Leeay Aikawa is a Toronto based illustrator/designer originally from Japan. Her colorful mixed media collages have been featured in publication such as The New York Times and The Atlantic Magazine amongst others. Leeay without collage, is like a woman who is not in love and when she is not making collages, she is usually experimenting with new fashions, watching films or traveling. Her first cover art was published on a school-year book, when she was just six. It was a drawing of a hen that she was petting in school. As a child, she would often tell her parents that she was disgusted by certain fonts they used in Toyama, her home-town in Japan.
She thought they had no sense of design, even when she didn’t know there was such a field. Perhaps this was a sign that she had a stronger calling from her creative side. However, she ended up entering a rather Math oriented high school and struggled for years, barely passing her Math exams. Toyama City frustrated Leeay, as it was a place which encouraged its students to value mathematics, physics and engineering. Having a career in the Arts was something foreign to the schools of Toyama City.
“I want to be a creative person full of imagination”, Leeay would answer, when her class mates asked her what she wanted to be.