May 12, 2011

Leah Leslie of Fuck Yeah, Book Arts

tumblr, a comparatively new blog software, has caused quite a stir in the blogosphere since its launch in 2007. Albeit the multi-media possibilities the platform offers, it has mainly been used to quickly and easily share images - often anonymously. 

All the more happy I am to be able to introduce to you today Leah Leslie, editor of the wonderfully overflowing art collection Fuck Yeah, Book Arts. Please follow the jump below for an interesting interview with the mind behind this beautiful and super-successful project.

What's your name, how old are you, and what do you do for a living (or all day, for that matter)?

My name is Leah Leslie and I am 19 years old. I'm currently a full-time BA Book Arts student at London College of Communication until 2013. (Having completed my foundation year specializing in Illustration at Central Saint Martins in 2010.) I like to spend my free-time reading, writing and blogging all the art I research.

How long have you been blogging? How did you get around to blogging?

I joined tumblr in 2008, but my posts were sporadic and irregular. It wasn't until October 2010 that I created my secondary (and much more successful!) Book Arts blog, more or less on a whim. I didn't expect more than a handful of curious art students to see it, let alone have hundreds of followers within weeks, including teachers who actually use it as a learning resource for their students.

What's your blog called and why?

My blog is called 'Fuck Yeah, Book Arts', a pretty self-explanatory (Internet meme) title which is currently up for debate! (Some of my more mature followers feel the profanity unnecessary, others claim to change it would mean censorship, I personally do not see how it is offensive, as it merely humorously portrays the genuine passion I feel for the subject.) My personal blog is called 'Sweetvisage', a lyric from my favorite Unicorns song called 'Child Star' An eerie song satirizing our society's obsession with fame, and worship of the celebrity. I felt it fitting, given the communal and anonymous nature of blogging.

What are you blogging about? Why?

'Fuck Yeah, Book Arts' focuses on the unconventional world of Book Arts- it features artists books, illustration, book making, sketchbooking, scrapbooking, typography, printmaking, paper making, altered books, zines, paper engineering, how to guides and more- I partially created it because I get a lot of people asking me what Book Arts actually is, and the truth is, it's a bit of everything really. It combines every form of art, literature, history...

"The artform developed as a way of bypassing the constraints of the gallery; as a vehicle for the dissemination of ideas and a radical format of bringing art to a wider public through artists self-publishing their work. This notion of making art in an affordable non-wall based format led to the growth of what we now recognise as the artist’s book." (Quote from

'Sweetvisage' is a jumble of everything else I come across that interests me and wish to share- music, film, photography, reviews, quotes, jokes which I hope will cheer people up- It is also a place where I will upload my own artwork.

Who's your target audience?

My target audience was intended for curious students, creative minds and art lovers, but I feel with both blogs that there's something for everyone.

Who designed your blog? How much was that? In case you designed your own layout: Where did you learn how to?

My blogs run on, so they are free to run. I highly recommend any would-be bloggers to utilize tumblr for instant and easy blogging, it is a fantastic starting point. I do however plan on designing my own website in the near-future once I acquire the skills!

Which software and which host do you use? Can you recommend them?

See above.

What role play photos, MP3-files or video clips on your blog? If you use them, would you mind showing us one?

Images, MP3 files and video clips etc are all essential tools I regularly use in both of my blogs.

How many readers do you have? How many would you like to have? Does their number matter to you at all?

Fuck Yeah, Book Arts' currently has just under 5,000 followers, and that number increases every day.

The more humble 'Sweetvisage' is just shy of 200. However flattering the numbers (especially in Fuck Yeah, Book Arts' case) it is most important to me that the amazing artists and inspirational work I come across is being seen and shared.

Can you learn how to blog? Do you need to know a lot about computers? Do you have any advice for beginners?

With tumblr as a server for your blog, you do not need to have much/any technical computer knowledge. However, there are certain ways to run your blog which will attract more attention such as an arresting title, or subscribing yourself to lots of other tumblr blogs will mean your name will get advertised around.

I personally however do not subscribe into the whole 'if you follow me I'll follow you back' trend to simply to gain numbers, because then your homepage gets clogged up with a lot of uninteresting posts dedicated to what color socks the blogger is wearing that day etc, and you miss out on all the really great stuff. With tumblr, You have to pick and choose to follow blogs which routinely attract your attention, not bore you to death with mundanities!

Have you made negative experiences with blogging, too? What kind?

I personally have not had much in the way of negative experiences whilst blogging- I have never been hassled with hurtful comments, which is of course commonplace with Internet anonymity. I have however seen a side of my generation (and specifically, my gender) which makes me feel sad- there's a lot of teen girls on tumblr who treat their page as a diary of sorts, and share their insecurities with the world, which I think would be better kept to just their close circle of family and friends. Lots of lonely and personal posts, which I feel in time they will regret posting to the uncaring masses, who I have countlessly witnessed viciously and verbally attack these vulnerable bloggers. With the Internet, everything you say is more or less set in stone and you need to be careful.

And have you ever made money through your blog? If yes, how so?

I have not made any money from my blog nor ever intended to, but I have used it as a means of exhibiting my own and others art, so I suppose if I were to sell anything online I could probably feature it on my blog to hopefully gain buyers attention.

However, my blogging caught the attention of the workers running tumblr itself, and for the time being I'm currently working for the them as one of the top editors for the entire 'craft' section of the website, where I get to curate and promote all the best craft-based blogs and posts.

Do you use twitter, too? Why (not)? What pros and cons do you see when it comes to twitter?

I do not use twitter, as once again I get bothered by my generation misusing such websites to share uninteresting or too personal facts about themselves with the world. However I can see the benefits of it, especially the humor you across when following witty bloggers.

Which other female bloggers can you recommend? Why?

The images and information I gather for my blogs are collected from so many random sources- however some book/art centric female tumblr bloggers I would recommend include:,,,,,,

... oh wow, there's too many really!

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