|This month’s spotlight interview
is Dr. Donna Leishman. Born,
living and working in Scotland, Donna has worked
in the US and the UK. Her personal works include
RedRidingHood and Deviant:
The Possession of Christian Shaw. These
pieces and others can be found at her web
site. Donna supports the new media design
community through being Course Director for the
BA (Hons) in Illustration at Duncan of Jordanstone
College of Art in Dundee, Scotland, speaking engagements
such as FlashInTheCan
and agreeing to share her insight with us. Thank
you Donna for a great interview.
those who have not visited your site - can you
describe a bit about
your background and education? What are you currently
|I am 29, I was born, live and work
in Scotland. I’ve done stints as a designer
for Bullseyeart (NYC), BlackID (UK) and freelanced
for Itsnotrocketscience and Flamjam. I was formally
trained as a non-digital Illustrator and Printmaker
and after a spell working in newmedia I returned
to education to complete a Masters in Design (resulting
in my RedRidingHood project), and from there on
in continued my academic pursues to finally gain
a Doctor of Philosophy in 2004. These days as
well as my own research and work - I’m currently
Course Director for the BA (Hons) in Illustration
at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee,
did you start working with Flash and New Media?
|Around 1998 when I was learning
how to code in HTML and publish online I started
a training placement and subsequent job at BlackID,
which back then was a real creative newmedia hub
in Scotland. It was there that I was introduced
to Flash and Director – the former being
the tool for me!
you have a favorite program or medium to work
with and why?
|It has to be Flash, these days I
do almost all of the drawing and artwork directly
within the package itself, I do the animation
and coding for all my interactivity within Flash.
The only external ingredient being the audio.
you have a favorite project so far? If so, which
one and why?
|It would have to be Deviant: The
Possession of Christian Shaw (2004).
It represents the core of my PhD research –
and a lot of sweat went into that! In terms of
the volume of drawing and detailing – visual
styling and sheer concentration this project is
by far the most sophisticated. It is also based
on a real narrative / tragic event – this
gives it special ethical relationship to me.
inspires you? Motivates you? What is your driving
|History and culture are continuous
sources of motivation and are normally inspirations
for projects. As is the (in terms of total out
there) small bank of literature, art and film
dealing with archetypes and in particular the
role of women. In terms of being driven my goals
are to create experiences and narratives that
are different from the ‘norm’, that
challenge the audience to participate to engage
emotionally with often difficult subjects.
are your favorite designers, artists, web sites,
- NYC Illustrator|
- Scots, Friend, Artist & Developer
- Scots, Friends and designers.