Ceramic artist Leslie Codina describes her work as “sophisticated whimsy.” This self-taught artist talks about her magical, colorful body of work.
ABI: You never went to art school. How did that affect your work?
LC: Art schools are an incredible wealth of information and inspiration, but I always felt that not going to art school helped me to create a style that was strictly mine. I have never had any rules about form, color, or technique. There was never a professor to give me a grade and tell me if I was bad, or good at what I did. My personal drive to create something even better than I did yesterday, is what pushes and expands my creativity.
ABI: Your ceramic work is all handbuilt. How are the totems constructed, and how long does it take to make them?
LC: Each element is like a large complex bead. It takes over a month to complete one totem. Building and cleaning the pieces, base coating, detail work, glazing, and multiple firings are just some of the work intensive steps involved in finishing a pole.
ABI: Do you have any advice for artists who are retailing their work?
LC: I was scattered and went in a lot of different directions before I really studied who my ideal clientele are. Once I figured where the best locations and shows were for my artwork, everything started to become smoother and more clear. With a little bit of research and understanding about your specific artwork, and a lot of passion for what you do, everything will start to fall into place.
ABI: Tell us about the garden shows where you exhibit.
LC: The majority of my shows are fine art, high end, juried art shows, but I also do a few garden and arboretum shows. My artwork jumps that bridge between interior and exterior spaces.