A.J. (Alexander Johann) Leibengeist is the pseudonym for David Alan Holding. Thunderchild and Leibengeist have been characters I've had since the 1970s. Thunderchild comes from Orson Welles' “War of the Worlds”, specifically, from the musical version by Jeff Wayne and the Moody Blues. Leibengeist is my avatar name I used for role playing games. The changing of the Mayan Calendar, last Era also brought the changing point for entering the Retirement Phase of Life! It's the point where I could start to focus on being serious about my hobbies and other pursuits.
I was born as “Baby Boy Feather” in Oklahoma City, Okla. I'm a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. I was adopted outside the Family and Tribe and raised in Oklahoma City. I got to spend several early years engaging in art and science programs at the Kirk Patrick Planetarium at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. It was there, I created and sold My first art work.
The High school years were in private schools and afforded the opportunity for competing in various areas, including art competitions at the regional and national levels. It was during this time that I got to explore and create in a wide variety of styles. Sketching is pretty much always a part of something. Macramé hangers and leather goods like weight-lifting belts, cases and motorcycle saddle bags were some of my early sales as Startbound Enterprises (which also served as a front for Amway).
After high school, the number of irons in the fire I was juggling soon accumulated, full-time work with overtime, pursuing various college interests, creating custom made items for customers, competitive athletics, still playing music at a restaurant most nights,...etc. , just spread things a bit thin. So, in 1985, to get a better focus on a career path and college, I enlistment in the Navy, seemed a good idea.
During My two Navy enlistments, I earned two classifications: Anti-Submarine Warfare Technician (AX) and a Radioman (RM) serving as the Chief Operator at the Military Affiliate Radio System, “MARS CHOP” station in Millington, Tennessee. I got to use My talents in various projects.
While in the service, I got My first motorcycle and sewing machine. A good sewing machine was easier than hand stitching for large projects (did a lot of hand stitching before that point). Having custom gear tends to generate requests for custom work. “The only stamp or mark I had at the time was either my crest signature, which I had to do by hand. Later, I had Tandy Leather make a little leather stamp of my Name. Leather goods got stamped if they could and art got my crest and or initials on it...(AJ)”
In late 1991, I received my medical discharge from the Navy in San Diego, California. That's when I partnered with Don Dye for Black Sabbath Custom Leather (BSCL). Design work and product creation became a focus for a while, as well as creating all of the business cards, brochures, ads, posters, outside of doing product sketches and pattern. It was a pretty awesome time while in San Diego, but I finally had to address injuries issue from the military. So, I relocated to Fort Scott, Kansas where I could rest and focus on healing injuries and finding the correct medical repairs.
The remainder of my working career allowed me to create new university course materials, architectural and construction plans, network and integrated systems diagrams. Artwork and Leather Work was still largely a hobby, but also provided for extra income making custom items on the side. During My time in Kansas City, I made custom gear for others and a new set of saddlebags and riding gear for Myself. Kansas City is also where I started doing more artwork. By 2009, My injuries worsen to a point that I really couldn't work a regular full-time job. In 2011, full disability from the VA and SSDI was granted and I relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Nowadays, I pretty much go by AJ all the time. Perpetual Artist Mode. My short and long-term goals include making a complete new portfolio for artwork and leather work while enjoying more music, art and travel. You can find out more on My Internet home site at http://thunderchild.net. I find using a website approach for my projects gives Me the best way to organizing what all I have going.
“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality,” The Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland.