Northern NSW based illustrator and designer Leanne Bock creates a bright, fun, colour blocked art under her ulter-ego artist name, Le Riquiqui (pronounced LerEE-kee-kee).
Le Riquiqui, who now creates prints and designs for a range of clients, began three years ago in France.
“I wanted to illustrate as an experimental side-project under a pseudonym, and loved the playful sound of Le Riquiqui, it means pinky finger and teeny-weeny. It felt right. I was the youngest in my family of five, and wanted to build something gradually from the very beginning, with it’s own little personality, so voila je suis le riquiqui!” Bock tells me.
But before France, and Le Riquiqui, Bock began her creative life in Theodore, a small town in central Queensland, where she grew up, and would be forever found drawing when she was little. She was attracted to art, design, music and dancing like a magnet, and, after moving to Rockhampton to go to boarding school, she began studying art formally.
Travel has always been very important to Bock, it has played a big part in her life so far, and influenced her work in various ways, the different surrounding landscapes, animals, colours, culture and languages of the various places she has immersed herself in are reflected in her artwork. For the past 13 years, she has been based in London, France, Melbourne and, now, Northern NSW.
“There’s was a tropical streak for the last couple of years, when living in the Queensland wet tropics – where there’s lots of waterfalls, rainforest and pristine crater lakes. But one of the best things I ever did was leave all my stuff in an attic in London and go to Central America for an undetermined length of time (it ended up being seven months in mainly Guatemala and Mexico) – traveling alone, staying with families and learning Spanish,”
“Being immersed in another culture brings to light whole new perspectives. It nourished my brain like crazy and woke me up to realising that I had to change my ways and finally do something with all the pent up creative energy I’d been suppressing for years. I also met my partner on that trip, so travel has given me many things to be thankful for!” Bock explains.
Bock currently designs for a range of clients in the music, food, wine, travel, publishing, film, health and well-being industries. Because graphic design is versatile and practical, it’s commercially focused, so Bock finds she can easily get work where ever she travels. She balances this with her creative illustrations, the two forms work together harmoniously.
“What truly drew me into graphic design and illustration on a deeper level is artists I admire like Alan Fletcher, Tina Berning, David Shrigley, Egon Schiele, Saul Steinberg and plenty more. I love illustration because it’s such an accessible and fun art form. It’s limitless and human – it can be done any place any time by anybody. I guess that’s what makes design and illustration work well together, it’s a balance,” she explains. (Post continues after gallery.)
Now living in the northern NSW tablelands (between Byron Bay and The Gold Coast), with her partner Rémi, Bock spends her time drawing, painting and working on her computer, and in her words, ‘plenty of handstands between computer sessions to make the good ideas run back into my head (it doesn’t always work).’
Bock likes to be experimental and spontaneous in her practice, she doesn’t have a specific approach to each work, but rather, does what comes naturally to her as she is working,
“Making mistakes and making things out of those mistakes, then finishing it without getting obsessed with it. Imperfection is a big, goofy happy part of Le Riquiqui. Sometimes an idea is better executed by hand or graphically, it just depends. An idea starts by noticing something that I like which comes from anywhere – a colour combination on the street or in nature; a pattern; a play on words or an idea sparked by something in a book, music or another artist’s work. Sometimes I incorporate textures or colours from other experiments and just see what happens”
And if you want to see more from Le Riquiqui, she has an exhibition coming up on BabyForest.co, as well as lots of projects in the works, including album artwork for an Aussie musician, and, of course, lots of illustrations and doodles in between.
Want more bright and fun pattern inspiration? Check out Mamamia TV’s print nail art tutorial below.
Mamamia’s art endeavour, the Voulez-Vous Project celebrates artists, designers, illustrators and creators. Our aim: to help the internet become a slightly more beautiful, captivating, or thought-provoking place by making art accessible. Click here to see all the previous Voulez-Vous posts.
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