Leanne Elrod Rodriguez
YES! I am Pleased to introduce the queen of glitter, Leanne Rodriguez, ELROD for those who know! She has become a beacon in the East Bay art scene, but holds true to here LA background. Welcome to the family.
Fatbol: First off, tell me What to call you, Who you are, WHERE you’re from, and WHAT you do.
LR: Hello friends and appreciators of the creative world. My name is Leanne Rodriguez, but please, call me ELROD. I’m from the sunny valleys of Southern Califas and I am currently the den mother to 40 masters-level students at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. When I am not tending to my cubs, I am at home in Berkeley throwing glitter on paintings of topless mariachi girls and hanging out with my harem of Chihuahuas.
Fatbol: Where can the world go to see more of your work digitally and gallery?
LR: Well, if one were so inclined, they should check out the digital gallery at mexakitsch.blogspot.com, or they could go down to Amor Eterno Tattoo and Art Space in Oakland. I will also have some NEW NEW paintings up in Oakland’s June Art Murmur at Classic Car west 411 26th Street, Oakland and the show is an all female lineup of bad ass artists and vendors called the “Femme C[art]el”.
Leanne Rodriguez, ELROD for those who know! She has become a beacon in the East Bay art scene, but holds true to here LA background. Welcome to the family.
Fatbol: What is specific and unique that you plan to develop for the Fatbol project?
LR: I wish I could tell you- I haven’t gotten that far yet. A lot of my current work focuses mainly on Mexican themes, custom car culture, and sparkly stuff, but that’s not all I can do. I had to sit down and take a nostalgic trip into my old sketchbooks [“wow, I forgot I drew that!”] to remind me that I shouldn’t express myself as a one trick pony with nothing but some glitter and pin up girls. I’m taking a moment to break away from my comfort zone and flesh out some ideas I have running around in my brain, but I’m also afraid to lose my “voice” that I have been developing over the past few years. This is my predicament and I am both excited and determined to meet the challenge because Fatbol is such an inspiring collective of creative minds and fantastic concepts. I hope to AT LEAST add my personal mexi-flare and incorporate my style [and maybe ONE..or two… hot girls] with the Fatbol vision.
Fatbol: What is your favorite style and application for your own work?
LR: I love to paint pictures that look flat, graphic, contrived, stylized, kitschy, seductive, sparkly and eye-catching. To achieve these attributes, I choose to work mainly on wood and use acrylics, glitter, various mediums/gels, spray paints, air brush, gaudy fabrics [like velvet and lace], wall papers, and any shiny little objects that work with my vision. In my opinion, it’s kind of hard to walk into a room of paintings and not be immediately drawn to the hot pink crushed velvet picture with a bullfighter pin up girl on it who’s costume is covered in swarovsky crystals. Well, it’s hard for ME to not be drawn to something like that.
Fatbol: Explain your own style and science of art.
LR: My style, like I mentioned before, is very flat and graphic. There is no sense of “painterly” qualities whatsoever, and I like that. I don’t like shading, but I enjoy rendering my work by placing solid colors in order so the eye blends and renders the object for you. It’s the juxtaposition of colors that I enjoy to play with the most. I really enjoy watching colors react with one another. The science behind my work is all in the layering. I use a multitude of mediums, and I don’t actually use the same application more than a few times. Because of this, each painting is like an experiment and usually involves a lot of praying and pants-shitting. It’s both fun AND scary. I think I might be addicted to the adrenaline that pumps through me while I’m waiting for a piece to dry.
Fatbol: What are three words that best describe your artwork?
LR: Sexy, sparkly, prideful.
Fatbol: What inspires you?
LR: My culture [both the Hispanic and the American], the rhythm of a girl’s hips as she’s walking down the street in some platforms [yeah, you know what kind of girl I’m talking about… No, not a hooker. The girl that wears whatever the hell she wants, and bitch WERKS it ‘cuz she don’t give a F-], the way a single speckle of glitter catches light, a ’64 Impala with a lace/flake paint job, channeled and slammed. My family and friends. The view from my house.
