Chris Lesley started his journey toward a design experience career early on. A longtime fan of Marvel Comics, he remembers drawing Spiderman at age four. By third grade, he was peddling his drawings of complex themes of Saint George and the Dragon and of images of Greek Mythology to his neighbors for 20 bucks a pop. Chris still keeps the awards and ribbons won in art contests going back to age six.
In high school, Mr. Lesley won numerous awards for his paintings and pencil renderings, including state, national, and Congressional honors. Before graduating high school, Mr. Lesley had artwork hanging in the Metropolitan Museum in New York City and in the Rotunda Hall in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Each of these pieces were displayed for a full year.
Mr. Lesley earned an Associate of Science in Commercial Art from Tampa Technical Institute, learning portrait art, professional advertising, corporate identity and desktop publishing, as well as photography, professional marker renderings for magazines, airbrush artistry and the use of many other artistic tools and skills to profit in art. During his time at TTI, Mr. Lesley won many collegiate art contests, often sweeping multiple categories and places in the same competition – so much so that he was asked by his instructors to refrain from entering contests and allow fellow students a chance to win as well. Not one to back down, Mr. Lesley continued to enter contests, but submitted just one piece to each. Still, more often than not, he took home 1st place ribbons.
After graduating at the top of his class from TTI, Mr. Lesley went on to study at the prestigious Ringling College of Art and Design, informally dubbed “Disney University” for its high number of graduates who find work at Walt Disney World in Orlando. While earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Illustration from Ringling, Mr. Lesley also began studying Creation Science – therein finding his true passion. Soon, he was speaking at universities, at churches and on-air on Joy FM’s Light Force show. He also became a leader at WHY Outreach, a Christian youth and young adult ministry.
After taking teacher training courses at Pensacola Christian College, Mr. Lesley taught science at Calvary Chapel School in Sarasota, Florida for three years, and built a very successful mural and faux finishing business called JC Murals.
In 2004, Mr. Lesley moved to Saint Augustine, Florida to break into the comic book industry. After having several comic books published and designing characters for other comic book artists, he expanded his artistic talents into the theming industry, designing and fabricating themed environments and features including full-sized sharks, whales and pirate ships. He moved to nearby Jacksonville and worked at Creative Environs and as a freelance artist with professionals from Sally Corp. He currently works as an independent contractor for Pizzazz Scenic Company.
See more of Chris Lesley’s work at chrislesleyart.com