Meet The Artist | LEO BIRD (he/him)
Updated: Apr 19
Born and raised in Ames, Iowa, Leo Bird is a visual storyteller based out of Des Moines. His stories show how he overcame challenges he faced fitting in growing up. His work can be seen in art shows and comedy shows around central Iowa.
"I am a motivational speaker of the series, The Words He Cannot Say. I use drawings as a visual aid. This works because I create the drawings ahead of time, and when I speak, I point to the drawings with a laser pointer when I refer to them when I talk. Although I currently perform with comedians, and my stories are humorous, I consider myself more of an activist than a comedian. I write stories to support a cause, not because I am a fan of any specific actor or book. I also write to analyze how a situation could have been handled differently."
When did you first start creating and what do you remember making?
"My first drawing was made in 2019 and it was the drawing of my two college dormitory setups."
What was your most challenging art piece to create and why?
"The most challenging drawing that I made is "Where's my buddy?", a drawing of my school's cafeteria, which won honorable mention twice. It was challenging because it was so big and so detailed."
How would you describe your artwork?
"I draw like Alex Katz. My art is life becoming art instead of art imitating life and I create art to support a cause. So, if somebody told me if I was patient, I would list traits that make someone patient and times that I was patient."
What are your goals for your future art practice and how can people follow your work?
"My future art plans are primarily on finding ways to display my art in galleries. People can buy prints of my art at The Octagon and Enchanted Beauty. I have an exhibit at Octagon from May 22 to June 17 and the Johnston Library from August to September. My website is www.leobirdstandsup.com"
1. Color headshot of artist Leo Bird. Leo is a Caucasian male, with short brown/blonde hair. He is wearing thin-framed glasses, a blue suit coat, a yellow tie, and a blue button-up dress shirt.
2. Color photo of Leo Bird, sitting and painting inside the AXA studio at Mainframe. There is a camera in the foreground that is capturing Leo while he is creating.
3. Color photo of Leo and Mr. Franklin, standing outside Mainframe Studios using a table saw.
4. Color a photo of a piece of Leo Bird's artwork. The image is a drawing, created with markers, entitled, "THE WORDS HE CANNOT SAY." The drawing is horizontally oriented and has the previous phrase written across the top of the paper. Just below that are two male portraits, then one full figure of a male standing on a stage with a microphone, then a final male portrait and a set of clapping hands. Below the portraits, the bottom has a black background with white text that reads:
"Illustrated and performed by Leo Bird"
"His PA is yo Dr.," which is short for his dad is your doctor.
"Sam (bird drawing)'s Lil Bro." which is short for Sam Birds' little brother.