekend away in Holland at her B&B “Alegria”, just look for the tab on the main website.