We had the good fortune of connecting with Lucy Li and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lucy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I’ve come to realize that for me, living a creative life calls for a very intimate relationship with my fears. Taking risks naturally becomes an integral part of growing within my creative practice.

There’s a lot that I’m afraid of — starting a new painting that could fail, experimenting with new ways of working, showing my work to others. But I see strength in admitting that, and being open to myself and others about my fears is what allows me to make space to overcome them.

Every major growth period in my life and my practice has come from taking the risk to move to the other side of fear. Over the last year or so I’ve come to really understand what it means to become friends with my fears, as Elizabeth Gilbert put it in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. I’m learning that a beautifully abundant and creative life doesn’t come from having no fear, but from being able to sit alongside it every day, have tenderness for those parts of you, and let your fears be your guides.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Being a child of immigrants, finding a sense of home has been a journey. For me, home is more complex than thinking of it as a place where I am from — it is anywhere I have been able to find a sense of belonging. This longing to belong is what drives the inspiration in my work.

In places built by the human touch, belonging is not guaranteed; systems of power decide who gets to belong. In natural spaces, however, we are all accepted as children of the earth. And it’s there that I can access a sense of belonging that is transcendent, where I can feel the invisible threads that connect us all.

The Earth is sacred, and my practice is devoted to her. I listen to the way she speaks through form, through the birth and bloom of flowers, the changing landscapes of our bodies, the paintings made on sand by the ocean’s tides. There is a constant rhythm in her voice, the beating of time.

I create the share the stories I hear her tell. These stories offer us new dreams for the world — one where yin and yang can learn to hold each other in harmony, where we can learn to feel the invisible threads that connect us more intimately. We cannot move through this life untouched, so may we be touched by it all.

By offering new ways of seeing, it is my hope that my work may teach us new ways of being.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m all about living slow, sweet, and spending as much time outside as possible. I’m a North County San Diego native, so I’d definitely want to take you so some of my favorite nature spots in the area — Stone Steps in Encinitas (where I’m currently working on a photography series), the hike at Torrey Pines, and the Batiquitos Lagoon trail. For food, my two favorite Mexican spots are Lola’s in Carlsbad and The Taco Stand in Encinitas. Another one of my favorite food spots is the Yellow Deli in Vista, which I love for its super peaceful and down to earth vibe. For shopping, I’d take you to one of my favorite vintage and secondhand stores, Captain’s Helm in Oceanside. And if we’re feeling crafty, Ocean Sky Beads in Carlsbad has beautiful beads, stones and shells.

I also live in LA part of the time, so if we’re feeling a weekend trip I’d definitely take you to climb at LA Boulders in the Arts District, where we’d grab a slice from Pizzanista after, and see the beautiful gardens at the Huntington Library in Pasadena. If we’re feeling more of a camping getaway, then I’d take you on desert trip to Joshua Tree or Anza Borrego, or Idyllwild if we’re feeling mountains and trees.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m so grateful for creative community because it’s a special kind of connection to be able to see each other as artist’s and connect through our inspiration. Creative kinship has not only brought opportunities my way, but beautiful moments of synchrony that have transformed my life or helped me grow when I needed it. My fellow creatives and I help each other develop the ideas and inspirations behind our work; we encourage each other as we move through blocks; we offer each other the affirmation that our work is valuable; we are co-dreamers with each other for new projects and new worlds.

I’m also grateful to my collectors and the people who I’ve been able to connect deeply with through my work. In the last year I exhibited in a few art fairs, where I had the chance to meet people who are open to being swept away in the inspirations and visions I have in my art. Connecting on that level is sacred, and it affirms that the beauty I hope to offer is being felt and valued.

Website: https://lucyli.studio/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lvcyli/

Other: My newsletter, THE ART OF BEING: https://lucyli.substack.com/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.