CLEVELAND — Each piece artist Leigh Brooklyn paints is special to her.
She spends hours each day making sure her portraits are picture-perfect. Her latest art series, "Love Bomb," highlights the struggles of victims of domestic violence and is what she calls her most personal because it's motivated by her experiences.
“The 'Love Bomb' piece … that's because I’ve been through a situation like that and I've reached out to (a) shelter before,” Brooklyn said.
These hand-drawn pieces in Brooklyn’s “Love Bomb” are currently for sale on her website and a portion of each sale will go directly to the journey center for safety and healing in Cleveland.
"I want to help other women. I want to pay it forward for them.” Brooklyn said.
Brooklyn says the title “Love Bomb” refers to a term in psychology known as “Love Bombing."
(For) a lot of abusers it's a manipulation technique that they use to overwhelm their victims. With these like grandiose displays of affection and they'll buy them gifts and they'll take them here and there and then they start to devalue them and then they'll discard them and it turns into this whole cycle of abuse that can just repeat again and again,” Brooklyn said.
As a complement to her "Love Bomb" series, she is working on a series entitled “Women’s Militia,” portraits of women of various ages and backgrounds who have overcome domestic violence or other hardships.
She photographed the women wearing military-inspired clothing and gear.
Brooklyn said she is turning the photographs into paintings.
“Their whole facial expression changes and they just feel strong and they're like yeah and they're holding these fake grenades up and they're ... ready to just to fight. They're a part of this club now. They're part of this group and it's empowering to know that you're not alone, you have other people with you and just the unification of women is really what this whole series is about," Brooklyn said.