FEATURED ARTIST: LeMahogany (Robin Smith)

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Tell me a little about yourself…

My name is Robin and I reside in Cleveland, Ohio.  I am a freelance traditional illustrator/artist.  I love working with gouache and watercolor and just recently fell in love with collage work.  So, I dabble in a little mixed media as well.

How’d you get started, or what prompted you to begin crafting in your genre?

I have been illustrating ever since I could remember.  I started taking my illustrating a little more serious back in 2010 when I opened my Etsy shop online.  Ever since,  I have been going to vendor shows, showing at art shows, etc. 

How long have you been an artist? When did you first discover your artistic ability?

I think I have always thought I was Picasso as a child because everyone told me how good I was.  I think I first discovered that I had artistic ability when someone I truly admired and respected as an illustrator told me that I had a great talent and gave me some amazing feedback on how to bring my illustrations to the next level. Now, I can truly say that I love what I do and I’m good at it.

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Where can we check out buy your work?

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LeMahoganyArt

What do you think sets you apart from other artists?

I feel like I have a unique style of illustrating.  Very stylistic and fashionable, mixing art and fashion.  Don’t see that many in a traditional artist sense. 

What do you get out of being an artist?

I love being able to express myself.  I don’t mind doing commission work from time to time but creating my own projects are always fun! 

Where do you get your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from a number of sources.  It could range from a color or painting or photograph I have seen.  Fashion Illustrating wise, I am always on-line surfing style.com or vogue.com for the latest styles and runway looks. 

Collage Works 2014

What’s the weirdest or most astonishing and controversial artwork that you have ever created and how so or why?

I think the weirdest and little bit of a controversial piece I created was back in 2003 when I did the big chop.  I cut off all of my hair to become natural.  It wasn’t perceived very well.  But, I didn’t care. I created a mixed media piece called Vanity.  I used magazine clippings of fashion magazines and used free foundation packets as paint.  I remember creating it and the rage I felt to feel like I had to fit in and conform to what everyone wanted me to look like and be.  It ended up being a collage of a woman’s face with tears and a hand putting make-up on as if she was covering up the tears.   I entered it in an art show and I ended up being placed in third place. 

What do others seem to love about your art, as far as feedback you have gotten?

I love being able to put smiles on people’s faces.  Their moods seem to change immediately when they see my work.  

What is your advice to fellow crafters and artists?

Stay true to your craft and have some tough skin because you’re going to have people telling you what they think you should be doing.  Best advice I have ever gotten: “Set your goals and focus on where you want to be with your illustrations, the rest doesn’t matter.”  

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How would you describe your style, or form of artistry?

LeMahogany Style: Confident, stylish and fun. 🙂

Do you have any future plans for your artwork?

Yes! I do. Greeting cards are my next conquest.

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