Approaching art with the heart of a child, honest self-expression is the core of Lee Libro’s work, whether wielding pen or paintbrush. As an artist and writer herself, Lee understands the intricacies of publishing and is able to communicate well in order to help the author manifest the visual side of their story.
From an early age, Lee Libro loved to draw and paint, but she liked to read and write too! As a child, she wrote poetry, made up stories and entered writing contests. When she won a silver watch at age eight for a fire prevention essay, ironically, it fired up her writing and made a command of the English language her priority. This was despite the teasing she endured at the age of 11 as a southern transplant to Maine, where her “yes m’am’s” were soon replaced by “ayuh’s”. And wherever she lived, her love of art accompanied her love of the written word.
Growing up in New England where much of her family were artists, she continued to be an avid reader and writer, but art soon took the lead. Influenced by her uncle, John Lutes, an accomplished oil painter and her grandmother, a decorative tole artist, she explored many styles and media. Refusing to commit to any one style, her artwork crossed a spectrum from abstract to realism. Self-imposed pressure to adopt a branded style made her mistake her creative diversity for an ambiguous sense of identity as an artist and so after beginning her college as art student, she switched her major to English, a more marketable degree she decided. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts in English and then worked in marketing communications and publications editing. A decade in advertising, corporate communications, marriage and childbirth took precedence over her own art and creative writing.
Even well-laid plans bend to the watery course that is life. At the age of 34, suddenly widowed and left with three small children, Lee Libro realized that creativity lent her strength. No longer placing pressure on herself to choose one or the other, artist or author, or to identify her painting with a particular style, her creativity flowed freely.
In 2010, she expanded her short story writing endeavors to write and self-publish her first novel, Swimming with Wings. Since then she has written a three-part Young Adult series, The Love Code, still in the works. She has also written a children’s picture book, entitled The Lonely Ant and the Dalai Lama.
Her most prolific work is as an artist. Always a seeker and student at heart, her signature style is a cross between realism and the fantastical, images which she says “are merely a reflection of the fact that we all create our own realities.” She paints on canvas and in watercolors, draws in colored pencil and India ink and is also self-taught in digital graphics. She designs book covers, creates website elements, provides illustration and other graphic services to authors and also dabbles in surface design, creating fabrics, wallpaper, and fun designs on gift merchandise.