Welcome to the third installment of 179 + CDICC Artist Spotlight, a 5-month curated art show hosted by Central District Ice Cream Company’s monthly event Ice Cream Thursdaes. Artist Angelina Villalobos aka 179 curated 5 artists through an application process to each show once a month. 179 assists with artist statements, bios, business plans, marketing, and general art goals. Each are then interviewed, allowing us a glimpse into their artistic journey. Finally, their art openings are a great place to meet the artists, check out their work in person, and support their journey with an art purchase.
We are excited to present our third artist Dibble Dabble Art for our April 4th event (INVITE) in CDICC’s new location alongside Happy Grillmore.
What is your name / artist alias? Does this have any special meaning?
My name is Jessica T.C. Leonard and my alias is Dibble Dabble Art. I chose that name because I like to try different things with my art.
How would you describe your art and where does your inspiration come from?
My art is somewhat abstract. I like to focus on body language rather than facial expression, so I don’t paint them. It’s inspired by artists like Annie Lee and Jacob Lawrence.
What is your coming of age story for art?
Honestly I started drawing when I was younger, but I did not take it seriously until I was an adult. It blew up from just being a stress reliever to being a full fledged artist.
What can the world learn from your art?
I think you can learn a lot about my story. I have a very colorful story to my life that I describe as being simply complicated and it is awesome. I leave a piece of me in every piece I do.
In your bio you talk about being a singer, does your creative energy cross over into your musical and vice versa?
Not really. My music is more of a spiritual thing since it is my preferred style of praise and worship. Art is a mental break and way of dealing with the world.
What is the first piece you remember creating?
I remember doing a picture of a girl sitting with her legs crossed and her arms crossed on an orange background. That is the one I consider my first REAL painting.
How is the PNW different from Detroit?
The diversity is really good however, for me, to be black in the PNW is to be in a constant state of awareness of being black in the PNW. Out here I am constantly labeled as a “black artist” or an artist of color, never as just an artist. I don’t mind sometimes, but not all the time.
Your work sets a scene that captures vignettes of life, how do you choose the imagery?
I usually go outside and walk around and just observe. Or I would watch a show or movie and pick a scene and get inspired from there. Of course I put my own spin on it.
You talk about having the viewer interpret the stories in your paintings, what are some visual cues you leave i.e. simplicity of style, use of color etc?
The use of color and the body language of the subject in each picture to help with the interpretation.
What have been some of the challenges of switching from an academic to a creative career?
I really never switched. I do my creative work as a release from the academic day to day. I will say that one of the biggest challenges would have to be finding the time (energy) to actually create after the 9 to 5 job.
You talk about using art as a coping mechanism, do you feel your art can be healing for the viewer?
Since I leave the interpretation of my art to the view I believe that it’s powerful if they can find healing in my work
Can you explain how your art helps you heal?
It gives me a means of escape when I feel mentally trapped. I allows me to have the freedom to say /express what I want without consequence
How important is it to have work central to WOC?
In a world where WOC are constantly put in a hole. It is nice to have pieces that show us as women, as mothers, as sexually free beings, as human most of all.
What was your favorite project from 2018?
All of them actually LOL.
What are your goals for 2019?
I want to be able to grow my art network. My husband and I are planning on moving so I want to keep growing my network and in my craft.
What is your advice for up and coming artists?
Keep going, keep growing. And be in love with your work because it is a part of you.
Where can we find your artwork to purchase? What are some important links to follow to keep up with your work?
People can contact me directly via my website at dibbledabbleartbyjess.com
Or feel free to follow on Facebook @dibble dabble art or IG @dibble_dabbleart.
April Ice Cream Thursdae Vol 27
Thursday || 04/04 || 6-9pm || FREE
ARTIST: Jessica (Jessie) Crenshaw-Leonard Dibble Dabble Art
Marcosa Opulencia Marcosa Opulencia’s art
Alexander Pasqualle Pridgen @pigeon_arts
Yessica Marquez The Art of Yes
Creations by Jaylin Creations by Jaylin
MUSIC: NateVibes @iwantsomebigboys
DJ: Caitlyn Calderon @m0mlyn
FREE EVENT // FAMILY FRIENDLY // COMMUNITY FEELS
Special thanks to Kryse @ Central District Ice Cream Company!