Leslie Kubica shows her dad one of her latest 3-D creations.

by Dave Warner

Little Falls resident Leslie Kubica wasn’t always an artist. She was a musician who went to music school, plays the flute, and now teaches music at the elementary school in Dolgeville. However, growing up as a child, art was her first passion.

She said “When I was a kid, I made art like crazy. In high school I made art like crazy – the art class was my favorite class. But, I was also interested in music, and that was one of my favorite classes as well.”

She had to decide which one to pursue for college. It meant either making a portfolio of her artwork or preparing for auditions. She decided to go into music, and throughout college, she just painted a little bit here and there.

She ended up with two degrees – music performance and music education, but two years ago, a couple of car accidents changed her life and her direction.

“I couldn’t play as much because of the physical limitations of the car accidents. I can’t perform as much because of my back,” she said.

She had to take half of the school year off and while she was recovering, she was bored, by herself, and thought “I guess I can draw again. I have all these drawing pads and I’ll pull one out and see what happens,” said Kubica.

“Then I started drawing and drawing, and painting and painting and I just started making work – lots of it, and it turned into a thing,” she said. “I had totally forgotten how much I loved art.”

She kept going and showed her work at the art walk two years ago in Little Falls for the first time. “Ever since I showed in the art walk, I just wanted to do more and do it even better. I wanted to see where it would go.”

This year, she was invited to show at the library for the art walk and Saturday was the opening reception for her exhibit.

“They had me hang my show early, so that’s what we’re seeing here. I’ve made a lot of new pieces,” she said.

Kubica describes her art as fun. “I consider myself an illustrator because there are always stories going on in my head as I’m working on my art. It’s like visual storytelling. My dream is to illustrate children’s books. Some of this work is a result of the classes I’m taking to learn how to do that.”

She loves the visual storytelling aspect of illustration as well. She works with acrylics on canvas, pigment sticks, digitally, with charcoal, and pen and ink. She also gives workshops.

She does commission work as well and pet portraits are one of her new things. She also has a product line where her illustrations are on cups, journals, pins and other items. “It’s an added layer to what I’m doing,” she said. “It’s a more affordable way for people to own art, which I love.”

If you are interested in finding out more, Kubica has a website at lesliekubicaillustration.com. She’s also on Instagram and Facebook with #lesliekubicaillustration