Illustrator Amy Leonard captures fleeting moments in everyday urban spaces

The London-based artist bases her practice on the simple yet highly effective outlook of “the art of noticing”.

3 November 2022


Depicting petrol stations, roundabouts, train stations and more, illustrator Amy Leonard loves to capture urban spaces that typically go unnoticed. Rooted in her own geographical experiences, Amy’s interest in urban sprawl first arose after her move from the tourist beach town of Felixstowe in Suffolk to London. Moving from scenic beauty to a large inner-city, Amy purposely set herself on appreciating the landscapes around her, no matter their typical perception. “Day-to-day life is happening everywhere, all around us all the time – we just need to notice it,” Amy advocates.

To make such spaces visually intriguing, Amy focuses on “fleeting moments, or stillness” and then elevates them by creating strong contacts between sky and structure, light and shadow. A bright red petrol station sits beneath a dramatic storm grey sky, and a glistening train stalls below a soft sunset on a late summer evening. Beginning each work with a simple sketch, Amy then finishes her work digitally while trying to maintain a “painterly” feel. Never taken a second thought to the roundabout at the end of your road? Maybe it’s time for a longer look.


Amy Leonard: Eko Naoussa (Copyright © Amy Leonard, 2022)


Amy Leonard: The End in Nigh (Copyright © Amy Leonard, 2021)


Amy Leonard: Suntrap (Copyright © Amy Leonard, 2021)


Amy Leonard: Sumer Bummer (Copyright © Amy Leonard, 2022)


Amy Leonard: This is England, Summer 2020 (Copyright © Amy Leonard, 2021)


Amy Leonard: Mooball (Copyright © Amy Leonard, 2020)


Amy Leonard: Mooball (Copyright © Amy Leonard, 2020)


Amy Leonard: Roadhouse (Copyright © Amy Leonard, 2021)


Amy Leonard: Rohit in Hackney Downs (Copyright © Amy Leonard, 2022)

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Amy Leonard: No Commuters on Sundays (Copyright © Amy Leonard, 2022)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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