making art with Leaeva studio’s Léa Fernandez

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Léa Fernandez explores the senses through her art. The fine lines and curved strokes are what first had us drawn towards to her work, which she creates under the name, Leaeva Studio. Her art adorns the walls of the Smack Bang meeting room and we’d be lying if we said her beautiful images didn’t get their fair share of admiration from whoever pays us a visit. Recently, Léa let us into her Bronte abode to chat about escapism, architecture and SBS On Demand, while watching her bask in her creative element. 

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  1. HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
    I switch between almond milk, chai, cappuccino, piccolo or cold brew! It depends on my mood and it’s a nightmare for the baristas trying to remember my order…
  2. HOW DO YOU JUGGLE YOUR DAY JOB WITH RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
    As fruitful as my art has been so far, I wouldn’t want to call it a business. Drawing, painting, creating is visceral to me and calling it that way would take away the magic. My full-time job is in architecture/interior design so I find myself creating and designing all day, every day. After a day at work, it’s quite hard to find the energy to produce more. I find myself doing most of my art on weekends or when taking time off from work.
  3. WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR FINDING THE TIME FOR WORK, ART AND LIFE?
    You have to follow your intuition. If your intuition is telling you to create, be social, or take some time out for yourself then you just do that. It also is so rewarding to do what you love and I find that once you start living that way you don’t really look back and stop unless you need the rest.
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making art with Leaeva studio’s Léa Fernandez
making art with Leaeva studio’s Léa Fernandez
  1.  HOW DO YOU GET INTO CREATIVE MODE?
    Before I start, I set up everything I need on the floor or on my desk and turn the music on. From a young age, music has been one of my main inspirations and I can hardly do anything without it. I like to have no one disturbing me or watching as I really delve into an inward/outward meditative place.
  2. WERE YOU ALWAYS CREATIVE AS A CHILD?
    I can’t remember ever not being creative. When I was young, my mum taught me to create shapes and wonders out of marks on a napkin or from clouds hovering above our head. I grew up in a small city in the south of France and we just had time to daydream, read and watch a lot of alternative movies at a cinema called Utopia. I still dream of it. She always found a way to lighten my heart. Creating magic out of nothing was and is a coping mechanism for me. Problems or painful situations find a way out of my head in a whole different manner that way. We also didn’t have much money when I was a child so to pass time and during the holidays, I used to draw, paint and write stories out of the drawings. That and ballet dancing for years. I still dance… in my bedroom, in the living room, on the dance floor. I can’t help it. That’s also visceral for me.
  3. DO YOU COME FROM A FAMILY OF CREATIVES?
    More or less, yes. I think most people are creative in their own way. My grandfather used to write poetry in Spanish (my grandparents on my mum’s side were Spanish) and my mum is quite creative – she use to paint landscapes with china ink, and take flamenco and salsa classes. She always blasted jazz or 70s rock music in the house and I spent a lot of my time with her as a child when my siblings who were older, left the house.
  4. HOW DID YOUR CAREER AS AN ARTIST BEGIN?
    You know, being an artist is actually what I wanted to be when I was a kid so that’s a hard question to answer! What qualifies you as “an artist”? I think at times in my childhood I was more an artist than in other moments of my life. I finished my masters of architecture almost 3 years ago and have been working in the industry ever since. I believe some architects are artists, not all of them. Otherwise, I started drawing and painting more for myself a year ago. I can’t believe it has only been a year! It was at a time when I could make space for it and dive into it fully. About 2 months later I got my first commission and it hasn’t stopped since.
  5. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK?
    My creativity comes mainly from my pain and sensitivity. It was a way of escape when I was younger and it still is. Whenever you create something you change your environment in one way or another, I always wanted to change my story or my situation and creating was my only way to do so.
    I think I’d also have to say that my childhood, moving countries when I was 16 and my cross-cultural identity has definitely influenced who I am today.
making art with Leaeva studio’s Léa Fernandez
making art with Leaeva studio’s Léa Fernandez
making art with Leaeva studio’s Léa Fernandez

“I’m never short of ideas so I just have to write them all down, believe in them and work on making some happen.”

  1. WHERE DO YOU SEEK INSPIRATION FOR YOUR COLLECTIONS?
    Within me and my surroundings. People and nature are more beautiful and vulnerable than they let it see. We are ephemeral, delicate beings.
  2. ANY TIPS FOR YOUNG ARTISTS?
    Follow your intuition. If there is something out there that you want or you want to live a certain way or you have things to say, draw or paint – draw it, paint it, write it down and just do it. No one has the answer for yourself and no one is going to tell you to do it. You know what? No-one has the answer for themselves either. Life can be taken too seriously and at the end of the day, we can’t forget what our main values are and what we are working so hard for. You just have to live the way you want to and as long as you love what you do, things work out.
  3. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN DRAWN TO LINEAR DRAWING?
    Not necessarily – I still love mixing up methods of drawing or painting and experimenting in new ways. There is something fragile and vulnerable about line drawing though. I never know where it is about to take me and I can never plan what the drawing will look like. For someone who likes to predict, it is highly liberating.
  4. WHAT’S NEXT FOR LEAEVA STUDIO?
    I’d like to do more collaborations. I’d also love to help people in one way or another so if a magical collaboration comes my way I’ll go right for it. I’m never short of ideas so I just have to write them all down, believe in them and work on making some happen. I love to see what people approach me with. It allows me to open my mind to things I wouldn’t think of myself. That’s why I love collaborations. I also love writing and will be doing more blog posts.
  5. TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE COLLABORATION?
    The t-shirt that is currently available on the J.V Reid website. Jeffrey approached me a few months ago and created a t-shirt out of one of my drawings. It is quite a special experience to have someone from another continent do “business” with you and create another thing out of one of your creation. It is incredible how we all inspire each other.
  6. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
    When designing, what I love most is finding the solution to a problem which works both aesthetically and also contributes positively to the lifestyle of the occupant of the space. With the artwork, I like creating art as it allows me to unleash all feelings, buried frustrations, love, curiosities I can’t explain with usual vocabulary. That’s the reason why I like writing poetry. Not everyone has to understand it, as long as it relieves the heart and makes sense to my soul.

To see more of Léa Fernandez’s work, head to Leaeva Studio.
Connect with Léa.  

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making art with Leaeva studio’s Léa Fernandez
making art with Leaeva studio’s Léa Fernandez
making art with Leaeva studio’s Léa Fernandez
making art with Leaeva studio’s Léa Fernandez
making art with Leaeva studio’s Léa Fernandez
making art with Leaeva studio’s Léa Fernandez

Photos by Kendall Hubbard



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