Doug and Eileen Leunig are photographic artists living and working in Peoria. For more than 30 years, Doug was a corporate photographer for Caterpillar Inc., meeting thousands of interesting people in over 50 countries around the world. Eileen’s interest in photography was ignited when she and Doug married in 1998. The Leunigs are members of CIAO, which hosts the First Fridays Studio Tour each month, and use their talents to support good causes throughout central Illinois.

  1. What do you want people to get from your art? Everything changes by the light you see it in. We put subjects in a different light so people will alter their judgments and long-held perceptions. For us, it’s not just lighting a scene, it’s understanding things differently.
  2. What’s your favorite aspect of central Illinois? Doug: “This has been my home for all of my life. I’ve traveled the world many times over and find central Illinois to be the most comfortable spot on earth. There’s no place like home.” Eileen: “I moved back here 14 years ago, lured by the man of my dreams and the promise of no traffic jams.”
  3. Favorite journey: In 1998, we took a train to Shan-hai-guan, China. In that town, where no one spoke English, we had our most meaningful travel experience connecting with people—and all without words.
  4. What is your motto? We each have one. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Our combined motto is: “Put your judgments on trial or risk becoming a prisoner of your own mind.”
  5. What did you think at 30 that you don’t think now? We thought that happiness was acquired. Now we know it’s a state of being.
  6. At what time of the day do you feel your best? Doug is a big night owl; it is not unusual to find him hard at work at 2am. Eileen is at her best during daylight.
  7. What’s some of the best advice you’ve been given? The best advice we’ve been given was shared with us by someone we’ve never met: Joseph Campbell, who said, “Follow your bliss.”
  8. Three words people would use to describe us: Innovative, loving and community-minded.
  9. Favorite treat: Dougie’s Delightful Chocolate Almond Joy Gluten-Free, Nearly Sugar-Free Brownie Cookie Treats, a recipe we created to satisfy our desire for sweetness without white sugar.
  10. What’s next? Every day we continue to create fresh work for First Fridays, and we’re bringing to light novel ideas for our show at the Contemporary Art Center in May. a&s