Name: Donna Provo Leuck. I live in West Lafayette Indiana. My sign is Aquarius. I got started recycling at a very young age out of necessity. I am the youngest of eight children. So, if I wanted to create something I had to create it out of items that didn’t cost anything. But, as I got older I felt it was important to be accountable for some of the waste we produce. I really can’t say that recycled art has transformed my life because I have always made recycled art. I don’t know a life where I am not creating with recycled materials. Ideas come to me in a lot of different ways. Sometimes I see something and it sparks an idea. Sometimes I have an idea and work from that. I have a big imagination so I’m always thinking about what I can create.
My inspiration for my robots came when I was trying to strengthen my wrists after a terrible fall off of a twenty foot ladder. I shattered both wrists and was tired of going to rehab. So I started bending aluminum and making robots. As I was creating things I was reminded of going to my grandmas as a child. She had an old cookie can that was not exactly pretty. But, it always brought a smile to our faces. I realized that people don’t cherish things like they used too. So, I thought if I made characters out of old kitchen items and designed them to be used as cookie or candy containers maybe people would grow attached to them and keep them longer than ordinary items. And maybe, just maybe their children would become fond of such items and long to be the lucky recipient who inherited them.
We don’t need a lot of things. We just need to have a few things that we really love. Most of my art is light hearted, my attempt to make people smile. But, sometimes I slip in a little controversy. For instance, I made a bird robot once, and, his feet where forks. So, I bent them so the bird was actually giving the bird! The buyer did not notice and when I brought it to his attention he said it made him love it more.
I think artists should always consider using recycled materials. First off, it helps keep down costs. And secondly, we all need to be a little more responsible with our earth. I like to tell my customers that when they purchase my art together, we are “saving the world one robot at a time.” Thanks so much for making me ponder these questions and remember how lucky I am that I get to do what I love!