Emily Leonard

Good Habits Maximize Creativity, with Emily Leonard

An interview with Emily Leonard on SavvyPainter.com
Emily Leonard

No one has a perfect story. Light and dark, day and night, there seems to be a constant opposite element to contrast our experiences in life. We all have our moments of glory and times of difficulty. On this episode of Savvy Painter, I have the privilege to sit down with artist Emily Leonard. Emily’s journey is a fascinating one. We discuss her successes, her battle with depression, the creative process, the benefits of good habits, and much more! If you love to hear how artists have navigated their creative journey as much as I do, you don’t want to miss this episode!

That magical moment when everything “Clicks”

Have you ever had one of those magical moments when everything you are working on just “Clicks?” Artist Emily Leonard had one of those moments in her career that left a lasting impression on her process. She was working on a big solo show at a gallery in Seattle when she started a painting in which every brush stroke “Felt right.” She didn’t finish this painting in time for the gallery opening which was unusual for Emily. Usually, in those moments, she rushes the project to have it ready for the show but this one was different. This experience left a strong impression on Emily and has shaped the way she approaches painting projects and deadlines.

Battling depression and refusing to use art as a coping mechanism.

Mental illness can be difficult to understand let alone cope with. There is a wide range of strategies and methods that have helped people who suffer from mental illnesses like depression. In some instances using art has acted as a helpful coping mechanism. Artist Emily Leonard discovered that in her case, she was using art as a coping mechanism but not talking about or talking through her difficulties. She had to make a clear distinction so she distanced herself from painting for a period of time. This decision made a huge impact on the way she navigated her mental health.

Good habits and routines that maximize creativity

Everyone is looking for that one book, quote, or piece of advice that will help them maximize their creativity or productivity. Since everyone is created uniquely, it takes a variety of methods to find that personal inspiration and drive. What works for one person may not work for the next. That is why hearing from others who have found what works for them is so helpful. On this episode of Savvy Painter, I sit down with artist Emily Leonard. We talk about habits she has formed over the years that have helped maximize her creative process.

Can you balance work and family life?

Many men and women in the workplace today are asking an important question. How do you balance work life and family life? Emily Leonard is an artist and a mother so I asked her how she keeps it all balanced, does she have any tips? Emily was quick to explain that she doesn’t have any tips, she is just doing the best she can to make it all work. At one point when her daughter was still an infant, her time in the studio was suffering and it forced her to ask herself this question; “How can my process and work adapt to fit my new lifestyle as a mother?” Since she asked herself that question, Emily has been able to adapt and streamline her process and time in the studio. I loved hearing from Emily’s unique story and I know you will enjoy it too. Hear more from Emily on this episode of Savvy Painter!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:34] Background of guest: Emily Leonard.
  • [1:35] I introduce Emily Leonard.
  • [2:00] Early inspirations in art.
  • [4:55] The beginning of Emily’s art career.
  • [6:27] How to get started as an artist.
  • [9:13] Emily shares a successful moment in her career.
  • [15:29] How painting has helped Emily work through her depression.
  • [19:06] What habits or routines work well for Emily?
  • [24:00] Emily’s process for starting a painting.
  • [27:03] Unexpected reactions to Emily’s art.
  • [29:27] What is Emily working on right now?
  • [33:36] How do you balance work and family life?
  • [40:34] If you could have a piece of art from one living artist who would it be?
  • [41:38] What advice would you give a younger you?
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