Creating content with artist Uma Leoni
Artist and founder of LEONI’s Studio, Uma Leoni, creates original abstract and graffiti inspired artwork which she transforms into unique pieces of clothing, home décor and more. Success on social media has been crucial to the growth of her brand and business and we caught up with her to find out how Adobe Express helps her create engaging social content that keeps her audience coming back for more.
Tell us a little bit about your brand and business. What is your business, how did you get started, and what is your business’ focus for the next year?
LEONI’s Studio is a peek into my world through my art. What started as me selling a few original paintings during the 2020 quarantine has completely blossomed into an online shop full of collections of art prints, shirts, painted apparel, home decor and more.
My art style is very abstract. Looking at my work you’ll find a theme of faces, bold line work and a play with texture. A majority of my pieces are a result of experimentation with new techniques, giving each one a unique feel.
I first shared my artwork on a small Instagram page with close friends and family. Painting was therapeutic for me in a time of high stress, and I felt the need to share it with others. After a few months I expanded my content to TikTok, which is where I gained a majority of my amazing supporters.
Over the next year I am going to focus on painting. I spent the majority of 2022 exploring different outlets such as digital art and apparel, but I want to come back full circle. Expect big things this year. Literally. I have my canvases ready.
What type of content resonates the most with your audience? (Formats, content types, topics)
I am so lucky to have a very engaged and open-minded audience. Whether I post content about a day in my life, a painting vlog, a time-lapse or a skit to a trending audio, my audience accepts it with open arms. I will say however that my videos receive the most positive feedback. Without fail, sharing an authentic, un-orchestrated view into my world does numbers.
Social media is so full of aesthetically pleasing content that, if over consumed, can turn from motivating and inspiring to inauthentic. I try to show my audience a good balance of my ups and downs. My journey has been a long one and it hasn’t always been easy. But I share my story in hopes that it encourages somebody out there to pursue their own creative career
How has Adobe Express helped you grow your brand and business?
One thing I struggled with when I first started my business and am still working on today is maintaining a brand image. Whether it's with fonts, colors, or overall presence, brand imaging can be a lot to learn if you’ve never done it before. Adobe Express really simplifies this process by giving me a place to save my brand elements in one spot and providing free templates I can use for Instagram stories or posts, Pinterest pins, or even email templates. Time is huge for me, so if I can cut my time spent on a project in half, I am all for it.
What are the main challenges you face when creating and planning content?
The main challenge I currently face is staying consistent with posting. Very similar to my artistic process, my inspiration for social media content comes in spurts. My biggest goal in 2023 is to be consistent with batch shooting to give myself a cushion for any off days.
What Adobe Express feature do you use the most regularly and why?
The Instagram Story templates are by far the most useful. I try to post 2-3 stories a day and using templates keeps my page more engaging.
What impact does social media have on your business?
Social media impacts my business in every respect from sales, to exposure, to my community. I started my business on social media and would have never been able to become a full-time artist without it. There’s no better way to connect with people that you never would have in real time.
Which content channels have you found the most success on and why?
TikTok 100%. TikTok has a completely different culture from other social media platforms. The content tends to be more raw and authentic there and I believe my videos align with that .
How has your approach to content creation changed as your brand and business has grown?
My approach has changed quite a bit. When I first started content creation, I was following a lot of trends to try and gain followers and traction on my page. This worked for a while, but I burnt out quickly.
Now that my business has grown, I’m more focused on my audience getting to know me and the story behind my artwork. I’m much more personal now. Day in the life vlogs are a perfect example of my go to video. I highlight work days in the studio whether I’m painting, packing orders, going to the art supply store… I want people to see my process and what goes into the art they invest in. It’s much more intimate that way.
Which creative or planning tools couldn’t you live without and why?
I absolutely need Notion and Procreate. Notion keeps all my thoughts in one place in the most organized way. I have at least a million thoughts a minute and Notion keeps me up to date on an hourly, daily, and monthly basis. Procreate is a bit more self-explanatory. I just love the program.
What brand would you like to collaborate with and why?
I would love to collaborate with an iconic Black owned brand like Telfar, Daily Paper, Essence or Jungalow. I want my collaborations to be something that my community can be proud to be a part of.