In Wellington on the Miramar Peninsula is where Lesh paints from home. She has a busy life with her husband, three kids, one dog, and one feline. Her love for nature has inspired the direction of her illustrations.
Lesh sketches her nature-inspired design on watercolour paper and uses acrylic paint and an Indian ink pen to complete it. She keeps all her original designs and customers receive quality prints on paper and fabric.
Lesh was kind enough to answer some questions on life and art when we recently interviewed her.
New Zealand Illustrative Artist Lesh McNicholl, with her beautiful Leafy 11 artwork.
How did your artwork start?
I have always been creative since I was a child and growing up, family happened and life got busy! Last year in 2020 during lockdown I decided I needed to get serious about my dream to paint full time, "Lesh Creates" was born and has hit the ground running!
What is your background?
I studied painting and photography, plus a lot of self-taught techniques and just lots of practice, practice, practice!
Womens Leafy 11 Mali white t shirt by doodlewear collaboration artist Lesh Creates.
Did you always want to be an artist?
I have always wanted to do a job that meant I could be creative! I wasn't sure what that looked like for a very long time.
Painting doesn't feel like work for me, it's relaxing, peaceful, calming, and helps me express myself. Even though when young I didn't know what I wanted, I'm so happy to be an artist now - it just makes sense and I finally feel like me!
Do you have a role model who from you take inspiration when making your art?
Definitely my Aunty Glenda, she is an incredible artist and creating amazing realistic pieces. I always thought wow she is amazing and talented. I feel very fortunate to have such strong creativity running through my family.... a real gift to treasure".
Quality 100% cotton large NZ Tea Towels 'Kakapo tea towel' featuring Kakapo art print by New Zealand Illustrative Artist Lesh Creates.
What inspires you?
The natural world around me, the organic shapes, no two things the same, I love the extraordinary colours on our native birds. We are lucky here in Wellington with birdlife, coastal beaches, and Bushwalks, there is always something around every corner to inspire!
What do you do when you're not feeling inspired to do art? What restores your mojo?
Ooohhh definitely I take a couple of days break even up to a week with no painting, it uses so much mind power you need that time to rest, then I go on coastal walks out in nature or enjoy a walk up Mt Victoria and I just surround myself with nature to perk me back up!
Ohh and a good cup of tea in my favourite cup definitely helps too!
doodlewear Tui + Kowhai art print Mali t shirt by New Zealand Illustrative Artist Lesh Creates.
What does your art aim to say to your audience?
My illustrations are based on nature, I keep my backgrounds as blank as possible to help highlight the subject I've painted.
I aim to remind my audience about our precious native birds and flora especially and how important and special they are to Aotearoa. My hope is when people see my work they are inspired to get out in nature more and explore the world around them.
What is your process when creating new art?
I write a list of birds, animals, sea life, plants -anything from nature, I then look at multiple photos, take photos, and that gets the ideas flowing. I stick to the same process but change the subject I paint.
Where do you have artwork displayed?
Currently, I have my work displayed in Soulynz in Tawa who only stocks items that are made here in New Zealand. Also The Whiteroom Gallery in Island Bay, an eclectic treasure trove with sustainable items, homewares, artwork and more.
Finally, Espresso High coffee shop "your caffeine fix" in Lower Hutt, enjoy a yummy treat and a coffee as you admire framed Lesh Creates prints - ready for you to take home! Monthly I also have a stall at the Hataitai Village Market, a busy little community market with food, coffee and a wonderful array of stalls, held the first Saturday of every month from 10 am - 2 pm.
What is your favourite colour, and why is it so?
Blues and greens are calming colours and remind me of the sea and the beach and coastlines.
doodlewear Kakapo art print hoodie by New Zealand Illustrative Artist Lesh Creates.
What animal would you be if you could be any animal in the world, and why?
A feline! I love the sun and finding a cozy spot when not painting and soaking up the warmth.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
Don't wait, get started! Practice!
Invite your friends and family to see your work, create an online following.
There will be so many people who connect with your style, your techniques who would love your work displayed in their homes.