In my fictional future, these toys were bought and loved by someone.  And these were the ads that helped sell the toys.  I wanted to fabricate a history of the “real” race car to enrich the object.  Since the future is not written, these posters cover everything from family owned racers to technology that actually exists.  In the case of magnetic levitation or mag-lev, I thought it would be interesting to have a poster from an actual mag-lev race in Jamaica.



Antiques from the Future


The ideas for a concept car first take root in modeling, wood and clay. I look back at the age when cars were made of metal, and shapes were inspired by the space race. I look far into the future where concept artists such as Scott Robertson push the boundaries of design and form. Sketches and image libraries become foundations that turn a rectilinear block of clay into a form. Minimal detail is added as these are meant to only hint at something realistic. Wheels and function do not exist in these cars.

The Bonneville Series explores my love affair with aerodynamic forms. These forms are sensual. They flow and curve, mimicking the natural shape and lines of the human body. I mimic the form lines with my hand and make a sound effect with my mouth. WHOOSH! I am a kid again. And shouldn’t what we create take us back to being a child? In the end, I am making the toys I’ve always wanted. It is a long-standing romance between my inner child and the forms that make up a possible future. The creation of these toy-sized cars brings me back to what I love: aged surfaces, architecture, science fiction, futurism, invention, risk, helmets and spacemen. These vehicles, my antiques from the future, are loved by someone. They have been cherished and now, cared for. I believe that all artists create artwork that ties them to their childhood in one way or another. And why not? It is a time when we are most free.

Christian deLeon

giclee on enhanced matte paper
March, 2016

A sea of white space is taken two ways: stressful or calming.  In the case of K, the white space is balanced well with black.  “Don’t be afraid of black.” – R. Crumb

This photo inspired illustration has been on my mind for several years.  I’ve always loved the photo.  Kim had no idea i took it. My favorite elements is the jacket.  It’s so puffy and massive that it reminds me of an astronaut suit.

Holiday Web Flyer: December, 2013

Nothing excites me more than getting a special request from the president of Northwest campus.  Well, in this case, excites comes with a little stress.  But it is one of those situations in which she has full confidence in me to produce something wonderful.  It’s good to have the president of your school in your corner.

If I remember correctly, the yellow/gold color for the flyer took me forever to nail down.  Incidentally, I wasn’t thinking yellow at all.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  I was trying every color using Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer and didn’t like anything I was getting.  This final was by pure accident and the gold look came out because of the crumpled paper texture I was using…BONUS!  You know I can’t stay away from Blending Modes.

The white of dove and school silhouette, as well as the glowing golden rings have a subtle drop shadow that take on the look of cut paper.  Another happy solution.

The Holidays are upon us.  Always be thankful for who you have in your lives.  Love them and keep them close.


Jeff Forster Poster: October, 2013

If the work is interesting enough, it should make the poster.  I wanted to present the title as if it were projected onto the piece.  The slight distortion to the type is thanks to a displacement map.

I like adding quotes from the artist statement.  It adds a personal touch.  A hint to the viewer. A clue.  Something to say… “hey! You!  You may relate to this.  Come and see the rest of my work.”

I remember this show. The pieces were heavy.  Special custom mounts were made for the pieces to hang on the wall.  If they had fallen, the marble beneath would have felt it.

I have always been attached to atmospheric firing, but sadly as much as I want to build a soda/salt kiln in my backyard, the city of Fort Worth has codes.  I’ll have to purchase some land out in the country somewhere.  Wish. Wish.

Registration Poster Series, November 2015

Remember the background.  Don’t leave it alone.  Don’t leave it as an afterthought.  I was tasked with creating posters for spring registration.  I wanted to start with the background patterns.  Theme was based on arcs, circles and lines with rounded caps.  I do have my favorites color combinations, but I can’t help myself when it comes to adding texture in Photoshop.  I am a sucker for Blending Modes.  With a simple brown paper bag and a camera you can get some really interesting things.  Some of the posters glow and I love it.  If you haven’t played around with Blending Modes in Photoshop yet.  Do it!  You don’t know what you are missing.  It make the most flat work have depth and dynamism.

More importantly though is that they are working.  I teach 2 of the classes here and I have already recruited students for next semester.

Look how far I’ve come.  When I got to Tarrant County College in 2010, this was the poster I designed for registration.  I remember thinking that the artwork should play center stage and nothing should distract from it.  I was also new here, scared to take risks.  Scared to offend.  Even now I do still think some of that is still present, but I have to consider my audience.  Most want it legible and thats it.  Short and to the point.  And so, I went with white.  It seemed safe.  In hindsight, it seems sterile and clinical.  I can’t believe seeing these side by side.  What a leap!


IMG_2965 IMG_2966

Self Portrait, pencil

It wasn’t until grad school that a visiting artist let me in on a secret to my work.  He said, “the way you talk about your work, it’s as if you are this small”.  He points to a speck of clay next to a big pot that I had thrown days earlier.  “Your work is about scale. Things that are bigger than you.  Embrace this.”  Maybe this is why I am always looking up or looking down at things.  Taking note. Photographing and fascinated with what I find.

As with critiques even today, I relate everything to movies.  In this advice, I remembered the movie American Splendor.  Harvey’s co-worker and friend Toby reminds him, “Believe in something bigger than yourself.  It might cheer you up.”  No although I am not as grumpy as the main character, this thought definitely keeps me humble and smiling.