Nothing excites Leigh more than figuring out a puzzle that begins as just an idea or a color, and turns into something beautiful and meaningful. Her passion for freedom and for making people happy is her driving force and inspires her every day. So, after making an honest go of it in the corporate world for several years, Leigh decided to follow her heart - Watson Murals, formerly Watson Design, was born in 2004. Since then, Leigh has thrived on taking a broad concept from a client and turning it into something that speaks directly to that person, whether it be a mural in the bedroom of a five year old boy, or a larger than life showpiece in a venue where thousands of patrons will see it and be inspired. What better way to focus those passions than by running a company that brings beauty, creativity, and joy to people? Leigh and her team hope to inspire other young women to never be afraid to venture out on their own and be creative.
Leigh Watson Acord
Leigh Watson Acord was raised in Dallas, TX then headed south to the University of Texas in glorious Austin where she received her Bachelors in Creative Advertising and a minor in Business. After graduation, Leigh worked in marketing for several years, but craved creative freedom. Being her own boss allowed Leigh the opportunity to create a nurturing environment for both herself and other aspiring artists.
In pursuit of turning her passion into a lucrative career, Leigh furthered her art education with classes in Faux finishing and spent 5 weeks in Italy studying Old-world style painting with other artists around the nation. Her time in Italy not only honed her skills as an artist, but inspired and reinvigorated her love of travel, freedom, and entrepreneurship. Locally, Leigh has established herself as an Austin staple in the mural community. She is an original member of the all-women art collective, atxGALS, and recently participated in the East Austin Studio Tours.
When not working, Leigh can be found taking advantage of all of Austin's great outdoor activities like playing around Town Lake (because it will ALWAYS be Town Lake to her!), having a craft beer outside with her husband, and spending as much time as possible with her two wonderful children.
Aerica Raven Van Dorn
Lead Designer, Muralist
Aerica Raven Van Dorn grew up in the Wichita, Kansas area and has been a member of the Watson Murals team since August of 2016. She studied Scenic Painting at Music Theatre of Wichita for five seasons and received her BFA in Sculpture from Wichita State University. Aerica’s preferred mediums are paint, pencil, and pens, and she is drawn to high contrast, crisp lines, and detailed subject matter. When she’s not working, Aerica loves experimenting with other art forms, making diverse installations, playing games, obsessing over her two cats, enjoying the outdoors, and thinking about how much she loves her job.
Devin Watlington grew up in Mart, Texas and has been a member of the Watson Murals team since December of 2018. She received her BFA in Graphic Design from Baylor University. Devin enjoys working with acrylic and watercolor, and is hoping to start experimenting with oil and gouache. She considers her style to be realism and loves being able to paint portraits of people and their animals. Outside of work, Devin enjoys sports, watching movies, collecting vinyl records, going to concerts, hanging out with her family, doing woodworking projects with her boyfriend, and playing with her handsome dog named Moses.
Renee D’Arienzo grew up in Sugar Land, Texas and has been a part of the Watson Murals team since 2012. She majored in Studio Art: Painting at Texas State University. Renee loves working with acrylic or house paint and her favorite style is expressionism. She feels inspired to create work that can speak to people in different ways depending on how they feel. When she’s not working, Renee spends time with her sweet, supportive husband and two wonderful children, and enjoys running and great wine.
Danielle DaVerona was born in New Orleans and grew up in Denton, Texas. She received her Bachelors of Art Education at the University of North Texas and has been a member of the Watson Murals team since 2018. Her favorite medium is lettering enamel and the styles she is most drawn to are 50s pinup and anime. Outside of work, Danielle enjoys improv, karaoke, costume and set design, and playing with cats - all with her amazing partner!