Congratulations, Leeza! In truth, I am not surprised one itty bitty bit. Upon first meeting Leeza you immediately know she is someone very special! I am so very proud of her growth, determination, and stamina! And I admire her talent and positive disposition in life and art. I feel very lucky to know her, to be her friend, and to know that she is my friend too.
So what does winning this award mean to Leeza? Leeza says ...
After the shock and delight of receiving the award, I think I truly felt like winning was a sign that I was finally on the right track. I've spent the past few years wondering where I could fit in, what my style was, where I was headed, and even if children's books was the right path for me. For the past twelve months though, this has all started to come together and shown me my desires and passions for working in children's literature. I spent many an early day and late night sketching, painting, doodling, researching, networking, crying and illustrating -- and somewhere in that time, everything clicked. To have two such prestigious names in the children's book world -- legendary Tomie dePaola and Penguin Putnam's art director Cecilia Yung -- describe my work as "Fresh" and "Superlative" is the icing on the cake. I cannot express my gratitude enough to them or to everyone who has been a part of my life since I began this wonderful journey. The feeling is simply AWESOME!
Check out Leeza's new website. Her new work and website are really amazing and fun, so go on over and say hi.
Leeza is represented by Rachel Orr of Prospect Agency.