We had the good fortune of connecting with Leah Hardwick and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Leah, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
When I create things, whether it be digital art, miniatures, or jewelry, I feel really satisfied. I really enjoy trying something new every so often and taking a risk. Recently, I’ve had success by trying out resin to create jewelry, and I’ve had a great time practicing with this medium. I bought some supplies before the pandemic hit, and have made things like pins, rings, earrings, and brooches. There’s always something to try, new textures to mix, and so many inspiring tutorials online. As far as the rest of my business goes, I’m still first and foremost a digital artist. However, I’m always willing to try something new, as long as it’s an excuse to make something.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started doing digital art in middle school, and never stopped. I’ve learned to pace myself more as I’ve gotten older, instead of getting burnt out by overworking myself. I know my limits and strengths now, and have spent a good amount of time perfecting certain skills, so I spend a lot less mental energy on worrying if I’m “doing it right.” Although my style has changed a lot from when I was younger to now, I still enjoy drawing a lot of the same subjects as when I was younger. I’ve always loved designing cute characters, comfortable scenes, people, and mixing up my style depending on the subject. I don’t compare myself to anyone. Spending too much time comparing your art to a professional who’s had hundreds more hours of practice than you is unfair, and that’s a recipe for self-doubt. However, I think it’s a healthy habit to research other people’s techniques for art! What’s important is to have a learning mindset about it all. Taking breaks from social media to research different styles is a lot of fun, and good exercise for your creative muscles. We all start somewhere, and there’s a lot to be said for practicing new mediums. Whether that’s trying oil paints, perfecting a delicious signature recipe or even decorating your home, it’s always a perfect time to create something new in your life.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting Houston, we would have to spend the day in Katy! Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time there and I have a great time every time we go. I’m also an EGL fashion enthusiast, which is a Japanese street fashion that’s very frilly and cute! My best friend and I love to spend our weekends dressing up to go to all the cute stores in the area. I love the Proper Rose Garden for their rose milk tea (70% sweetness please!) and delicious snacks. After a bit of tea and cake, a stop at Kinokuniya is in order, since they have THE BEST stationary, pencils, inking pens, and art supplies, as well as a ton of goodies imported from Japan! I love their selection of art books too. Daiso is always a blast, it’s like a dollar store, but they have EVERYTHING and it’s so cute- so many useful products for artists and craft hobbyists! After shopping and snacking, we have to end the day with karaoke to really do it right!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
These past years have been filled with blessings. God has always provided opportunities for me and my loved ones to prosper, be safe, and together. My family and talented friends inspire me to never give up. Mostly, I’m extremely grateful for my loving and supportive husband (we got married last October!), who always inspires me to believe in myself. He’s supportive, kind, and always willing to lend a hand with my projects. He also happens to be an amazing music producer, who is extremely talented and humble. His sources of music inspiration are from all over the world and every era. He’s recently released an ambient track, which is new for him, and he’s constantly improving with every release. His recent project is based around studying FM synthesis, to form new sounds of his own. He plans to release an EP by this year.

Website: https://linktr.ee/milkyy.draws

Instagram: @milkyymintt.draws

Image Credits

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.