For years, Awesome Art We’ve Found Around The Net has been about two things only – awesome art and the artists that create it. With that in mind, we thought why not take the first week of the month to showcase these awesome artists even more? Welcome to “Awesome Artist We’ve Found Around The Net.” In this column, we are focusing on one artist and the awesome art that they create, whether they be amateur, up and coming, or well established. The goal is to uncover these artists so even more people become familiar with them. We ask these artists a few questions to see their origins, influences, and more. If you are an awesome artist or know someone that should be featured, feel free to contact me at any time at [email protected] .
This month we are very pleased to bring you the awesome art of…
Leke Fonge is a US-based artist and graphic designer. While in school, Leke studied Graphic Design Advertisement as well as Printing Publishing and Graphic Communications. He currently works for The Poster Posse as an illustrator along with having a full-time graphic designer position for a company in the tattoo industry.
JOBLO: What got you started as an artist? FONGE: Definitely comic books and anime. When I was younger, I used to sit for hours in one spot with some of my favorite comic books and I would redraw my favorite characters and panels from those comics. Once the internet came around (I may have just dated myself) I would print, study and redraw images from my favorite manga artist and anime. I also have to give a lot of credit to my older brother who used to draw frequently when we were younger as well. Back then my brother was actually the better artist at the time so anytime he was drawing, I would sit next to him and draw and study his technique. I’m obviously lightyears better than him now but he was probably my biggest motivator as a child.
Who were some of your favorite artists growing up? Aw man. Where do I begin? Being such a big comic book nerd, a lot of my favorite artists early on in my life were comic book artists. The late great George Perez was my absolute favorite. John Byrne, Todd McFarlane, and John Buscema are a few more comic artists I admired in my earlier years. In high school, I was really into fighting games and Capcom at that time was my absolute favorite game developer. They always seemed to have the best artists working on their projects. Some of my favorites were Bengus, Daigo Ikeno, Kinu Nishumura, Edayan, and of course the great Akira “Akiman” Yasuda. However, it wasn’t until I was in college that I really had my eyes opened to the vastness of amazing artists in the world, past and present. Artists like Drew Struzan and John Alvin are big influences to pretty much every artist that does poster illustrations so they go without saying. Alphonse Mucha, J.C. Leyendecker, Robert McGinnis, and Jose “Pepe” Gonzalez are a few of my favorite artists that I studied tenaciously in college and are still my go-to artists when I’m looking for inspiration today. Oh! I can’t forget Joe Madureira. I absolutely adored his work back in the day and still do!
Who do you really dig these days, follow on Instagram? There are so many amazing artists out there. For instance, ALL of my fellow Poster Posse artists (shameless plug) are fantastic and you should go follow each one of them. It’s great to be a part of such a talented and supportive community. I’m also a big fan of Paul Mann, Aurelio Lorenzo, GABZ, Ken Taylor, Martin Ansin, Joshua Budich, Alexander Iaccarino, Tyler Stout and many more.
What advice would you have for budding artists today? My advice would be to draw, draw, draw, and then draw some more! Put in those 10,000 hours and constantly strive to become a master of your craft. Create the things you love with love and eventually, other people will love it too!
What should we be looking out for from you in the future? I’m currently wrapping up a Poster Posse Passion Project that will be released mid-June. I’m also hoping to work on some official pieces through Poster Posse but in the meantime, I’m working on some personal projects. One being a tabletop card game which requires a lot of time and effort mainly due to the large number of characters that I need to illustrate and create backstories for. I’m also working on finally getting my online shop together for folks who have inquired about purchasing some of my pieces.
Being a fansite, we have to ask you… What are some of your favorite movies/TV shows of all time? I’ll try my best to keep the list short. Some of my favorite movies are The Matrix, Kung-Fu Hustle, Harlem Nights, Tombstone, A Rumble in the Bronx, Iron Monkey, Fist of Legend, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Ninja Scroll, Terminator 1 2, Django Unchained, Blade, Spider-Man 2, Rogue One, and The Dark Knight just to name a few.
Some of my favorite shows are The Simpsons, Futurama, Married with Children, Daredevil, Castlevania, Game of Thrones, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, The Legend of Korra, Samurai Champloo, Sons of Anarchy, and The Wire
Scroll down to check out some of our favorite art pieces from Leke as we continue to follow his journey across his Website and social media hubs: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Store Frontier
The Big O
The Dark Knight Trilogy
Do The Right Thing
The Harder They Fall
Horizon: Forbidden West
The Last Dance
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
The Queens Gambit
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens