Wednesday, 13 June 2012


Austin, Texas in the USA has a strong and vibrant creative community. It is where graphic designer Leah Duncan moved when she made the decision to pursue a career as an illustrator. That was in 2008 and since then she has taught herself to sew and create surface pattern design. She has also had her work licensed by Target, Urban Outfitters, Teroforma and Land of Nod.

Which five words best describe you? Passionate, silly, introverted, determined, and curious.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I'd always been interested in art, but it never seemed like a logical career path. I originally studied commercial printing in college which had nothing to do with art other than designing our own projects to print on commercial printing presses. We were graded on how well it was printed, not on how well it was designed, but I fell in love with design through the process and it's been my focus ever since. I got a job as a graphic designer after college and worked for an advertising firm, followed by a screen-printing company. The problem with those jobs was that there's only so much creativity involved in that sort of business and you ultimately have to answer to your client and your boss. I knew in order to fulfill my creative hunger I would need to be the one in charge, so when we moved to Austin four years ago I started my journey into art, illustration, sewing, pattern making, and small business.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Learning to say no. I've always been a people pleaser and it's gotten me in over my head on one too many occasions. I've learned that saying no is hard, but it leaves me open to projects that are better suited to my business and gives me time to spend with my friends and family, which to many small business owners is oftentimes a luxury.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Deciding to do this! And everything since then has been a dream come true.

What’s been your best decision? Besides deciding to do this, deciding to marry my husband and adopt my dog were equally as good.

Who inspires you? Everyone. I'm pretty much a sponge who is hopefully squeezing things out in my own voice.

What are you passionate about? Art, illustration, design, animal welfare, food, fitness, and my family.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Frida Kahlo. I just love her bold quirkiness.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Living on and owning a farm. Starting a family.

What are you reading? Imagine by Jonah Lehrer. I find studies of creativity intriguing.

images courtesy of leah duncan; portrait paige newtown


Connie | Daydream In Color said...

I just love her work! It's so fun to learn more about her!

luckiest woman alive said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you Natalie - another great insight into an inspiring creative. I LOVE your blog so much I can barely believe it. These profile pieces are exactly what I need to read right now. Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

gorgeous work! thanks for sharing :-)

Oli said...

Great interview, amazing work - quote that resonated with me most - "I knew in order to fulfill my creative hunger I would need to be the one in charge". I'm a massive believer in collaboration, but moreso the singular vision.


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