Leah Spencer: Drawing Her Way Through New York

Cuber, Graphic Designer, and a newer member of the New York Art Department!


When Leah moved to New York she was trying to connect with the art department, but when you aren’t in the film scene it can be challenging to find a way in. Serendipitously, a local art department artist was getting rid of supplies on a well-known ad meet-up website. Leah connected with her and asked how to join the lovely world we know as the Art Department (or Art Departy as a beloved AD has referred to us as) and the artist shared, “Even when you’re totally new to it, ArtCube is a great way to get into it.”


Leah was a designer for the commercial world like VistaPrint but she floated towards the film world because “I was missing that hands-on experience I was invested in as a kid.” We are all very hands-on people (and low key hoarders) so Leah fit right on in.


“Everything is design and everything can use good design! I love making everything pretty,” Leah shared about her work. Currently, she has been designing everything from posters to 1950s billboards to cheap pizza shop signs. “There are still design principles even if it’s supposed to look grunge and outdated.” She researches, pulls concept references, and plays with each design to get that rich feel of the era or world she’s building with her graphics.


Even though we can lift a finger in photoshop and change one color, her mindset in designing an older looking graphic is like “going back into the time capsule of our brain of pre-computer technology” and diving into the details of how they made it. This work has given her such respect for how much effort and heart went into designs pre-computer.


She realizes this may be a difficult time to join into the film world, but she reminds herself to have a little patience as things open up. She is taking this time to build her portfolio and draw. She has these whimsical, yet beautifully detailed animals drawings that she’s selling where she is donating 10% of the proceeds to the Global Wildlife Conservation.