About the Artist
Darby's mission is to accentuate the forging of individuality and strength. Her abstract work uses unexpected color and layers of varying textures as a metaphor for unique experiences and traumas, creating a striking result of elegant complexity that accentuates the power of our most authentic selves.
Always striving to be at the top of her craft professionally, Darby Leondra envisions representation for herself that lends aces to the world of finer arts and is embraced as an influential creative in the industry. Her creations translate beautifully expressed experiences that connect with a growing audience and encourage the journey of self.
“Notice what you notice” was advice once given to Darby by a beloved mentor and she has reveled in the creative process ever since. As she constructs each work of art, mindfulness plays an important role - taking note of each layer, color, and texture until beauty and strength can be recognized. Her process begins with a sketch and a message or emotion but turns to trust in intuitive improvisation, discovering the best colors and techniques along the way. Darby is a daredevil in life and with paint, stimulated by the tenacity of female artists and their ability to unfold themselves like Lee Krasner. Darby Leondra has honed an ambitious energy to connect the striking result of elegant complexity in her designs with the audience’s unique experiences and adversities. Personal and observant of forgotten and repressed perspectives, Darby herself is a reflection of, and her artwork an outlet for all that goes into embracing individuality.
If you want to explore my most recent pieces visit FEATURED WORK
Darby Leondra began her art training at the early age of 8 in southern Virginia. Now, with more than 15 years’ worth of formal art education and professional experiences, she has dedicated her young life to pursuing the poetic process of creation and expression.
Darby’s first professional body of work Expectation, Perception, Identity (2018) was created in recognition that people helping shape her artistic style were also imposing limiting expectations - “they pushed me to try new things but also pushed me to do what they wanted”. Feeling the impact of these external, societal values in adolescence, Darby searched for an authentic way to convey her perspective on the convoluted world around her. The techniques seen in her earliest collection Wild (2014-2016) prioritize technical skills and experimentation with color and textures. A deep love for paint as a medium - and an opportunity to get messy - can be seen in all her designs since. Through liberation and constraint, Darby Leondra artworks are constructions and deconstructions of her own identity. Motivated by the hands-on approach taken while problem solving with her high school art teacher, Darby creates to encourage the audience along their own process of individuality, both because of and despite their contexts.
Inspired by female artists like Elaine de Kooning and Lee Krasner, Darby Leondra embraces her name and authentic articulation by drawing on her own life experience and a fearless spirit found in femme fatales across generations. Adaptability, creativity, collaboration, public speaking, and leadership ability are soft skills that Darby has developed between gifted art programs, extracurricular creative clubs, classes at museums, and a formal art minor. Her talents were sought out to design and plan the Snodgrass Mural Project (now turned park) in her early home, Pennsylvania. To expand her professional experience, Darby taught herself website construction, logo/brand conception, space curation, graphic and research design, adobe creative suites, and photoshop. This has opened the door to participate in almost a dozen group exhibitions between the United States and Mexico where she manifests ideal techniques and material with the richest colors in new contemporary compositions.
Like an itch she has to scratch, Darby explores and expresses perspective and identity in many contexts. While working full time throughout college, she pursued a deep interest in the inequities of marginalized populations, designing and conducting an independent, graduate level thesis project on food security interventions. Darby uses her art as a tool to communicate this unusual blend of interests, providing a perspective that combines creativity and problem solving with research and action all in the defense of individuality. After graduating early from Allegheny College with a Bachelor of Science in Global Health and a minor in Studio Art, Darby has taken her work international. She is currently based in Mexico City, Mexico, involved in the art community, building her knowledge of art history, and collaborating with diverse creatives.