Get ready for a roaring good time, full of selfies and salutations—Leo season has officially arrived! The fifth sign in the zodiac calendar, Leo is represented by the celestial lion, and those born under this bold sign (July 23–August 22) are the zodiac’s confident, big-hearted (and yes, a bit magniloquent) leaders.
Leos love to be the center of attention and certainly know how to turn on the charm. It doesn’t always work out as they planned, however, and Leo energy can sometimes come across as arrogant. With that in mind, is it really any surprise that Andy Warhol was a Leo? And does that determination and aplomb equate to art market stardom for those born under the sign?
We spoke to Brooklyn-based astrologer Stephanie Pence about what defines a Leo artist—and it’s not as clear-cut as pop astrology would have you believe. Pence is both an artist and an astrologer and is currently deep in her studies as a third-year student in the Astrology University’s four-year certification program (she also works as the student success coordinator in the program). You can learn more about her practice or book a reading through her website. Read on to discover more about the hopes and needs of the Leo creatives in your life.
What are Leos’ strongest qualities as artists?
As a fixed fire sign, Leos have the stamina and determination to keep their vision without too much second-guessing and worrying about what others think. Fixity is a modality in astrology, a mode of being. Leos have their eye on the prize, and if their birth chart has other fixed placements like Aquarius or Scorpio, this can be extremely powerful for *making shit happen.* The combination of their fiery determination and self-confidence is a recipe for success.
What are their pitfalls?
As symbolized by the center of the universe, the sun, Leos may or may not take up a little too much space, which can be overwhelming for others. In astrology, it’s great to look to the opposite sign to see where they can improve; in the case of Leos, that is Aquarius. Aquarius tends to be connected to the collective needs, while Leo tends to be focused on the self. Taking a step back to gain some clarity beyond the self can be very helpful for a Leo to make sure they’re using their solar-like power to help illuminate others as well.
There are many famous Leo artists in art history, but who would you say is the quintessential Leo artist and why?
Leo season typically makes me think of iconic pop stars—Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Dua Lipa, Mick Jagger—more so than fine artists, so I can see how Andy Warhol is our quintessential Leo artist. Not only did he have a small tuft of a lion’s mane on his head, he was also a leading figure in the Pop Art movement and became arguably the most well-known contemporary artist. His influence extends beyond the gallery world and into mainstream consciousness. That’s what a Leo is capable of.
Leonor Fini also captures the spirit of the Leo artist. Fini was an Argentinean-Italian Surrealist multimedia artist who had her Mercury and Jupiter in Leo. Yes, there are many other placements beyond your sun, moon, and rising in our charts. Our Mercury sign reveals how we connect verbally as well as how we think and organize information. Jupiter is our bright, lucky planet, symbolizing what we derive great meaning from. Like a regal and prideful lioness, with both Jupiter and Mercury in Leo, Fini found her deepest meaning in expressing herself bravely and stylishly—just like a Leo!
What is the ideal environment for Leos to work in? What should Leos keep in their studios and homes to keep themselves inspired?
Leos need a big space to express themselves fully. If a big physical studio space isn’t possible, perhaps they may want to work outside under the rays of the sun. They should have mood boards and other inspirational items around, like some of their favorite artists’ books to keep the spark in their belly alive and to refer back to who they compete with on a grander scale. Loudspeakers would be a plus for getting in the mood with their ultimate pump-up jams.
How should a Leo artist start the day?
Leos should take a moment for themselves through journaling or some other contemplative activity. Once they leave their house, their innate magnetism will draw others towards them, and they may not get a whole lot of time to look within.
Do you think there is a medium that Leos would be particularly suited to?
Leos come in many forms and it’s silly to say they should all be “performing”, as pop astrology suggests. Like every sign, there is a range in how that sign manifests in the material world, and there are a lot of other chart factors to consider. But I do think that as a rule of thumb, and being a fire sign, Leos should work towards the creative outlet that is most intuitive and honest.
If a Leo were going to date someone in the art world, who do you think they would match with?
I don’t think it matters, as long as that person is extremely positive and outgoing and is there to uplift them on a daily basis. And luckily for their date, the Leo will return the favor!
How do you love a Leo well? and how do you give them feedback on their art in a way they will be receptive to?
Leos like grand gestures through words, physical affection, or gifts. Show up to their opening with a large bouquet of flowers, along with a cohort of friends to show your support.
If a Leo artist falls into a creative rut, what should they do to get back on track?
Leo is maybe the least likely sign to fall into a creative rut, as I mentioned with the fire element and fixed modality. But if it were to happen, they should refer back to their favorite artists to reignite their insatiable flame.
If an art career isn’t taking off right now, what would be the best day job for a Leo?
Oh man…that’s hard. Whatever the day job may look like, the Leo wants to be recognized for their contributions. However, I don’t know too many Leos that are “stuck” in a day job they dislike if their goal is to be an artist. They tend to be born having completed their “hero’s journey” in their past life, fully secure about what they should be doing in the present and actually doing it!
What should Leos—and everyone else—look out for this zodiac season?
Every Leo season is fun. It’s the height of summer, with the longest days, when we are meant to venture out into the world and connect with others. But on August 18, Venus in Leo trines (makes a positive connection) to Jupiter in Aries. Two of our most positive planets in outgoing fire signs are in conversation with one another inspiring hope, movement, optimism, and positivity all around. This is the perfect day to say “Yes!” to a new adventure.
Wondering which artists are Leos? Here are some of art history’s best.
Marcel Duchamp: July 28, 1887
Zelda Fitzgerald: July 24, 1900
Marlene Dumas: August 3, 1953
Andy Warhol: August 6, 1928
Richard Prince: August 6, 1949
Lorna Simpson: August 13, 1960