Les is a professional visual artist, art educator, animator and graphic novelist. Les is focused on creating 3D models and texturing those models in ZBrush and Substance Painter. He has technical competence in Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter, MARI, Nuke, After Effects, Premier Pro, Arnold and Photoshop. Les is a graduate of the Digital Animation program from Seneca College, and an art instructor at the Varley Art Gallery and the META4 Gallery. He has 20+ years of experience as a visual artist, animator and art educator.
Les is completing a graphic novel (www.earthchartergraphicnovel.com), with the goal of inspiring and engaging youth and the public to take action on environmental. He exhibits works in galleries and art fairs/festivals throughout Ontario. Les' goal is to work as a 3D modeling and texturing artist with an animation studio and produce and direct his own animated film about climate change.
My experience as an artist started at the age of six with cartoon characters and comic books. The notion of heroism created a strong drive in me to make the world a better place. After completing a Bachelor and Masters degree in Environmental Studies from York University, I worked as a visual art instructor, environmental policy and conservation specialist, and youth facilitator; which led me to create environmentally themed artwork in 2006, which I showed at the York University Eco-Art Media Festivals. Since 2007, I have used visual art as a medium to educate and inform children and teens at primary and secondary schools in Toronto and the GTAH. Similarly I have made hundreds of presentations and given workshops on use of non-toxic, biodegradable materials and eco-art processes, in the use of art that inspires people to want to contribute to environmental sustainability in Canada.
My strong arts foundation from McMaster University, Sheridan College and Max the Mutt, informed my "environmental art" which helps people learn about the ecological crisis and potential solutions. I studied 3D Animation at Seneca College, with the intention of making animated shorts that explore the narrative behind climate change, species at risk and habitat loss.
I am an also an art instructor at the Varley Art Gallery and the Meta4 Gallery. I teach painting, drawing, graphic novels, animation and mixed media to children, youth and adults. As well, I offer private art lessons to children, teens and adults, as well as art educators.
My current work explores themes of environmental loss and degradation, hope in the face of despair, and "conscious art". My artwork which includes "environmental/eco-art (mixed media) has become a vehicle and catalyst for engaging communities, businesses, organizations and policy makers, around these important environmental and social issues. My visual art is also driven by a need to capture beauty and collective memory inherent in Nature and in old decaying buildings - both of which are in a state of decline, disrepair and "neglect".
The "Neglect series" of paintings, is a series of Acrylic painting and mixed media works that explore the meaning and impact of these "neglected" spaces and places and their importance in maintaining and understanding our cultural identity and memory, as well as the meaning of "consciousness": our innate, often untapped connection to these landscape markers that act as memory banks and that contain historical significance. Many of these empty buildings are akin to empty selves/forgotten memories, sitting there waiting to be re-discovered, recovered or transformed.
I am currently working on an animated short about a Buffalo who finds himself in a modern downtown city in Canada, and tries to figure out what happened to his home. "The Buffalo Diaries" comes out in Summer 2020. Lastly, I am publishing my first Graphic Novel titled Earth Charter in September 2020. For more info about my graphic novel please visit: www.earthchartergraphicnovel.com
3D Animation (post-graduate), Seneca College, Toronto, Sept 2016 - April 2017
Master in Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto, ON (2008)
Major Project: Facilitating an Ecosystems Approach to Urban Sustainability
Awards - Mark Nawrot Memorial Award, Adrian Pocock Memorial Award, Leadershape Institute 2008
Art shows – EcoArt Media Festival 2006 – 2008 (art installation, paintings and drawings)
Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Hon.), York University, Toronto, ON (2006)
Major Project: Ecological Design and environmental education practices for sustainability
Award - dian marino Award for community arts, Global Leaders recipient
Art shows – EcoArt Media Festival 2004 – 2006 (art installation, paintings and drawings)
Max the Mutt Animation school, Toronto, ON (2004 – 2005)
Figure drawing, life drawing, still life compositions, perspective, character development, Nicolaide’s the Natural Way to Draw, composition, gesture, contour, blind contour drawing, mass drawing.
Art Fundamentals (cert.), Sheridan College, Oakville, ON (2003 – 2004)
Figure drawing, life drawing, still life compositions, acrylic painting, classical animation, perspective, character development
Learn basics of Classical animation, including using QAR and producing short animated film
Story boarding, rendering characters and conceptualization
Mississauga Valley School of Art, Mississauga, ON (2004 - 2005)
Acrylic painting, life drawing, figure drawing (live models), proportion/measurement, portraiture, gesture drawing, human anatomy and physiology
Solo Exhibition and reception: " Urban Witness" - September 28, 2019 (show running from August - Nov 2019).
Varley Art Gallery Plein Air Competition 2019 - Markham, ON
Plein Air Competition Group Exhibition, Markham, ON - Sept 2019
Solo show exhibition - C'est What?, Toronto - Sept 2019
Preston Gallery, Art Show - forthcoming - December 2019