Could you please introduce yourself and share any hidden talents or something about yourself people don’t know about you?
I am Lucy aka Lucy Lucy, French artist, Melbourne based. I paint murals as well as smaller work on canvases. I can’t think of a secret talent but there is an important thing that many people don't know about me. I have a twin sister, back in France. We are not identical but we still look like each other. I miss her.
Where do you see yourself and your art headed in the next few years?
I see myself collaborating with more artists doing very different things. I have enjoyed so much working with performers, musicians and singers that I want to explore this a bit further.
Have you been met with any challenges as an artist along the way? (Personally or professionally)
Being an artist is living the dream but it isn’t easy. I found that as a freelance creative you have to be ok not knowing what you will be doing in 6 months. In other words it is quite precarious; everything is up in the air all the time. We put everything on the line, so much of our personal selves as well as financial gambles that it can be a bit nerve wrecking.
Can you please share a little about how you go into creating artwork and how you’d describe your style?
My work is very feminine as I paint archetypal women who symbolise aspects of femininity focusing on the gentle yet strong power rather than the over exploited sexualised aspect of womanhood. I am not a feminist but I believe that if there was more space for women in important positions, the world would be a more gentle and balanced place. Through my work I am trying to expose this soft power.
Do you tend to create from personal experience or from observing the experiences of others?
A bit of both.
What’s it like being a woman in the creative industry? Do you find that it has its challenges at times?
I think that we are very lucky in Australia as female artists. Yet, I believe that gender equality isn't quite reached yet, especially in the proper art world.
As a female artist, I have had a few challenges which were quite moderate luckily. I felt that I still had from time to time to impose myself a bit more because I was a woman.
What’s your favourite part about your body and why?
The body is an amazing evolving machine when you think about it. We tend to focus on our limits rather that what the body allow us to do. So I love all of it.
What’s your idea of empowerment?
What message do you have for those who are struggling with body confidence/self-love/weight or appearance issues? – What’s helped you in the past?
I know it’s very easy to say but I would encourage people to stop focusing that much on the outside and look within. We are not just a body. We are so much more. And yet the body has such a strong impact on our lives, sometimes positive sometimes negative. As I am getting older I see some subtle and not so subtle physical changes in a society that worships youth. Does that mean I am doomed to be depressed because I won’t be young anymore over the years? Certainly not. For me, to learn and cherish who I am inside and grow is so rewarding. It’s giving me peace.
Praise You isn’t just about raising awareness for eating disorders and celebrating body positivity – it’s also shining the light on female support in the creative community, in saying that, what does inclusivity and its importance mean to you?
To be inclusive and supportive is so important to me. I feel like I am truly reaching what I want to do in art when I collaborate with other passionate people. So I tend to gather around me other artists, to include them in my practice. It goes both ways of course as they include me too. It really brings up cooperation over competition.
What inspires your style of art? What are the best ways you've found that have refined your practice?
Personal journeys inspire the direction and subject matter I want to work around. In terms of styles and techniques, everything and anything inspire me.
Since Praise You started in 2017 we’ve started to see a shift in the conversation with creative women, being more open about their journey and eliminating competition - Have you noticed this yourself and have you ever dealt with competition?
That’s excellent news! I think that the art scene I am in is reflecting this trend. I mean, there is of course competition, but there is a lot more support and collaboration among female artists. I feel like there is some kind of sisterhood mindset.
How do you deal with the dreaded comparison bug?
I avoid looking at Instagram for too long! Again with collaborations and joining forces with others, not just in art, in every part of life, I found that you compare a lot less yourself because you become within the same side. It’s not you versus the others in some kind of assessment. You are more part of the picture. So, talking, collaborating, helping, sharing are all powerful ways to deal with the comparison bug, and they bring along so much more than that.
What advice what you give your 18-year-old self if you could?
Enjoy yourself, being 18 is amazing! Would I listen to this advice if I was 18? Probably not unfortunately!
What the biggest risk you’ve taken to date? What were the pressure points and was it worth it?
The biggest risk I have taken to date is to choose to be a full time artist. It is well worth it!
What’s been one of your most memorable jobs?
Every solo exhibition has been very memorable as I put a lot of myself. Plus I get to do fun collaborations!
How do you keep up your creative momentum? Where do you look to for the drive to create?
Music and mediation.
How has your work and practice developed over time?
I have understood a lot more what my work is about over time. It took a while to work out why I do what I do. So, my art has had a much deeper meaning. I am trying today to open up a conversation with people about the diverse topics I raised through my paintings: the feminine, lucid dreaming and much more.
Who’s work are you currently loving right now and why?
I love Laura Berger and Rajni Perera at the moment. They are quite different from each other. Laura Berger chooses the best colours and the composition of her paintings with the female figure is exquisite. Rajni Perera’s paintings are a bit more mystical and I love their aesthetics. Born in Sri Lanka she incarnates irreverence and change and I love that.
As you’ve gotten older – how has your perception of your body and confidence changed?
As I get older I am more confident and I feel better which is in a way quite contradictory as my body isn’t the same as when I was 20 or even 25! I just know better who I am inside and this brought me peace.
When drawing female figures and personalities – do you take your own body into account?
Absolutely. Especially the hands.
Social media has been on a pretty interesting journey over the past few years - where do you see it now as opposed to two years ago?
Social media is an amazing tool to reach out many people but over the last few years we saw a darker side to it. People get addicted to the likes, to the comments and messages, to the crazy content etc. Everything has become quantified. We become a rate, a number of likes and followers. This is quite dramatic as many people judge themselves on those numbers.