The Canvas | Leon Coburg

10 January 2011

Leon Coburg

Meet Leon Coburg, founder and creative force behind Body Of Art. An artist model for more than 25 years, he’s worked with renowned artists, students and art colleges all over the world.


What is your earliest artistic memory?

At the age of 8 I drew a picture in coloured pencil of the Star Wars final battle scene and gave it to my art teacher. She was so taken by it that she asked if she could have it. It was then that I first realised that I may have a creative talent.


What is the most exciting thing you have ever done?
Next to creating this website of course, is the next website which is due to come out in 2012, This is a culmination of more than 25 years of being an artist model and working with amazing artists of all ages. To see that coming together in one website with more than 1500 images of their artwork is just fantastic.


What has been your biggest mistake?
In the past I have been too blasé about how business works and thought someone’s word was sufficient. I now know that you should always ensure you have something in writing.


What is your favourite place, anywhere in the world?
My home because that is where I feel safe and happy.


What is your favourite book?
There are 2 books actually - ‘Evelina’ by Fanny Burney and ‘Joseph Andrews’ by Henry Fielding. Both books have a sprightly innocence that I, and I’m sure others, can relate to and were written in a period that were kind of mystical in a way, because it was such a different life in the 18th century.




What would you scribble on a wall of world’s greatest quotes?
‘We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow-worm’. - Winston Churchill


Who would you like to meet and what question would you want to ask them?
The Movie Director Stanley Kubrick. I would like to understand why someone as successful as him disappeared for more then a decade and became a recluse.


What would you define as ‘success’?
Meeting my wife, who is my soul mate.


What is your favourite art gallery or historical building and why?
Since I adore sculptures it is without a doubt the V & A in London, you can spend weeks in there and still not have seen it all.


What is your all time favourite movie?
Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock.


If you could own any piece of artwork, what piece would it be?
It would be a coloured pencil drawing ‘Fighting Bulls’ by the Belgian artist Antoine Joseph Bourlard (1826-1899).


If you could start your life all over, what would you do differently?
I wish I had been nicer to my younger brother and sister when we were growing up, since I got up to all sorts of mischief and got them to take the blame. (I‘m making up for it now!).


What has been your best ever purchase?
My little French bulldog ‘Ronnie’ who is my little soul mate, sorry Wife!


What is your favourite food?
Anything stodgy!


What is your favourite season of the year and why?
Autumn, because of the wonderful smells and colours when you walk in the woods.


Who is your favourite artist and why?
Peter Paul Reubens, because his use of colour is amazing and his paintings are on such a grand scale, absolutely beautiful.


What are you most afraid of?
My weaknesses.


What is your most prized possession?
My Bonsai Ficus.


What life lesson do you always stand by?
To treat people and animals with respect and decency, as you yourself would want to be treated.


If you had to give art students today some advice, what would it be?
To follow a direction that you feel is going to make you happy, and in which you know that you also have the ability and strengths to pursue that chosen path.


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Catherine Ward

really enjoyed reading the interview!