NEWARK – She attributes, at least in part, her love of the outdoors to her talent.
âI think spending time outdoors as a kid sparked imagination and creativity,â she explained. âChildren who are outdoors often find ways to create their own fun and find their place in the natural world. “
She is a senior graphic designer for Central Ohio Technical College and Ohio State University in Newark. It’s Leslie Lenzo.
âCreativity comes naturally to me,â she said, âso I feel lucky to have found a career that matches that strength. “
Leslie (Ann) Lenzo grew up in Coshocton, graduated from Coshocton High School in 1985, then graduated in Graphic Design and Photography from Akron University in 1990.
âMy childhood was enormously influenced by my parents and their passion for everything related to the outdoors,â she said. âBecause of them and all of the time we spent hiking and exploring, I had a level of comfort from a young age with the natural world around me.â
âI think nature inspired me,â she noted, âwith the color, symmetry, beauty and consistency that gave me a level of comfort in doing what I do today. . “
âAnd I own horses,â she added. âI ride with my friends all over Ohio and we are constantly in awe of the beautiful scenery of Ohio.â
Lenzo joined COTC and OSU-N in 2000. Previously, she worked for agencies in Charleston, SC, Akron, Cleveland and Columbus.
âI have been fortunate enough to work freelance with several nonprofits in Columbus,â she said, âand I found the work there to be meaningful to me. It became my goal to work in higher education and do creative work that could impact the direction of someone’s life.
Working for both schools, Lenzo said she âhad the opportunity to interact with students and artistically direct them in photo shoots. I hear about their life stories and the direction they have taken. It’s pretty amazing stuff and I’m often very inspired by their travels.
“Leslie is a naturally talented artist,” said artist Michelle Stitzlein of Baltimore, Ohio. âHe is an intrepid person, avid for adventure and fond of the outdoors, with a curiosity and a desire to travel. For this reason, I think Leslie brings a relevant, energetic, fresh, fun and open approach to her projects at COTC / OSU-N. As her numerous design awards will attest, she has certainly been successful and schools are very lucky to have her.
âI’m doing it because it feels natural to me,â Lenzo replied. âArt is subjective, but a trained eye just knows if something is wrong with a design. And frankly, I like to be creative. And I love the design.
“Life is not a straight path,” she concluded. âUnbeknownst to me, playing in the woods was more than child’s play when I was a kid. I was thinking about my future life. Riding a horse, connecting with nature, traveling to beautiful places in this world and creativity are my passions. I believe these seeds were sown in childhood.
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focused on people and their jobs – whether it’s unusual jobs, fun jobs, or people taking ordinary jobs and making them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at [email protected] or 740-328-8821.