I have always imagined that stepping into an artist’s workspace is like getting a glimpse into their soul. The studio and home of Laura Uy is instantly bright, spacious and inviting. Green plants, musical instruments, paintings lined against the walls. A minimalist home and wardrobe that would make Marie Kondo followers proud. It’s hard to not feel inspired to create something in a space so beautiful. I could have sat there and happily watch the light change all day. Here is our conversation — shared between two artists and cups of tea.
Tell me about what you do:
L: I’m an artist and illustrator — I like to make happy illustrations! I started my own greeting card line four years ago and I sell cards and art prints. I also work on murals, paintings, and other art projects to keep my mind going. I love having different avenues for my creativity.
What does art mean to you?
L: Art is a way of life. It permeates into everything I do. Even before I was a full-time artist, I was constantly making things. And I’ll always continue to create. It’s a part of me.
Tell me about how the name Art + Soul Creative Co. came to be:
L: With my art, I always had the idea that I wanted to put my soul into everything I do. The art I create comes from a place of passion. I loved the play on words from “Heart and Soul” to “Art and Soul”, and it kinda just stuck.
What are some words that describe your art and what you want to share with the world?
L: (Short silence) I think peace. Especially in my mountain paintings. It’s like a sense of simplicity, like getting away from the world and creating a space to be calm. For me, art is a juxtaposition of so many things — chaos, calmness, sadness and joy. I want people to see the emotion in my art. Also, another word I have been thinking about lately is resilience. Continuing to paint through seasons of creative drought and remaining resilient helps me grow as an artist and as a human.
What has been a challenging aspect of your art career?
L: Admin work. I am definitely an artist first and business person second. I had to do a lot of research to figure things out at the beginning and I’m continually learning. It takes a lot of work to have a viable business and to support myself, but it’s so worth it. I’ve never actually had a business plan (laughs).
How do you navigate self-doubt or low seasons?
L: I always tell people that I am not the most talented artist out there. At the end of the day though, I believe that I have something to offer. I think it’s important to reflect on my work and know that it brings joy to someone out there. That has always been the purpose of my art.
For someone starting out as an illustrator, what would your words of encouragement be?
L: It’s never too late to start. That’s something I’ve always believed in, being a late bloomer. I started Art + Soul when I was 28. I didn’t have any professional art experience and it was a risk I took. I had to get over the fear that I was starting a new career in my late twenties. But once I got my heart set on just creating art — it was all about taking little steps every single day, to reach my goals and be proud of what I had accomplished!
Thank you for inviting me into your space Laura, I really enjoyed our conversation from bookkeeping, taxes, following our passions, and finding fulfillment in art as a career.
Here’s to art that comes from our soul, life, and so much more.