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Q&A with Chris Leavens

Illustrator, artist, designer

I'm a dad, a husband, an illustrator, artist, designer, amateur gardener, and outdoors enthusiast. I've been creating art professionally since 1998 and I'm currently a senior digital designer at Disney.

Software / hardware

Adobe Illustrator is my favorite piece of software, hands down. I love the control and precision it offers. I work on Macs primarily (Mac Pro at work and at home) and I really enjoy creating on a Wacom Cintiq. Regular tablets are nice, but working directly on the screen is great. That said, for concepting, pencil and paper is my go-to.

© Chris Leavens

Ideal work environment

I like being around other creative people. Being able to exchange ideas and having a support network of other artists is huge. I actually think I work better and focus more easily when I'm working near other artists as opposed to isolating myself in a separated location.

Work inspiration

Nature, mythology, and humor are probably the big three for me. I like fun and playful surrealism, so anything from Dr. Seuss to Rene Magritte works for me. Mid-century artists like Jim Flora, too. I love the energy and forms from that era.

Creatives you admire most

Magritte, Mary Blair, Jim Flora, Tim Biskup, Weird Al, Jonathan Richman, Paul Klee, Marcel Duchamp, and Charlie Harper.