Leanne is a maker, dreamer and designer. She is Toronto’s go to person for everything from otherworldly wedding experiences to new age beer bottle design and she also happens to be one of our favourite people to work with. Her aesthetic can best be described through her work which ranges from innovative chic all the way to quirky cool.

Last week we had the opportunity to sit and speak with Leanne about her work, her process and how innovative laser cutting techniques have impacted the way she approaches her projects.

How about we start with introductions?

Leanne: I’m an art director who has a background in design, production and installation. I work with clients to bring their ideas into the real world and create experiences which are truly unique and memorable.

Tell us about some of the challenges you’ve faced through your work?

Leanne: The pieces I’m often asked to design are quite large in scale and have really tight installation timelines, so choosing the right material to work with is absolutely key. It needs to be light enough to hang but also strong enough that it holds it’s shape. My clients are also very particular about the polish and finish of the final outcome and thanks to Hot Pop Factory, I’m able to make this happen every single time at an affordable price.

Talk to us about some of your recent projects?

Leanne: My projects usually vary quite a bit in complexity and scale. Last year, I was working on a project with a Day of the Dead theme which was quite fun. There were a number of pieces that needed to be designed to pull the whole thing together including stencil cutting and spraying over 50 pumpkins in one day. I used a mix of stock illustrations and my own vector art to create the stencils. Understanding how a stencil works is really important, the lines need to be thick enough to block the spray paint from bleeding together. Once I had my vector art ready, I took Matt’s help to pick a material which was a slightly bendable plastic. This worked really well for heavy use and allowed us to bend them a bit to fit different shaped pumpkins.

To know more about what materials might best suit your project, visit our Laser Cutting Materials page!

Stencil cutting

You clearly enjoy working with stencils, tell us about that?

Leanne: As a kid, I was fascinated with stencils. The ability to block out an area to paint or spray paint a pattern repeatedly was awesome! I could brand things, create patterns on just about any surface. Laser cutting gives me the ability to create my own designs through stencils with really precise results. This would never have been possible without the techniques we have today.


So what’s next for you?

Leanne: It’s a really exciting times for me, I’ve been working on my personal branding and website, which should be launching really soon. Till then you can always follow me on Instagram at @leannekelly.ca.