Contributor Spotlight: Leandra Brandson

Our Spotlight series introduces you to the people behind Perennial Press. In this post, we hear from force / fields contributor and visual artist Leandra Brandson. Brandson talks to us about her current read, her non-artistic endeavors, a recent rejection, and lets us sneak a peek at a new artwork! 

What book are you reading right now?

I’m currently absentmindedly flipping through Adventure Time, The Art of OOO by Chris McDonnell when I have downtime. I’ve found that since entering the final year of my degree, I’ve been doing nothing but reading heavy theoretical texts, I need a break! Adventure Time is my crutch. Whenever I feel down and out, I’m drawn to the enticing colours and surreal visuals. It lets me jump back in time for a little bit to when I was younger. I was by no means a happy or stable kid growing up, but this was one of the few things I allowed myself to love without judgement. It helps ground me and lets me relax for a little while as I convince myself to roll into the next project.

Do you make a living from your art/writing? If not, what else do you do?

Not at all! I wish I could make a living off of my art at this time, and I admire the people who do, it just isn’t in the cards for me right now. Before the pandemic, I worked full-time in the service industry. My parents started me out in their business when I was 14 and it just went from there. Now I make ends meet by teaching, it’s a blast! I teach three classes in ceramics right now, and I love sharing my joy for the medium with others. I find that teaching helps me explore and grow as an artist in ways I never imagined! It really is a labour of love, and I’m so thankful to have been given the opportunity to work where I am right now.

When was your most recent rejection? What was it for?

I get rejected all the time, it’s a part of making art! My most recent rejection however was for the BBA Art Prize, I just wasn’t of the caliber they were looking for. It stings, but I don’t mind it as much as I used to. I think part of the thrill is searching for the next thing to apply for. I’m always looking for a point from which I can jump into something new! The feeling of waiting on something potentially life-changing is addictive to say the least. I think the hardest thing about rejection is taking the first step towards it, but once you get on a roll it’s all water off a duck’s back. 

Show us the most recent page of your notebook / sketchbook. Tell us what the page is about and what inspired it.

These are my fish hooks! They’re the most recent digital image I’ve worked on to date! I don’t understand photoshop too much, but I love filling in my sketches! These hooks are a callback to fishing with my dad. He used to take me all over Manitoba when I was young. I was happy catching anything that moved, I thought they were absolutely breathtaking. I love the way fish scales flash in the sunlight, and the iridescent spots some species carry. I don’t fish much anymore, but I still like to net things in the local creeks and see what comes about. I really do love it, being knee-deep in a bog is my happy place.

Keep up with Leandra’s art happenings on Instagram, @pastasaladbrandson

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