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Meet Leanne Huynh

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leanne Huynh.

Leanne, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
If you told my 8-year-old self that I’d become a painter one day and sell my own art to support myself, you’d probably blow her mind. My parents were refugees of the Vietnam War. They fled a place that they had lived in all their lives, leaving all they had ever known, to escape the collapse of their home country. Because of the tragedies they experienced in their lives, I was always told to become a doctor when I grew up so that I could help people. However, what I learned after both my parents passed away was that art could also help people. It helped me deal with the grief of their deaths. I’ve gained a purpose, skill, and confidence from my art. I’ve interacted with people who have been deeply affected by my art, lifted their day and sparked joy in them. It is amazing to me that something I created could elicit so many wonderful responses from people from different walks of life. It’s extremely humbling and I’m very grateful. It is what helps me continue what I do.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I think like all big endeavors, it is never a smooth road, but it IS all about how you look at it. Some thought I was crazy, but I left a comfy full-time job at a well-known video game company to walk the path I am on now. It was a risk, but something I felt I needed to do. There were struggles of all varieties. Emotional, mental, financial, etc. Stress over not being able to make things happen. Insecurity over showing my art and how it was going to be received. Fear of speaking to strangers about my art. I couldn’t list them all…

What I learned was just to keep going. You hit a wall and you keep hitting it until you go through. That’s the best lesson I’ve learned. To persevere.

Please tell us more about your art.
Mostly, I paint digitally and sell my art online and at comic and anime conventions across the country. I started sketching with pencil, working with charcoals, painting with oils, but when I worked at the video game companies, I transferred over to digital painting. What many people don’t realize is that it still requires the same skill sets. Painting in Photoshop is not magic. You still need to know your anatomy, lines, shapes, colors, light, etc.

I paint what I’m passionate about. I create fan and original art of the things I love. People generally love my character expressions and the colors I use in my paintings. When I paint a character, I really get into that character so if you were watching me, you might see me making a lot of funny faces while I’m painting. In a way, it’s kind of like acting. I really try to embody the character while I’m painting them.

I’m proud that I’ve been able to sustain my business and it sustain me. It’s the simple things in life!

What sets me apart from others? This question is easy for artists..it’s my art! 😉

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
So many people deserve credit. My parents. My family. My friends. My husband for being my cheerleader and pushing me when I wanted to give up. My teachers for being amazing mentors. Artists who inspire me. My fans…the people who have supported me and my art through the years. I am truly ever so grateful. If you’re reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me reach goals I never could’ve imagined.

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