Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lesley Silvia working at Stardust

I met Lesley Silvia and her husband Jared at a Kerouac House event. As I have been sketching more and more in Orlando's more artsy cafes, like Infusion Tea, Dandelion, Seven Sisters, and Stardust, I have become curious about all the people who sit and use their laptops for extended periods of time. Lesley works on her photos and graphic design work using a laptop and Photoshop or Illustrator, InDesign and on rare occasions Painter. She had arrived at Stardust before me and had just finished a dinner of nachos. She and her husband who is a writer, usually work together. Silvia enjoys working in Stardust because it has free WI FI and she feels Dandelion and Infusion have a more mature crowd. Stardust is a more comfortable fit for a young edgy artist. She also likes to work in Winter Park's Central Park sitting on a bench in the shade, or she goes to Borders and looks through a few magazines for inspiration before she gets to work on the laptop.
As I sketched, Silvia was working on a series of photos called Pinatas. This series resembles crime scene photos where people are shown injured or dead with candy in place of blood. It is a unique and somewhat unnerving series of photos. Her graphic design work is inspired by the Swiss, it is clean neat and tidy.
Silvia was just 10 years old when she took her first photography class. She and her brother learned to make the pinhole cameras at one of the art camps they attended. Her work to this day plays with photography's earliest forms. Her father helped her with a little bit of photo composition at an early age although at the time she didn't know photography would be her passion. I high school she discovered that photography was really fun and took every class offered. In college she got a BA in Studio art with a minor in philosophy and her independent study focused on photography. Like most artists she has many facets including an interest in sculpture and graphic design.
Silvia is a full time course director at Full Sail University teaching Digital Photography. She gets freelance work through word of mouth and serendipity. She has shot some weddings and portraits. She shot photos for an Australian Rock Band who was later signed by Columbia Records. The record company asked her to take the rock band pictures off of her web site. She just removed the groups name and the lawyers stopped hassling her. Past clients include Scottish Highland Games and Mega Con. Her favorite assignments are outdoor shoots using natural light and shot with film.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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