Jonathan Leach’s highly detailed illustrations will send you to a fantasy world. His creations are inspired by his experience as a puppet maker and puppeteer, with his slightly off-centre characters often starting life as actual puppets before becoming beautifully intricate hand-inked or pencil drawings.
Jonathan says: “My illustrations generally derive from a very personal imaginary world populated with individuals who all look a little off centre. Quite a number of these individuals were inspired by puppet creations of mine so in a sense my mind gave birth quite literally to sentient life which could move and speak in a real world and, of course, as a child these puppet creations were also my friends and in a strange way mentors.
It isn’t surprising to those who know me that this crossover between the real and imaginary should lead me to work in areas of costume making, puppet building, puppeteering and story illustration.
I am by nature very interested in people and their stories so my work is character driven with their world and their stories developing naturally from their own words and lives. However, although this world is often imaginary it is not unreal. Whatever they look like, the creatures are always human under the skin, much like the time I once worked in a children’s show puppeteering a 6 foot bear. Reality like truth is often discovered just under the surface.”