My name is Leslie Tieu and I’m from Los Angeles, California. I started documenting my artistic journey on Instagram in 2015. I needed a creative outlet from my daily work as a pharmacist. I had always studied the sciences and now was working daily without a means to express all the creativity that was bubbling over inside. That’s when I discovered the world of lettering and watercoloring and instantly fell in love.
I had never had any formal artistic training so teaching myself became a labor of love. I became obsessed over learning new techniques, playing with and understanding color, and exploring the possibilities with watercolor. I was so infatuated that I poured myself into lettering and watercoloring almost every single day for a few years.
I find inspiration in so many things. I love geometric shapes and find so much inspiration from architecture, especially Art Deco buildings. I tend to paint in series if I can’t get a style out of my head. You’ll notice a lot of rainbow color palettes, hexagon shapes, and floral motifs in many of my pieces. I love a vibrant and happy palette and I often find the prettiest colors come from nature.
I am completely at peace in a garden, marveling at the colors nature has put together. I love combining different media as well. I’ve already explained my love of lettering and watercoloring but I started delving into line drawing and experimenting with different ways to incorporate different styles together.
I usually paint when I’m inspired. I may have a color scheme or a geometric pattern that I can’t get out of my head and that’s when my favorite paintings emerge. Sometimes my best ideas come right before bed so I keep a journal close by for rough sketches. I usually sketch with pencil on some printer paper before committing to a final piece. I use this time to determine the composition of the piece.
I don’t like when things are too symmetrical and find the prettiest pieces are slightly perfectly imperfect. Next I use some scrap watercolor paper to play with colors that I will choose for the piece. My favorite papers are cold press watercolor papers from Arches, Canson Heritage, and Strathmore. I love Daler-Rowney paints and my go-to watercolor brushes are Princeton Heritage brushes.
Painting is my happy place. I used to document my entire process on social media but I’ve found a quiet joy in painting for myself lately. I still love sharing my process videos and encouraging others to find art as a way of expressing oneself. I love passing on the creative baton and try to live by the words “creativity is contagious”. My hope is that I can continue to spark the joy of creating in others.Recommended1 recommendationPublished in