A Tough Upbringing
Leslie, an “Air Force brat” with a somewhat difficult home life which he’d admit added spice to his artistic interpretations, fell in love with art as a troubled young teen. Over the years, art became his go to medium of expression, starting as a 9-year-old building toy soldiers with clay, to creating paper art that impressed his teacher in the 2nd grade, and to making his own unique toys with plastic car model kits to create ‘transformers’ before “transformers” was even a thing. Like many American kids in Texas, his first love wasn’t art; he had dreams of becoming a matador or maybe just the classic American cowboy, putting out thrilling shows to scared but excited crowds. Once it became clear that those dreams wouldn’t work out, he considered the idea of being a veterinarian; if he couldn’t roughen them up, he might as well treat them, right? However, Leslie was having a tough time at school, being bullied, and giving as much as he got; he quit high school in his senior year barely weeks before graduation because he just couldn’t find a home between those walls. Whatever regret and reservations built from his experiences, Leslie found solace in art and creatively translated his thoughts beautifully on canvas.