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Photos courtest of Ashley Morken of Unglued
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Meet Local FM Artist Lesleydidthat!

Full of life and color is how I’d easily describe LesleyAnne Buegel of Lesleydidthat! We’ve loved seeing her transform spaces with her bright vibes and crazy fun murals. So when it came time to plan our Unglued shop relocation to Brewhalla, we knew it needed some Lesleydidthat! involved—see the half-arch photo by M. Schleif Photography! And after seeing her create magic in our new space, we needed to get to know more about her inspiration and background.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Lesley! I grew up in Moorhead, MN, and went to university in New Zealand and studied media, film, and communications. I now live across the river in the heart of Downtown Fargo with my voracious, sweet, gremlin-of-a-cat Suki. I am passionate about connecting with others and experiencing the world as deeply as I can, which is why I spend as much time as possible traveling and meeting new people or spending time with old friends. These interactions directly inspire and fuel my creativity.

Describe what type of products you make under Lesleydidthat!

My main products result from painting—I’ll paint anything I can, which are mostly canvases, murals, and signs (I also enjoy painting objects, set pieces, and furniture). I dabble and experiment with screen printing, stickers, film photography, and making collages.

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Tell us how you got started with your art?

I was hired to do my first mural in the summer of 2020 after I interned with Folkways (before I started working there full-time). They had learned that I was an artist and wanted me to paint the side of a shipping container to be used as a fun backdrop for the Red River Market performances. After I did that piece, Wild Terra asked me to paint their bathroom walls inspired by 80s Miami Vice, and I started to gain more momentum and develop my abstract style as the community saw one or both of those two murals.

Do you have a personal favorite item or art piece you’ve created?

The one that I’ll create next.

What is something people might find surprising about working with murals?

This might be about paintings in general, but it hits harder when I paint murals… after hours working with brightly saturated paints, my eyes start to see the colors of the mural differently. They can shift between shades and pulses and take on a dimension that they don’t normally have. When I turn away from the painting and look back at the “real world” it can look really faded and weird.

What is one craft you haven’t really dabbled in yet that you want to try some day?

I’ve always been fascinated with sculpture and am excited for the day that I get the opportunity to dive my hands into a pile of clay! What is something you’ve enjoyed the most about doing this handcrafted business? The depth in which I’ve been able to meet the people and places of Fargo! I’m deeply honored when someone approaches me with their full trust to transform a space or piece of theirs. Getting to know them and their vision so that I can bring it to life is very satisfying. I paint public pieces, but in creating them, I get to work within back rooms and supply closets, alleyways, kitchens, workshops, warehouses, you name it—exploring new levels of the city that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. After I paint a piece, I’ll never see a space the same way again, and I love the intimate way that I know and remember a location after making my mark on it.

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What is the most challenging thing?

Balancing my creative energy between commissions and personal projects. It’s hard to say no to someone’s dream or vision, but impossible to say yes to everyone. I’ve found that my creative flow and quality of work across the board have enhanced and refined the more I am able to dedicate studio time to myself.

What is a word that best describes you?


What advice would you have given yourself five years ago?

Don’t wait to find a studio space! Your art is going to thrive when you are able to make things in a space that isn’t your living room or your parent’s garage.

Where can people find your work?

My Instagram is the most up to date with what events I’m hosting, projects I’m working on, or scenes I’m inspired by. My Instagram page is @lesleydidthat and my website is lesleydidthatcom

Written by Brady Drake

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