Artist Feature: Leo Buckett

What do you study/did you study?

I actually started out studying fine art at University Canterbury, then left after a bit to study graphic design. I finished a degree in that then moved some of the credits over to Massey, studying VCD, majoring in illustration.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

The aesthetic I think is ‘my own’ is the one you’re able to see in the images provided. It’s almost always drawn with ball point pen and a red marker, and often starts out as a doodle while waiting at a cafe or somewhere boring. I don’t always intend it but people often tell me there’s a dark feel about them. And there’s definitely a heavy Japanese influence.

What inspires you?

People, creatives and artists who just put their nose to the grindstone and get work done, and are good at what they do because they worked for it. I step back sometimes and look at artists like JunGi Kim or James Jean and it’s hard to fathom their huge work output. It can make you feel pretty shit sometimes but then it’s also inspiring.

What is your proudest moment as an artist?

It’s a toss-up between my first exhibition and selling a original drawing for two and a half grand. I know it’s not all about money and to some artists that isn’t a huge figure, but it was a validation that people are willing to spend a decent chunk of money on something I had drawn. And that felt pretty good.

Where do you hope art will take you in the future?

Anywhere that’s comfortable?  It would be cool to get invited somewhere like Japan, but as long as I am able to keep doing it and surviving off it then I feel pretty lucky.

What’s your favourite colour?

Be no surprise it’s red.

When did you realise your passion for art?

I’m not sure if I suddenly realised it or it had dawned on me. As a kid every time I had pen and paper I would draw like most people in class. I just kept doing it and then in high school people offered me small amounts of money to draw them tattoos, and drawing just kind of stuck with me – I look back now and think ‘those poor people’ who got my crappy drawings tattooed on their body for life at that age!

If there was one artist dead or alive you could spend a day with, who would it be and why?

Would have to be Frank Frazetta, the guy was a super talented illustrator who painted so well from his incredible imagination and people still argue if he was a fine artist or not. He also seemed like a really nice guy who would be cool to go get a beer with. Or Anna Kathleen Mcdonald, she is doing some really cool illustration stuff in the art world.

What’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to art and design?

It has to be ‘Tattoo Artists’ don’t get me wrong here I have some incredibly talented friends who are tattoo artists, and they deserve respect for their skill. Then I also know a bunch who can’t draw at all and all they’re doing is tracing other artists work and getting paid for it.  In my world if I trace a drawing then sell it its illegal, or at least really frowned upon by other artists.

Check out: boy_buckett

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