Lea Céléstine is a 16 year-old, self-taught phenom from Switzerland.  With a following on Facebook of over 111,000, Lea’s unique view on life and visual expression has become an inspiration for young artists the world over. PicsArt is thrilled that she agreed to give us this exclusive interview.

“It’s fascinating for me that world is, in a sense, one big picture.”

Q: Where are you from?

I’m from Switzerland. I live in Kloten, that’s a town near Zürich.

Q: Why are you an artist?

I wouldn’t call myself as an artist. I just love to create things ‘out of nothing’ or from ‘daily stuff’, to create things, which then express something or cause people to think. I try to bring extraordinary things to the people.

Q: How would you complete this statement: “I am most creative when…”?

I’m most creative when I’m sad.

Q: What does it feel like to create?

When I’m drawing, taking pictures or writing stories I forget most everything around me. I feel like I’m living in my own world.

Q: How do you see the world when you are looking through your lens?

For me, the world is perfect in my lens. Everything stays as it is and I just concentrate on what I’m seeing and what I’m doing. It’s fascinating for me that world is, in a sense, one big picture.

Q: What puts you in a creative mood?  What inspires you?

It can be a calm place. Maybe outside. Good music. But sometimes, if I’m surrounded by a crowd of people, the many impressions also inspire me. In fact, inspiration always really depends on my mood and is therefore quite different.

Q: Most of your works are interesting self-portraits.  Why the focus on yourself as a canvas?

If I do have an idea, I want to realize this idea immediately. As I’m always with me, I can realize the idea instantly using myself as a canvas. And sure, I’m free then to dothings however and in whatever way I want.

Q: Body art.  You’ve done a lot of it and much of it is fascinating.  What are  you  generally trying to express with it?

It started when I got bored of creating ‘normal’ pctures.  I wanted to be different, creating something special. Now, body art and face paintings have become normal for me.

Q: Talk to us about your relationship with colors.  You seem to like to play with them in interesting ways.

I love colors. They are somehow simple and jaunty but nevertheless they can express a lot. It’s fascinating what colors represent and what we can create out of them.

Q: How much do you work at your art?  Do you usually get things right   the first time or do you spend a lot of time trying to get things exactly right?  Do you shoot a lot of stuff that never gets published?

I put in a lot of work, even though this is ‘just’ a hobby for me.. But I do like to spend that much time on my hobby. Mostly, I can transfer an idea directly into a picture/work as I intended to get it, but sure, also I do sometimes fail. But there are not many pictures surviving unpublished as if I’m not satisfied, I immediately delete them… 😉

Q: You are only 16 and you’ve got a huge global following.  How do you keep that from going to your head?

That’s difficult to answer. There are days, where I’m really bothered but on other days I feel damn lucky. But what’s irritating is that many people do have a kind of prejudice about me but I’m nothing else than a normal teen.

Q: Are you making money from your work at this point?

Rarely. I’ve been asked a few times to shoot for others and got some small payment for that.  Otherwise I don’t make money out of my hobby, yet. Recently, a small article was been posted in a newspaper about me. I was then contacted by a small webshop, to see if I would create a T-Shirt collection with my pictures. If that happens, I’ll get a small percentage from each sale.

Q: Did getting your septum (nose) pierced hurt?

It’s not a true septum piercing, so it didn’t hurt. I would like to have one or another piercing, but my parents don’t have the same opinion about that…