Fatbol: What is your earliest “artistic” memory?
LR: Well, I don’t remember this, but my mother always tells me the stories of how, as an infant, I would remove my diapers and use my ELROD brand “bio paint” on the walls of my Mother Goose nursery [I went through a 2 month phase of having my diapers duct taped onto me]. But personally, me earliest memories of art consist of me coming home from preschool, turning on David of the Gnomes and sitting down with my Rose Art coloring kit and coloring books. I have since graduated to reality tv, liquitex paints and pin up girls.
Fatbol: What is your goal in life?
LR: My goal is to live on my own terms, at my own pace, free of regret and full of gaudiness/love.
Fatbol: Name something you love, and why.
LR: I love the feeling of driving in a car towards the sunset… right at dusk when the sky is bright orange and the street lights are just turning on. Let’s take it up a few notches and throw my best friend Leah in the passenger seat and play some Madvilliany. Large sun glasses and smoke drifting in the breeze… I’m feeling a euphoric pulse though my veins remembering those times. It reminds me of being carefree in southern California with people who love me. The best times of my life.
Fatbol: What makes you angry?
LR: People who don’t care about the impact our lifestyles have on the planet. Politicians who don’t care about the quality of our education and food supply. Painting late at night and realizing you don’t have enough paint to accomplish what you wanted to, making you put it off until the art store is open the next day. Selfishness, impatience, and carless animal owners do it to me also.
Fatbol: What was your favorite toy as a kid?
LR: My Rose Art art kits. 20 colors in 5 different mediums- marker, crayon, color pencil, water color, and pastel. I didn’t care what other toys where out there, just give me the damn kit, mom.
Fatbol: What is your favorite toy now?
LR: My laptop. I am highly addicted to the Internet. There’s just too much creativity and knowledge out there to explore. Long live youtube.
Fatbol: What is your “dream” art project?
LR: Funny you ask…. I am currently making my dream project come to life. Check it out here: travocollabo.blogspot.com
It’s a traveling art collaboration I put together that involves artists from all over the states and it has been growing and evolving into something beautiful. I enjoy connecting artists with one another and showcasing the talent that gets contributed. Please check it out and pass it on. Also, feel free to join in on the fun. Contact me if you’re interested!
Fatbol: What have you been listening too while you’ve been working on your art[recently]?
LR: Lots of Anticon goodness: Clouddead, Odd Nosdam, Themselves. I kind of flop around with musical phases. This phase kicked in around a month ago, after a long over-due Kimbrough Johnson period.
Fatbol: If you were a cocktail on a drink menu at a bar, what would your name be?
LR: A Glittery Nipple with extra sugar on the rim [YUM]
Fatbol: If you could go back in time and talk to “8 year old YOU”, what would you say to her/him?
LR: “What? Oh that? That’s just a unibrow. Don’t worry, you’ll learn how to use tweezers in about 4 more years. Oh, and get ready for liquid eyeliner- your life won’t be the same after it.”
Fatbol: If you could collaborate with any other artist [living or dead], who would it be and why?
LR: My boyfriend, Michael. He is a musician and a dreamer and he always talks about the house we are going to build. I only dream of what we would come up with together because we are both so eclectic and not afraid to design in bold and both have unconventional tatses. I think it would be most amazing to build the home that we would potentially raise our future family in. That, or I would love to work in a custom auto shop and airbrush that Aztec Warrior on the side of a gold van. I would love to work with anyone familiar with and inspired by the work of Walt Prey and Larry Watson, but I would specifically love to work on a complete custom vehicle with Mr. Cartoon.
Fatbol: What is the best bit of advice that you have ever been given?
LR: “Paint what you know, not what you see. That’s how you keep it original”- Mark Tennant
“PRACTICE”- Forest Stearns
“One for the bulk, and two for the remainder”- Family Guy.
Fatbol: If you had a chance to say one sentence for the whole world to hear, what would you say?
LR: Please be kind to yourself, the people in your life, and the planet we live on!