R.E. (Robin) Lieske
R. E. Lieske (Robin)
I’ve drawn since I could hold a pencil and began formal training at 19 while working in illustration and metal design. I had to work, and commercial illustration jobs came easily but were time consuming, so I tended to gravitate to teachers for specific skills rather than degree programs. My first real graphic arts teacher was the now famous Western photographer, Jay Dusard, at Prescott College in the mountains of northern Arizona.
After moving to Phoenix at age 26 and signing up for drawing classes, I came upon a deserted printing press in the Graphic Arts Department at a college in Glendale. Luckily Mirta Hamilton, a wonderful printmaker, was heading up the Art Department at the time and gave me leave to set up an impromptu printmaking studio in the tiny storage room that housed the press. She then worked with me in extended studio sessions to learn the fine art of printmaking. And there was just something about that elegant, antique machine. For the first time in my life I felt what it was to be in the right place doing exactly the right thing.
I continued on to the Graphic Arts Department at Arizona State University to study in their downright glamorous printmaking studio, afterward securing my own press and setting up shop at home. It was then I founded MoonLogic Press and co-founded “Red Dog Gallery” in the burgeoning art scene in downtown Phoenix.
We moved back to the beautiful mountains of northern Arizona awhile back and here I’ve completed three of the book projects that seem to culminate from my tendency to work in series of images that then evoke stories. They’re all storybooks—two for grown-ups and one for children. Each has won placement in book festivals in San Francisco and London---the highest placed being “An Idiot’s Tale: The Lost Writings of Rapunzal”—which won first place in the short story category at the London Book Festival in 2013.
I’m currently studying oil painting with contemporary figurative painter, Paul Abbott, having completed upwards of 65 paintings and working on another book project. I’ve designed dozens of products and am expanding the reproduction capabilities of MoonLogic Press. Being a “fine artist” with a “graphic arts” heart, I long to connect my pictures with as many people as they speak to. The most important moments for me are when supposedly non-art people describe getting one of my pictures stuck in their heads.