Visual Female of the Month – December

– Lucy Yu


Originally from Wellington, Lucy Yu now lives in Melbourne where she uses her art to expose the beauty of the world. Drawing women, animals and nature, Lucy combines these elements together with ease, resulting in work that is extremely feminine and delicate. Each composition is considered, balancing detail with negative space to create harmonious work that rejuvenates your soul and leaves you with a feeling of peace and serenity. Lucy usually works in pencil, but she can also create in oils and water colours, which you can find more of on her website. Lucy is definitely a talent to keep an eye on.

Lucy Yu - Mindscapes-Memory Falls Lucy Yu - Aetherios - Behold

Now for the interview….

How old were you when you started creating?I was about 3 or 4 when I started filling all of my mum’s drawers space with countless felt pen scribbles of big-eyed girls and prancing animals. Not much has changed, except I now have improved drawing tools and my own drawers to fill!

What is your artistic background?

Aside from some art lessons here and there as a child, I have not had any formal art training. I was lucky to have a few very special teachers through school years and beyond, who gave me the heartfelt encouragement I needed to keep making art, and keep being creative.

Where do you want to see yourself in five years?

Somewhere surrounded by trees, next to the ocean, with my husband and a couple of pups and a lush garden. I want to have explored much more of the world – South America, Japan, hidden places and stories. To be collaborating with other artists, while continuing to develop my skills and creative muscles, so that I can make a contribution towards causes I believe in.

What has been your favorite job/commission to date?

Ooh that’s a tough one… I’m currently about wrapping up a rebranding job for a wonderful client who is a florist, and it has been a dream. I worked with her to create a whole new aesthetic which matches her style of floristry – wild, rustic, lush. It’s such a blessing to collaborate with someone who you feel aesthetically and creatively in-tune with!

If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing?

Maybe a dancer. Something about the transience and physicality of dance as a form of expression really fascinates me.  Or perhaps creating a little cafe – filled with artsy things, where I get to create food for people – that is beautiful, soulful and nourishing.

What do you think about the current art scene in Melbourne?

It’s a cornucopia of creativity! There’s a very cool vibe in Melbourne, maybe it’s the general acceptance of diversity and fresh perspectives that allows for all sorts of art to flourish.

How do you think New Zealand and Australian artists compare to the rest of the world?

I sense a certain humbleness in the way New Zealanders and Australians, artists or otherwise, view their own work and their potential. In general it’s much quieter than the more showy or provocative work that often emerges from other parts of the world.

Lucy Yu Artemuse - Seeing Shadows 2013 Lucy Yu - Rise 2013
If you somehow hurt your vision, would you choose to wear glasses or contacts?Too late – I already have both! Can I opt for laser eye surgery instead?

Excluding sight, what two other senses are your favourites?

I would go with smell and sound – because they exist in shared physical space, and because they are both so evocative of memories and emotions.

5 most pleasant things to look at:

A lilac sunrise over the ocean, dappled morning light, the textures in a Dutch Golden Age still life painting, baby animals trying not to fall asleep, steam wafting from a hot mug on a chilly winter morning.

5 least pleasant things to look at:

Slimy things, polluted natural environments, rage, adverts done with comic sans, scenes of malnourishment and starvation.

Who is the most inspiring woman you know and why?

My mum. She is strong-minded, incomprehensibly generous and giving to others, yet never asks for anything in return. I think this capacity for caring is a well of strength, and one of the greatest attributes of femininity.

What is your favourite thing about yourself?

My imagination, and tendency to appreciate little details in life that others often miss.

What is on your bedroom walls currently?

Pictures that comfort me – the ocean, postcards from my travels, a wedding photo, and an oil painting I did called Rise.

Favourite clothing / accessory / product at the moment?

Coconut Oil from Loving Earth. For cooking, for soft delicious-smelling skin, for shinier hair…it’s magic!

Favourite artist at the moment:

I’m glad ‘at the moment’ is part of this question! I really admire the work of Melbourne-based artist, Miso. The refinement of her pin-pricked work and process is so unique and so beautiful.

And finally, any words of advice for people stepping into the creative sector?

Be humble. Let go of ideals – they are the biggest barrier to progress, because they keep you rigid, and in fear of failing. It doesn’t matter how small a step you begin with – the most important thing is that you start creating something, each day or every opportunity you have.

Lucy-Yu-Artemuse---YY---Emergence Lucy-Yu-Artemuse---Untitled-Lake
p.s. The painting shown here (Rise, the one that is in Lucy’s room) totally has a Charmaine Olivia vibe, right?

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