Aspen Leavitt is an 18 year old college freshman attending Woodbury University, working towards his BFA in Animation. He works in both traditional and digital media, primarily with a 13′ Cintiq Pro or Copic Markers/Ink pens! He has been a contributing artist to ProudART, Art in Activism, and Send Nudes. He has also held two solo installations at a local restaurant and private event. His main goal to be an entrepreneur in the animation/illustration industry, and do freelance work! Fun fact: his main non-career-related goal is to be knighted. You’ll see Aspen’s work on greeting cards we’ve included in the November Discover California box. We love his creative take on two of Ventura’s most photographed places – City Hall and the pier – and if you look closely at the tissue paper in each and every box, Aspen’s fun design tells a quick story of items being gathered from all over California, and then a happy recipient opening the box to find them!
We’ve asked Aspen give us more information about him and his work:
What is your background?
Though I was born in Las Vegas, NV, I have spent more than a decade of my life in Ventura, and fully consider it my hometown! My parents are divorced, but both fully support me, and my passion!
Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Ever since about 6th grade when I started seriously considering careers, I knew I wanted to work, somehow, some way, in the arts!
Tell us what is unique about your style of art.
For a while, I struggled with having a style that “didn’t look like everyone else’s,” but I began to realize that’s exactly why people get hired in this industry! I like to think my use of color and line can give people emotions that I try so hard in life to convey. I hope it is genuine and authentic!
What does your art represent?
My art represents all the little pieces that make up myself! I like to put my all into every single work, and I find if I don’t, the outcome is, for me, lack-lustre.
Do you have more than one style of art?
I do have more than one style! I have had to switch it up for commissions, or even school or personal projects! I like to think I am good at replicating styles, but my own include thick, clean lines, or choppy lines. I can also do no lines for a more paint-like approach. I do icons/cutesy styles as well as a more comic-esque style that is pretty much my usual.
Has your artwork changed?
Oh YES! Posing, character design, and overall composition has greatly approved in my work over the years
What do you love about being an artist?
Nothing in this world can give me the right expression of my feelings except visual art. I use it for anger, for grief, for utter joy and happiness. I have used it for fear, too. There’s something ubiquitous about visual representations of feelings.
What is your favorite artwork (of yours) so far, and why?
It is constantly changing, which I think is a good thing! I do have some all-time favorites though, that I reference quite often as goals in color and detail! One of these is a piece called Colors, which depicts a young man smoking. The reason behind this is the fact that I was able to pull a somber, lonely feeling out of the character, and the way the smoke is moving in the work is something I am very proud of.
How do you know when your artwork is complete?
I’m sorry that there isn’t a more definite answer for this one. For some pieces, they’re never finished. But for most… it just feels right. It hits your eyes, or matches the picture you had in your head just enough that you can be excited about the outcome!
If you could choose a theme song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Maybe Desperate Measures?? That song is so energized!
Name three items you cannot be without.
SKETCHBOOK!! Other than that, maybe comic books and salt and vinegar chips?
Do you listen to music while you create?
If yes, what’s on your playlist right now? Yes! I have tons of musical theatre, Lady Gaga, French and German music, and anything Avenged Sevenfold to rap music to alternative pop! I also love Halsey, Panic! at the Disco, and artists like Rihanna!
Who inspires you?
My parents, a lot, actually. As far as artists go, Draw with Jazza has been a giant inspiration in my journey! I also love @Kalesbug on Instagram, and Camilla d’Errico
What are your words of wisdom for someone starting out as an artist?
This is going to sound so cheesy or cliche, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep going. Try and create something every day, even a doodle. There will be days when you are so frustrated you can’t think, but after you make it through those patches, you will have all that much more inspiration and creative flow. Buy books! Remember not to think of them as an end-all be-all of art. All artists have unique things about their styles! Try finding yours!
Do you do commissions?
Absolutely! Email me at email@example.com for more info, or check out my website for examples! <3
Please Like, Follow, visit, and support Aspen online at: Facebook – @artbyazpen Twitter – @artbyazpen Instagram – @artbyazpen Patreon – @artbyazpen Website – artbyazpen.com