Featured Artist: An Interview with Leiana Leatutufu

Recently, I got the chance to chat with Leiana Leatutufu, a talented artist from California whose wonderful artwork for novel The Bone Season caught my attention. Her love and passion for art is clearly visible in her detailed illustrations, which took unlimited hours of designing, sketching, coloring and if final product is not met by her standards, deleting!

“Believe in your work and always be open to constructive criticism; it will definitely help you!” – Leiana Leatutufu

Here is an interview and art for The Bone Season Series and other work of an inspirational artist. Enjoy!


Q: First of all, Leiana, it’s a great pleasure to interview you, thank you very much for your time. Tell us a little background about you and your Artwork.

Leiana: No problem! Thank you for being so interested in me! 🙂

To start off, my name is Leiana or Lala for short. I do fanart for my friend Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season. Her book was getting popular, so I wanted people to have visuals for it, though mostly based on my own interpretation!


Q: What does doing art mean to you?

Leiana: It means everything to me. I’ve always wanted a career with art centered around it, like Concept Designing or something along those lines. Art is my boyfriend.


Q: What mediums do you work with?

Leiana: I use Faber-Castell brand pencils and erasers when I’m doing traditional drawings; I’m mostly digital now, because I want to get used to both methods. Working digitally I use Photoshop CS6 and a Trust Sketch Design Tablet & Mouse.

Q: What part of the process do you enjoy most?

Leiana: Designing and finding references. Usually takes me days before I find anything solid, but even then nothing is official. Nothing is ever official with me. Ask Sam. I delete a lot.


Q: What has been the major artistic influence on your work?

Leiana: I used to take a lot of influence from animes and cartoons – what artist hasn’t used anime as a major influence as a child – but as I got older I began wanting my own style and spent a lot of time on trying to build that up.

Q: Tell us about your artwork for highly anticipated book series The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon.

Leiana: I have quite a lot planned, as well as secret art in the works. I’ve gotten a lot of requests to do more character portraits like the ones I did the Seven Seals and Warden. Trying to get through work I have now. Hopefully I can get it all done!


Q: Besides characters, do you plan to draw important events that will happen in this wonderful series?

Leiana: I would personally love to, my only issue right now is buildings. And backgrounds in general. I suck at them. Will see how THAT turns out…


Q: Who’s your favorite author(s)?

Leiana: I’m a big fan of Lewis Carroll, he’s been my favourite author since I was 8. I absolutely adore his Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland books. And Edgar Allan poe is a great writer, too. Morbidly dark and chilling, I love it. And Dean Koontz. And now Samantha of course.


Q: Which is your favorite work of yours and why?

Leiana: My Seven Seals picture is probably my favourite, at the moment. Took me weeks to get done and I’m really proud of how it turned out and how their hair came out. Though I do see some mistakes, I’ll have to fix those.


Q: Do you listen/like to listen to music while you work?

Leiana: I absolutely MUST have music while I work. Music definitely plays a key part in how I picture a scene. I mostly listen to TV and movie scores. Artists I listen to include Two Steps from Hell and Murray Gold.


Q: Any dream project? Like, animator for The Bone Season animated series or video games!

Leiana: I make it no secret that I’d love to have a dream job working with The Bone Season. Samantha made an incredible world and I’d love to be able to get a job that will allow me to work alongside my friend’s book. And working on a video game for it wouldn’t be too bad, too! I myself am an avid video gamer and would have a ball.


Q: What do you do when you aren’t working on art?

Leiana: Alot of my free-time away from art is dedicated to helping my parents out with any errands or chores done. And watching my little brother, who is 8. As well as looking for a new job. Anyone at Bloomsbury need a waitress?


Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for young or emerging artists, what would it be?

Leiana: As a young artist myself, I definitely still have so much to learn. I definitely need to keep working on my art. But my advice to you all would be to keep drawing and keep building yourself! Whether it’s painting or sculpting or tradition or digital, you can do it! Believe in your work and always be open to constructive criticism; it will definitely help you!


Thank you so much again for your time, Leiana.

Leiana: And thank you for your time, as well! I very much enjoyed this interview!

For up to date information on art of Leiana Leatutufu, follow her:


ArtBlog for The Bone Season

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