Born and Raised in Memphis, TN, Leah Long, also known as Leah Lynnette, is an entrepreneur eager to take the Mid-South by storm. Her creativity and interest in Art started at a young age. Winning poetry, creative writing, short story, and oratory contest beginning at 7 years of age molded her outlook into what she wanted to be. After graduating high school with honors, Leah decided to stay home and attend the University of Memphis. Here she majored in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. After college, Leah dived into several different fields, including medical, before coming back to her roots, Art. Although she has no formal training in the arts, Leah has become a very talented artist and began to publicly display her work in October 2016. She has continued to be the “house artist” at The HM Lounge on Madison in Midtown Memphis since 2016. We got a chance to catch up with Leah and ask her a few questions about her journey as an artist.
AB+L: How long have you been pursuing art professionally?
Leah: 17 Months
AB+L: How did you evolve into an artist?
Leah: I have always been what I like to call "Artsy" and a creative. As a child I would pause movies and trace faces and characters off the TV screen...coloring and sketching was a big outlet for me. As the years went by, I left art behind and focused on writing, Journalism and eventually graphic design. Privately, I continued to paint for family and friends but never publicly displayed until 2016. My boyfriend suggested I go back to using my art as a form of meditation and a creative release. He also encouraged me to build a website and just put my work out there for others to see...no matter if I sold pieces or not...just go through the process of letting others enjoy my work. I did. In October of 2016 the owner of HM Lounge in Memphis asked me to display my work on their walls and I have been the "House Artist" every since. From October 2016 to February 2017 I sold 53 pieces...which COMPLETELY AMAZED ME! I had gone from never showing my work to selling a single piece for $500. Amazing feeling...
AB+L: How would you best describe your work?
Leah: Eclectic Modern Pop-Art...lol. I'm a little all over the place.
AB+L: What inspires you/Why do you create?
Leah: I create because I'm in the mood to create, honestly. Painting is my therapy, my release and escape from whatever is going on in the world around me. My pieces come from my mood, what music I'm listening to, suggestions from friends...just whatever I'm in the mood to paint at the time.
AB+L: Advice that you would give to anyone wanting to pursue an art career?
Leah : For anyone pursuing an art career my advice to you would be to never forget why you do it in the first place and to honor the responsibility that you have as a creative.
AB+L: What is the biggest obstacle you face creatively?
Leah : Finding my "style" or my "voice" in this Art world. Because I am so all over the place, it's hard for formal venues and curators to place me. I get it, but I also don't know that I want to change my moodiness and conform or commit to one particular style of painting. I just have to get out of my head sometimes and just paint...not worry about who will like it or if it will sale or what critics will say...just go back to the reason I started...
For more of Leah's work you can visit his website at www.LeahLynnette.com . For art inquiries, contact her via email at Art@LeahLynnette.com and follow her on social media via Instagram @l_lynnetteart and on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheLeahLynnette