Artist Interview with Aron Leah

Aron Leah Sketching

Our newest artist interview is with Aron Leah. Who is a great example of an artist who didn't really have any idea what he wanted to do or become... and to find the right niche he spend a lot of time searching. He is a self taught designer from Bournemouth, Dorset. So right on our doorstep! 

He works full-time as an in-house designer and spends his spare time creating awesome bold illustrations which he regularly posts to Instagram and Behance. We recently caught up with Aron to find out how he got started and how he stays inspired!

Hi Aron, what’s the story behind the name Fried Cactus?

I wanted a name to design under, other than using my own name. Being a one man band, I feel like designing under Fried Cactus doesn’t limit me to one design style. I go through different phases of what I like to create which helps me collaborate with different types of people and brands.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I’m completely self taught. I’ve always been heavily into Bmx and music. When I was a kid, I used to draw bike company names and re create album artwork how I wanted to see it. I went to college and studied multimedia. I was living pretty fast and I wasn’t going to commit to anything. I had no idea what I wanted
to do. 

I spent a really long time bouncing around jobs and travelling with friends. We took our bikes with us.
The times I had and the people I met shaped me so much. I draw inspiration from that every day. It’s really important to get out and travel.

Before working in design, I worked for a coffee company, It was busy and taught me to think on my feet.
It allowed me to be creative. Which I think is when I decided to pursue something in the creative field.
I started drawing again so my wife and I started a lifestyle clothing brand based around the times we spent living in our van, travelling and surfing in Morocco and parts of Europe. 

The brand got an amazing response and I really appreciate everyone who supported us. We started a family and I ended up working as an illustrator for clothing brand. Since then, I’ve been learning the craft and developing as designer. It’s clear to me I’m doing what I’m supposed to.

What advice would you give to people trying to get into the creative industry?

I’m not sure I’m qualified to give advice haha!

Stay positive and keep finding ways to improve yourself and learn about the industry. Know your limits and develop a strong work and moral ethic. I’m at the beginning of my journey and I know I still have a lot to learn and that’s really exciting.

Don’t be a dick!

artist interview artwork example

Collections of Arons Logo Illustrations

Where do you look for inspiration?

I draw inspiration from music and traveling. But at the moment I’m really loving keeping things simple and fun. Which is how I’m trying to live my life. I think you can find inspiration anywhere as long as you understand your own creative process.

Open space helps me to switch off and it allows new ideas to come to the surface.

How do you juggle working full- time, being a father, freelancing and developing your own designs?

I do the best I can. I’m fortunate enough to have a the support of my wife Kate, who is creative herself, so understands the process. I don’t ride my bike anymore because my body just wont allow it. But I try to surf when I can. Doing something completely un-related to design helps so much.

I write everything down and try to utilise all the tools I have. I’m really digging the Procreate app on the iPad Pro at the moment. It really helps save time. 

Coffee. So much coffee!

artist interview coffee art work
artist interview aron website image

Thanks so much Aron for sharing your story and providing us with useful tips and advice!

If you are a creative or know someone who you really admire and would love to see as part of our artist interview series, please don’t hesitate to let us know: [email protected]

If you enjoyed this post and want to learn more about other creative professionals check this outOr if your feeling inspired, learn something new over on our YouTube channel!

About the author 

Shumi Perhiniak

Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer, in 2012 she took one-year sabbatical career break, where she devoted her time studying Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In just after 6 months she started freelancing and within a year become a Certified Photoshop Expert. Over the years she worked both in-house and in agency roles as a retoucher, artworker and moved on from junior to senior design roles.

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