Leslie Smith makes drawings, prints, and books based on her interest in early modern natural philosophy and translation. She holds an MFA in Book Arts from the University of Iowa Center for the Book, and a master’s degree in Library Science. She lives in North Carolina and teaches book arts classes.
Letterpress, papermaking, and bookbinding are processes essential to my work. They enable the mixing of materials with text and image. I use my tools including; writing, drawing, printing, and papermaking to ask and answer questions. For me, writing leads to imagery and imagery leads to writing. Making and materials feed this productive cycle. For the last four years, I have been interested in the body and the mind. Curiosity has pushed me toward speculative questions. For example, what if emotions had a physical form? What would they look like? What if melancholy had a size, a shape, a color? I think melancholy would be harmless looking. It would be a pale blue seed that appears in the mind and then drifts softly down into the body. I create a response with text, drawings and diagrams. Currently, I am asking questions about the mind. Where are my memories? What is the pathway to a new thought? By imagining an answer, I make new ways to think about and explain the human experience.