Les Lawrence was born in Texas and was artistic as a child. He enjoyed exploring how things were made and put together. He had a love for hot rods and custom cars and often dreamed of designing automobiles. His early education was in commercial art and he earned a B.A.degree. After working in a large department store's art department drawing clothing and other fashion objects he continued his art education at Texas Tech University. He studied sculpture, ceramics, and watercolor painting as well as learning how to build kilns and other art equipment. His first teaching position was at Hardin Simmons University where he started the sculpture and ceramics programs. After establishing these programs he attended Arizona State University where he received a MFA degree in Art/Ceramics. He was selected to head the ceramics program at Grossmont College in the San Diego area. He taught there for 35 years, being selected Faculty of the Year before he retired in 2005.