Leslie Floyd is a local Somerville artist who was born into a very talented family. Leslie is one of seven children born to William and Doris Floyd, who believed in nurturing the creative arts. His older sister Karen, who encouraged him to try painting as a hobby, first motivated Leslie's artistic talents. As the years went on, Leslie's abilities flourished. His artistic skills were noticed and encouraged by his teachers. In his early years at Somerville Junior High, his art teacher, Joseph Garcia, became his mentor. Soon Les was encouraged to enter local and national art competitions and he went on to receive the National Scholastic Art Award over a six year period from Junior High to High School. In his senior year of high •School Leslie received a blue ribbon, which allowed him to represent his state in a national competition, and he was ranked one of the top. twenty young artists in the nation. During high school Les �studied under the artist Maurice Fern of Mendham, New Jersey. Les went on to study Fine Arts at Montclair State College, as well as the DuCret School of Art in Plainfield, New Jersey.
In the early seventy's Les began to make his mark as an exciting new artist. Soon his works were found throughout the state, presented at shows at Yale University, Philadelphia, Trenton, Plainfield, New York City and many other locations. For several years, Leslie's portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King was displayed at the Somerset County Courthouse. A Leslie uses all mediums of art, but prefers watercolor, acrylic and pen and ink. He describes his style as traditional realism with a slight impressionistic influence. Along with being a dedicated artist, Les is also proud of his work as a tutor to many young artists. These young ·people have gone on to complete college and pursue careers in many art-related fields. Today Les works in his art studio in his Somerville, New Jersey home where he illustrates those images that touch his spirit. He continues to give art shows, do commissioned works and give private lessons.