Leah Morrison

Illustrator Grand Rapids, MI

I live in Grand Rapids, MI and completed my BFA in Illustration at Kendall College of Art and Design in May 2011. I love being married to my husband, Zach, as of Aug. 2010. He is so much more creative than he realizes and gives me all sorts of ideas. We have three incredibly busy and lively little munchkins! They are absolutely hilarious and keep me busy with all of their giggling, screaming, pooping, squealing, eating and sleeping (or not sleeping). Kids have always fascinated me. Their expressions, their tinyness , their energy, the silly things they say, what makes them laugh hysterically, how they think the world should be, I could go on and on… they are always giving me fresh ideas for my work.

I spent 6 years living in Russia with my family and now dearly miss all my “adopted family” there. I’ve also had several amazing opportunities to travel to Singapore, Indonesia, Germany, Finland, and Jordan as well. I love the beauty in diverse cultures: the colors, architecture, terrains, languages, and faces. These experiences have broadened my perspective on life and how I relate to people. My husband and I are currently very drawn to Syrian families who have fled the war and are getting some things in place to be able to move to Jordan. In the meantime, we are learning from some Syrian friends who have recently moved to our city and have loved every minute we have spent with them.

I love some of the older masters of watercolor, esp. Arthur Rackham, who inspired me to work in watercolor and explore line work. My work has progressed extensively since my first semester at Kendall, thanks to several professors who pushed and challenged me, not allowing me to settle for just “ok” work. I continue to grow and develop my skills and style. My main focus right now is learning how to capture beautiful lighting, so that my paintings have a "glow," and developing my series of fairytale paintings. I'm somewhat impatient, constantly feeling like I can do better, but trying to be aware that it's always a learning process and I can only move forward so fast.

Since graduating from Kendall, I have done several commission portraits, wall decor for nurseries, as well as illustrations for a book that is now in schools in Haiti and a lovely fairy tale that was published Nov. 2016. In my moments in between personal commissions and outside work, I’m working on a book that I wrote for my daughter, Eve. It's inspired by those classic poems my grandmother used to read me as a little girl. I have a few completed illustrations and am finishing the dummy book now, so that I can submit it to a publisher.

Education

Kendall College of Art and Design

Illustration

Clients

StarFysh Bill Hoard Gordon Greenhill

Skills

Watercolor Oil Acrylic Graphite/Charcoal Illustrations Portraits