We had the good fortune of connecting with Joshua Leonard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joshua, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
I am the father of a 16 year old daughter, who was born during the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. As a homeless Katrina victim, I endured some major setbacks, but my daughter was there to see how I stayed on my purpose, seeing the struggles, grind, determination, and tenacity. Now a professional Character Designer in the animation industry, my daughter was able to witness the seed I planted, all the way to the tree that has grown into my career.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is different from other artists because I focus on diversity and inclusion. I like to create compelling characters, and stories that are more relatable, such as creating characters who are different. I am most excited about my cartoon, Team Supreme! Team Supreme is about a group of kids who have a disability, but their disability is also their superpower. My goal is to normalize being different, by showing these specific characters on tv. I got to where I am today professionally by staying humble, working extremely hard, networking, and always trying to learn and grow as both an artist, and as a human being. It definitely was not easy, but I’m here to add some diversity to the industry, by any means necessary. I believe my brand, along with my artwork helped a lot by catching the eye of certain industry people who have helped me along the way. I was able to overcome the challenges just by staying focused on the task at hand, which was to become a great enough artist to where I get noticed. Some lessons I’ve learned along the way are to remember that no matter how hard life gets, just remember what your purpose is and why you do it. The only way I would give up on my goals is if I passed away. I want the world to know that my purpose is to create compelling characters and to tell amazing stories by having the most diverse and inclusive teams ever. As I mentioned earlier, I was a homeless Hurricane Katrina victim in 2005, then lost my best friend in 2008, full time student with a full time job during college, was in 2 back to back car accidents where I had to get 5 epidurals, and still graduated top of my class with a 4.0 GPA. I was one of the Commencement Speakers along side Rep. John Lewis. I say all this because I want the world to know that when you have a purpose, nothing can stop you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m definitely hitting up In-N-Out Burger, some Mexican food trucks, Jackfruit Café, Griffith Park, Santa Monica Pier, and maybe the Warner Bros. Tour. In my view, I would definitely hit up some celebrity friends to see if they’re available for coffee or lunch, between their busy schedules lol
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
James Mosley II – Although he’s younger than me, James has been a great mentor to my animation career.
Linkedin: Joshua Leonard
Twitter: imj0shuale0nard (number 0 instead of letter o)
Facebook: Joshua Leonard
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