In this issue of ASIAN VOICE, we feature Leeay, a visual artist and photographer who plays an active role in the art/fashion field based in L.A.. She has collaborated with various fashion brands, magazines, models such as Nasty Magazine and Rui Zhou. In her work, you may explore a brand new way to interpret the human body and world, which is opposite to the tradition. As she says, “Being delusional.”
Nana: Can you give us an introduction about you and your current career as a photographer and visual artist?
Leeay: Hi my name is Leeay, I’m a photographer/visual artist based in L.A.. I’ve been doing photography for almost 6 years and I’ve been learning CGI and 3D art for almost a year now.
Nana: Why did you be interested in photography and visual art initially, and choose them to be your career?
Leeay: I started photography as a hobby when I was in high school. I moved to the state from China around the same time, so it became a tool for me to cope with loneliness and helped me make new friends.
Although I’m grown and I don’t have to use ’photoshoot’ as an excuse to make new friends anymore, my passion towards photography remains. Therefore I decided to do freelance photography full time because I don’t see myself doing anything else.
I started to learn CGI / 3D art in the beginning of 2022, with a purpose of elevating my photography work. Because capturing what’s already given/ provided/ seen in real life doesn’t satisfy me anymore, it’s time for the power of imagination to chime in.
Nana: What processing steps do you usually go through when creating a work or taking a new project?
Leeay: My work flow between creative/passionate projects and work projects are very different.
But the skeleton would be:
-Pre-production(building a moodboard, producing, communicating withclients, casting, etc.)
For work, I focus on finding a middle ground for being creative and being logistic, and meeting the goals.
For creative/ passionate projects, I focus on coming up with interesting ideas, and to satisfy myself.
Nana: What is the most memorable job you have done in the past?
Leeay: I recently did a shoot for Nasty Magazine, and I think that was the most amazing experience I have had in a while.
Not only bc I finally got to do a shoot I’m 100% passionate about, I also got to work with very talented and genuine people, who share the same vision.
Nana: In your works, we can often see different forms of human bodies as the main subject, sometimes integrated into various objective elements. Does that have any meaning for you? If so, what messages do you want to convey to us?
Leeay: Good catch. I think being in a human body and trying to perpetuate the identity is boring.
My message is “be delusional”.
Nana: How do you get your inspiration for your work. Has any culture (art, music, film, etc.) or other styles influenced you in the creation of your work?
Leeay: Modern art, documentary photography, Chinese folklore, etc.
Nana: Nowadays, there are many arts e-commerce and various self-media platforms, what are your own unique ways of promotion?
Leeay: I’m exposing myself at this point. Besides Instagram, I have used some video predominant platforms including YouTube and TikTok to promote my work, and they worked very well.
Nana: You have cooperated with different fashion brands such as Rui Zhou, how do you see the relationship between art and fashion?
Leeay: I think they are both great outlets for expression.
Nana: Could you tell us about your plans for the future?
Leeay: I’m working on expanding my team. I want to build a creative studio that provides all the creative services you could think of, create provocative art/ work, represent our culture, nurture upcoming creators, and spread love.
Nana: Do you have any advice for our readers who are seeking a position in the art and fashion industry?
- If you have any ideas that you wanna do/ make, do it right away, don’t wait.
- Don’t be afraid to ask or reach out to people who you find inspiring.
- Consistency is the key.
“It’s time for the power of imagination to chime in.”Leeay