Nana Leonti is an artist and self proclaimed geek that’s no stranger to tee designs. I got to talk with Nana about her love of geek culture and what got her into art, designing t-shirts, and geekery in general.
Now lets get to know a bit about Nana Leonti.
YBMW: Favorite film?
Nana Leonti: I always have problems answering this question! My top3 are ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, ‘Phantom of The Opera (2004)’ and ‘Equilibrium’ but if I had to pick one then I’d pick ‘Equilibrium’. It’s the first one I saw Christian Bale in and I loved it, mostly because it reminded me so much of one of my favorite books (Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’). Seriously, if you haven’t watched this, do it. It will bring out so many strong emotions!
Nana Leonti: Plain old chocolate. God why did you make chocolate so bad for me? xD
YBMW: Favorite villain?
Nana Leonti: Jareth the Goblin King and Eric the Phantom of the Opera!
YBMW: Favorite video game?
Nana Leonti: Surely something in the Final Fantasy series, definitely up to FFX only. X-2 and later were a disappointment but I am really fond of FF6, FF9 and FFX. I also really liked Folklore for PS3 and American McGee’s Alice. Sorry for picking up so many things so far, I enthuse so easily! Oooh and World of Warcraft, although I don’t have time to play anymore!
YBMW: Favorite comic book?
Nana Leonti: Ok, I am not really a comic girl. I like my comics alright but I have read so few of them! I am going to go with the World of Warcraft comics set around Varyan Wrynn and probably with Buffy season 8 :)
YBMW: Favorite TV show?
Nana Leonti: It used to be X-files. When I was 13 I was an X-files walking encyclopedia. I still recognize actors on other shows that had teeny tiny roles on the show and it’s always going to have a big spot in my heart but I feel it kinda jumped the shark in s8-9… My favorites right now are Stargate SG-1 and Buffy. I actually am re-watching Buffy right now!
YBMW: How long have you been making t-shirt designs?
Nana Leonti: I only started in 2011, either January or February. See I stumbled upon a One Shirt Per Day site that had a really cool Stargate/Doctor Who mashup on, read the submission agreement and since Fanart and mashups have been in my arsenal for a while I thought “Why not?”
YBMW: When did you realize you were a geek?
Nana Leonti: Probably when I hooked up with my husband and realized all my weird tastes were not all over the place but combined after the awesomeness of geekery! But I’ve always been one, I learned to read before I went to first grade and have had my nose buried in books as long as I can remember! Someday those books became sci-fi and fantasy books and it was a kind of an avalanche from there.
YBMW: What movie prop would you most want to own?
Nana Leonti: The Ludo plushie from Labyrinth or the Auryn from the Neverending story. Or ANYTHING LOTR. Actually we used to run a geek shop with my other half and I had several LOTR replicas. Was so painful when I had to give them back.
YBMW: What was the spark that made you decide to get into art and put it up and out there?
Nana Leonti: I have always been drawing and painting since I was a kid but for some reason I stopped at around 15 or 16. Then I picked it up again at 18 after reading all -then- available Harry Potter Books in 3 days and felt a huge urge to do fanart. It was horrible though back then but it was like I’ve never had touched a pencil before!
YBMW: Of all your works what’s your favorite one?
Nana Leonti: Digital, I’m really fond of my “Faceless” piece. I made it right before I got married, submitted it on some art sites and when I checked my messages during my honeymoon saw it had been featured in several places! It was the first time my art was acknowledged and it gave me an enormous ego boost!
I don’t usually do traditional art because I’m messy but I also have an acrylics painting I’m really in love with. It’s this Phantom of the Opera painting. I currently have it hanging in my living room but I consider putting it up for sale after I fix some things that bother me (the rose mainly).
YBMW: What artists have inspired you?
Nana Leonti: Definitely Alphonse Mucha. I adore him. He was a genius and I fell in love with his work ever since I’ve laid eyes upon it! I also love ANYTHING Disney. I used to play tough and tomboy but I finally embraced my inner Princess and confessed I love the magical world of Disney! I also find much inspiration in music. I’m extremely clingy to my music <3 Moonspell, Pain of Salvation and Savatage have taken me to places pictures might never be able to! YBMW: If you collect something what is it and what’s your most prized piece in the collection?
Nana Leonti: I used to collect action figures but have put them away now since I have a 3 year old terror running around destroying my stuff (thanks son!) and I think my most precious one is a limited edition Sephiroth. I couldn’t restrain myself though and got him out of his box. Oops :D
I also collect postcards but not the travel ones! There’s a company here that does advertising postcards which are distributed free and change monthly. Sometimes it’s just ugly ads but there are some precious gems with artwork on them too and this got the ball rolling for me! My most prized is a pack of Art nouveau postcards by a Mucha exhibition in Prague :)
YBMW: So Nana I see you’ve done a few Droid Army images, what inspired them?
Nana Leonti: Aw man my dear friend and founder of the RBC Rob Wood :) I had made an android parody (the Dalek) before this bandwagon started, then Rob made a Handroid and he tossed an idea of making it a collabollection! We had worked on similar projects in the past (see: Marvel Whales) and a lot of artists got involved resulting in over 200 droids in our army. The droids I decided to make were basically fanart I wanted to do but never had the time to. Android made anything simpler!
YBMW: I see that you’re a ‘Browncoat,’ tell us whose your favorite chracter in ‘Firefly’?
Nana Leonti: Kaylee. I am Kaylee. I think tomboy with girly urges is exactly my area and well, I’ve been caught wearing flip flops too ;P I also like Jayne a lot because I love Adam Baldwin but to be honest I’d lie if I said there was a character on Firefly that I didn’t like.
YBMW: Can we get any early looks at some works in progress?
Nana Leonti: Sure, this is what I’m currently working on! +Geek points if you get both references!
YBMW: Do you have plans for another Disney styled piece?
Nana Leonti: Oh definitely! I had so much fun doing Firefly! I already started up on a Buffy project and plan to make at least ALL of the Scooby gang. However I must finish that previous piece first!
YBMW: Thanks a lot for talking to us and last but not least what do you have coming up and where can people see your work and learn more about you?
Nana Leonti: Well, there’s the Disneyfication project, then there is the Burtonized one (Fanart in Tim Burton’s style) and finally collabollections with my dearest RBC members. We actually have something in the works right now for charity but I can’t spill the beans yet so stay in touch! I bet you’re going to love it ;)
Nana Leonti: You can follow me on either Face book, Tumbler or Twitter (@NanaLARt) and also see more of my work at several places like ad, Qwerty (where you can vote for them to print if you like) and last but not least my Redbubble shop! Also HUGE thanks to wonderful shirtoid.com for plugging my t-shirts on his amazing website!
Below are all the links to check out Nana Leonti’s art and pick up a t-shirt or a print. I think we are going to see some really cool things come from this self-proclaimed geeky gal. Check out the small gallery on the site with some of her work. I’m completely in dork love with the “Fintastic” Four.
CP Lorusso is TV / Film / Web writer and editor working in Los Angeles. He can be reached at CPL[at]YouBentMyWookie.com or on Twitter @CPLorusso.