Atlanta Film and TV was fortunate to have a second conversation with Joshua Leonard, who is the Creator of Team Supreme Cartoon, which is about superhero kids with medical differences. Joshua is also the owner of Leonard Studios and has done character designs for Nickelodeon, Drake, and Bearback. Currently, Joshua works as a Character Designer for Netflix.
During our initial conversation, we got to know about Joshua and learned his inspiration, desire, and what differentiates Team Supreme from other cartoons.
And, in this conversation, we catch up to find out more about his characters and where he is with the development of Team Supreme.
Atlanta Film and TV: You were the first interview we conducted virtually when the pandemic began this past March. Can you tell us what has changed in your career, and the development of Team Supreme since then?
“One of the biggest changes is, I wasn’t working at Netflix. My older brother, who taught me how to draw, passed away the day before I got hired there. And, I am working on a client’s character designs as an Art Director. Team Supreme is still being developed, and we’re working on getting it funded, and continuing to do the groundwork behind the scenes along with my team - Lena Waithe, Jason Weaver, Rishi Rajani, Giselle Legere, and Hillman Grad.”
* Sidenote - Team Supreme has not been picked up by Netflix. *
During our conversation, Joshua gives us some insight as to who the Team Supreme characters are and their superpowers.
He also shares that,
“Not all the episodes will include the entire Team Supreme cast. We may specifically focus on Spina Bifida, showing what that means, what it looks like, and the difficulties.”
- Joshua Leonard
Atlanta Film and TV: What piece of advice do you have for those who may have the same artistic gifts as you?
Joshua Leonard: “Keep continuing to grow, and I would recommend any artist to learn anatomy. Start studying the muscles, which makes drawing the figure much easier.”
Atlanta Film and TV: Upon leaving the Atlanta Art Institute and embarking upon your professional career, were there any moments of fear or self-doubt you had to conquer, and what were some of the day-to-day obstacles you had to overcome as a Black man operating in a space viewed, primarily, as a white artform?
“I never had any fear or doubt about anything. I kind of had a chip on my shoulder - and it wasn’t anything negative. I was going to do my best to be noticed, and I was going to do my best to at least be able to compete with top-notch artists at Disney, Pixar, and Nickelodeon. I wanted to push myself. And, I am still like that today. I do my best work, and if they like it they like it. If they don’t, they don’t. I’m not here to beg for a gig. I'm here to let my artwork do the talking. What I think helps is how I branded myself and what I believe in as an artist, which is diversity and inclusion. I never had any fear of failing because if I failed, at least I tried. A lot of people are afraid and don’t want to fail, but I've failed plenty of times. Failing happens. You have to go for it, and don’t waste talent, if you’re good at it at least try.”
- Joshua Leonard
Joshua’s fifteen-year-old daughter is what motivates him to draw. And, it's his desire for her to not only see him become successful but also for her to see his failures, so she can see how he handles it.
We also talked about the importance of networking and building relationships in the Atlanta Film and Television Industry, and Joshua shares how using Twitter was how he got hired at Netflix.
Five years from now, Joshua sees Team Supreme winning an Emmy, Grammy, and an Oscar. He also sees Leonard Studios as a brick-and-mortar building, Team Supreme seen worldwide, and people being able to relate to it.
To watch our entire conversation, click here.
To connect with Joshua Leonard be sure to check out his website:
Be sure to follow him on Instagram
And, on Twitter.