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.