Austin digital artist Leslie Kell fuses photography with digital composition to create surreal landscapes.

After beginning her artistic journey as an airbrush painter and illustrator, she transitioned to a career as a graphic artist and now has operated her own freelance design business for over 25 years.

Photo by Joey Cruz, @cruzpix

She began exploring the medium of digital art and more recently, pairing her visual artwork with prose and poetry. We featured her compositions and writing in Issue 20 “Combo” and learned more about her process.

My artworks are created using an original technique that synthesizes design and photography.

The Shimmering Not

Recently, my imagery is also accompanied by a narrative that I compose throughout the development of the series. This addition of prose adds another aspect to the work beyond the design and photography.

When I embark on a series, there are many tools I tap into for the creation of the artwork from idea to realization. Some of these tools include: mood words, poetry, photography, graphic design, video overlays and resin.

Wake to the Illusion

Issue 20 shows my newest collection, ARTIFACTS, which explores the intersections of memory, reality and perceptions.

Below is the prose that accompanies the series.

I went to a place I had been before
I sat in a space I had seen before
The water moved me as it always had
And I found a person I had known before
As we waited for our former selves
The glimpses on the momentary surface
Reveal the tender slivers of our soul
And show us the shimmering not
The fragments become figments
Lingering just out of reach
They come cloaked in the light
Blinding us to the shadowed fringes
We will bend in our perceptions
As we brace for fragile artifacts
We will reach for the elusive memory
And wake to the illusion
I will remember
Second by second
This is everything
This doesn’t exist

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