Designing And Creating Leon Wells
One can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality. LEON L WELLS is one such person who is building dreams into reality, not only for himself, but for others too. Words aren’t enough to describe Leon. He is not just a graphic designer, also an illustrator, web designer, creative thinker, driven worker, problem solver, fashion lover, life liver, positive thinker, comic reader and a team player. His skills and talents are even more versatile which include his software skills with Adobe Illustration, Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, HTML to CSS. When we talk about his other skills we talk about illustration, concept building, layout and marketing.
Story behind what Leon L. Wells is today.
I got into art at a really young age. Comic books where the gateway to my path, I remember my mother got me a Spiderman comic book when I was about 8 years old. After flipping through the book once, I was addicted. I wanted to possess the skills that of the comic artists, that they had to create such powerful images. I remember studying all types of things around me to get better. I drew people from life, comics and even studied different poses by setting up my action figures. There is a family story that one weekend my mom came to room in the middle of the night to find me making short comic books like I was a mini factory. I used to make comics on the weekends and go door to door and sell them for a quarter. Those where the good old days.
When I was about 12 years old, my older cousin Vincent, who worked at Cartoon Network at the time, invited me down to the studio to check it out and learn about the field. I remember leaving there more pumped than ever to grow and get better. I believe this was a defining moment in my path with art. It made me realize I can actually get paid to do something I love doing.
As I got older I began to grow more distant with making comics and wanted to focus on getting better as an artist. I didn’t really know I wanted to go into graphic designing until I got into college. I felt like it was the smartest decision because people weren’t necessarily getting jobs out of college for an art degree. When college finally came around I decided to attend California Polytechnic State University Pomona. Cal poly Pomona wasn’t my first choice but I was recruited to play basketball at the school. Playing on a college team is demanding and by my 3rd year I found myself not really drawing or making things at all. I ended up quitting the basketball team at the end of my 3rdseason to pursue art and design. Now I found myself getting back into the things that gave me the most fulfilment as a child. I try to create something every day. I’m also working on a few big personal projects.
As Peter Zumthor quotes, “ Designing is a matter of concentration. You go deep into what you want to do. It’s about intensive research, really. The concentration is warm and intimate and like the fire inside the earth – intense but not distorted. You can go to a place, really feel it in your heart. It’s actually a beautiful feeling.”
Thus in the same manner as Peter, Leon quotes, “My goal is to work in an extremely creative environment. I want to gain real world experience in the field while learning new skills and perfecting my craft.”
When asked what do you have any superstitious beliefs or rules that you live by, Leon says, “I believe that our purpose in life is to make things and use our creativity in what ever way is natural to us. To many people believe in this false system of go to school, get a job etc. Making your dreams come true is the real purpose to life for me.
A word with the designer.
What currently fascinates you and how is it feeding into your work?
When it comes to design I think my biggest fascination is “cleanness” I love sleek minimal design work. I am such a paradox because when it comes to illustration I’m completely the opposite. Comics are a big factor for me, it’s something about storytelling and dynamic imagery that keeps me inspired. Animation is another thing that keeps me inspired I love how drawings can come to life with that medium. I have an extreme respect and appreciation for animators.
Do you draw very much and do you think it’s important for a graphic designer to be able to draw?
I try to draw at least every day. I’m kind of obsessed with drawing I always find myself doodling on something. I think illustration is a nice tool to have as a designer. I don’t believe it’s necessary though. I know designers that hate to draw but that have some pretty awesome design skills.
What’s your personal motto?
My motto is simply “no days off.” A long time ago I came to the realization that time is so short. It’s really easy for us to waste our time doing the wrong things. I say “no days off” because I want my hard work to pay off one day. To do that I can’t take any days off from the grind.
Who or what has been the biggest single influence on your work?
Comics are the reason I choose to be an artist. I like to believe that comics was the first thing that I was actually passionate about when I was growing up.. I didn’t get into sports until later in life but when I was a kid comics always impressed me and I wanted to do what comic attests did
What would you say is your strongest skill?
I think my strongest skill is concept building. I have a lot of cool ideas and can come up with some great concepts for work when I put my mind to it. Illustration is another strong skill of mine.
What are your personal favourite graphic designer and why?
I don’t really have any favourite designers. There are some illustrators that are my favourites. Like James jean, Jim Lee, Matt Taylor, and my new favourites are, Chase Conley, and guy by the name of Nuri Durr. I like the way they draw and the characters they make.
What do you do when you’re not designing?
When I am not crafting images I am surfing the web for funny videos playing video games and working out trying to live a healthy lifestyle.
Word of advice to the ones who want to be a graphic designer:
Immerse yourself into whatever you want to work in. Don’t be afraid to try new things and feel around the art world before you set your eyes on something. And always be open minded.
– Akshada Rawat.
Know more about Leon L Wells:
Twitter :@just__wells username – Based yamcha
Instagram : @based_yamcha
Facebook : Leon Wells – Riverside, CA
Tumblr : @iamthecompany.tumblr.com