aka - Orange Pops
In second grade, Leslie Phillips was chosen by her art teacher to show her watercolor still life in an emerging artists show at the Capital building in Madison. Leslie has considered herself an artist ever since, even though she may have gotten lost at times along the way. In her post college years Leslie worked for quite a time in "corporate America" mostly in education and admissions, and while doing so she longed to get home at the end of a stressful and unfulfilling workday to get busy on her latest artsy project. When she had the time to work on her art, she always lost herself in it, finding that hours would go by in the blink of an eye.
At the age of 31, Leslie decided that corporate America was not where she belonged. She knew it was time for a change, but struggled to find a career that meant something to her and one that brought joy and happiness to her life. She finally decided to enroll in massage school, and a year and a half later quit her soul stealing corporate job and began working for herself. This gave Leslie more freedom and allowed her to expand on her artistic vision and truly create passionate pieces of artwork. After a time she began selling her art to family and friends, and this new confidence in her work led to doing art shows around the holiday season when she had built up enough inventories over the past year to have a decent sized variety of work at her shows.
So, life went on much like this until 2012. This year Leslie turned 40, which made her stop and take a long hard look at her life and what changes she needed to make in it. She would often wake up in the night thinking about her artwork, and ways to improve it and make her process more efficient. This is the year she decided to pursue her artwork full-time. With very little money in savings, and nothing to really fall back on, this leap took loads of courage. So far, this art adventure has been one of the best of her life. Leslie now sells her work at shops and galleries around the state of Wisconsin and she can be found on weekends at art shows and street fairs around the state. Her latest work consists of mostly smaller affordable art pieces that are created from photographs of her original larger artworks. Leslie uses resin, glue, recycled print materials, and repurposed tile and old wooden windows most often in her work. She chose her business name, Orange Pops, because of her undying and perpetual love of the color orange and the inspiration she gained from the Pop Art movement of the late 1950’s. Bright colors, nature, the Restore (www.restore.com), other artists, functional art, unique ideas, animals, bicycles, vintage books and magazines, and discarded findings all provide inspiration. Leslie creates city and naturescapes on large old wooden windows. These pieces are carefully built from brightly colored elements from recycled magazine pages. She takes photographs of these larger works and then uses them for smaller functional pieces of art like her bestselling ceramic tile coasters.
Leslie more happy in her life than ever before, because she is living 100% in the moment, day to day, and allowing her creative energy and ideas to flow in a natural way. She feels blessed that she is making art that people love and although sometimes feeling like a “starving artist” everything seems to balance out at the end of the day. You can find images of her larger work at www.orangepops.com and can purchase her awesome little waterproof coasters and recycled bottle cap magnets at the Sparrow Collective.