We fan-girled over her work well-before we connected on this project. Her portraits of women reclining + at ease has been a regular subject of Leia's, and felt like a perfect match for Soft Focus. The artwork featured on this tee is based on one of Leia's original sketches + it feels like the new best friend to our signature Lady Tee.
Today on the Journal, Leia shares some details of her daily routines, how travel influences her art + explains the inspiration behind her sketch of for the Lady Tee.
What’s your favourite time of day? Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Sunrise when I get to to see it. I'm probably more authentically a night owl, but I wish desperately that I was a morning person.
Do you have a particular way you like to start + end your day?
I like to start with a coffee and then I put an ice cube all over my face! At night I like to read as much as possible before I fall asleep. Right now I'm reading 'The Idiot' by Elif Batuman.
When you have a day to yourself, to do whatever you like, what does that look like?
I really like to cook. It's my greatest distraction for when I should be getting work done. I also love to buy flowers.
What’s your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist? How did you find your way into this career?
When I think back to it I don't really know how I got here, or if there was ever a conscious decision to do this. It feels like it just happened very naturally. I'm definitely still navigating my way through this career!
Travel seems to be a big part of your life – what's your favourite place that you've traveled to? How does travel influence your art?
Yes, when I can, I love to explore new places! I think when put in entirely new environments, colours, flavours, culture etc. it stimulates creativity and can influence my art in different ways. As of late, it's definitely inspired me to use more colour in my work.
Can you describe a bit about your process + how you've developed your style?
I think that there is a really sincere feeling that comes forward in sketches, and as I move more into painting it's nice to be able to go back to that place. I think the style of my work shows the female form and the ways in which that can be represented.
A lot of us have a piece of comfort clothing that they’ve held onto forever – what’s yours?
I have this t-shirt that i've had for several years that says 'texas' in pink cursive. it's perfect.
What are your 3 weekend essentials?
Value Village, green juice from galaxy, friends
What are your 3 weekday essentials?
Scrunchie, crosswords, lip balm
What is next for you?
I'd love to keep working with local brands such [Soft Focus], and continue building on my body of work.
Leia wearing the Leia Tee
Leia sketching at the dining room table using oil pastel.
Between takes. Leia wears the Leia Tee + High Waisted Brief in Black.
Still life with well-loved art books + her gold hoop earrings.
Getting ready for a wander.
At Good Space, a Toronto-based yoga studio, featuring a mural by Leia in their lobby.
Photos by Sophie Margolin