Leslie Nazarian – Design Maverick
Leslie and I met about 3 years ago at the one and only conference Cafepress hosted. We immediately hit it off and have been friend ever since. She has an amazing ability to create in a variety of mediums on a variety of subjects… AND she’s always upbeat – definitely keeps me motivated.
Besides her fantastic cut paper collage, she draws and has a beautiful photography collection. She also has a great selection of kid’s art as well as bridal and wedding items. Leslie is one of the few people that can actually follow my crazy bouncing off the wall trains of thought while managing to add new ideas and brainstorming to the mix. I am sure I haven’t thanked her enough for all her help, inspiration and happy vibes.
What medium do you enjoy most?
Cut paper collage. I love creating life from scraps of paper.
What title would you give yourself?
The funny thing about titles is that they seem so important and a way of defining you in the corporate world. But outside of that, a title is kind of irrelevant. I don’t know what my title would be, because what I do changes daily and weekly. I’ll plead “Maverick” on this one.
How did you get started?
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. My elementary school book reports were all about re-creating the book cover and less about writing what the book was about. Grade school was where I began my verse-writing skills, crafting cheeky poems about my teachers to pass the time in class.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Not that I’m near being grown up but I think I am finally what I wanted to be.
Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives:
I couldn’t possibly name three. I love so many artists I come across online (present company included ?), fellow shopkeepers, musicians, photographers, writers and other amazing creative types that I am constantly inspired by and in awe of. There is so much talent everywhere you look.
What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?
Playing the game Operation when I was a kid and removing tonsils and spleens from the mechanical patient was great training ground for learning how to work with tweezers and tiny objects – a skill I now utilize when cutting and pasting tiny eyes, noses and mouths on my collage people (although I’m fairly certain my parents would have been happy to have seen those skills applied towards becoming a surgeon. Chuckle.) Oh, and being part of the dotcom lay-offs way back when gave me the “space” to build my own business. Unemployment will do that. LOL.
Do you feel you’re successful?
Yes and no. I feel success after each project is completed. But there is always so much more to do. The minute you finish one thing there is a list of more things to do and so you’re on to the next thing and the next and the next. Success is in the baby steps. I think if you felt completely successful you’d feel done. And I’m nowhere near done.
What do you like most about what you do?
My work on my terms. I spent years submitting books to editors. It’s amazing how much time can go by waiting for others to validate your work. Now I validate my own work. I publish my books online and am happy just to have them out there. It’s not about the money it’s about getting your work in the world.
What #1 piece advice can you offer to those who might like to “follow in your footsteps”?
Ha! Don’t follow my or anyone else’s footsteps… create your own footprint and do what drives you.
What are you most proud of?
Creating something from nothing. Years ago when I first started working online I would joke that I was building an online empire. To quote Chris Daughtry, “Careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it all.”
Other comments and ideas you’d like to share:
Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come – SEO baby, SEO!