Leah Lowrey is a painter and illustrator from Hyattsville, Maryland.
Lowrey began creating after experiencing an absence of excitement in her life. Growing up, Lowrey was not always surrounded by constant attention, so she had to find ways to entertain herself. For fun, she started reading, and writing, and illustrating.
“I felt like my life was mad boring when I was younger so I just had to keep myself interested, and I did that through art and writing. I was super into writing books. I know that sounds crazy but I really did have all these spiral notebooks that I would just fill and fill, and I and drew all the illustrations to go along with them, too. It’s sad because I threw them away and now I realize that kids are so inspiring, and if I had that right now I would be so inspired.”
Now, Lowrey’s work is inspired by her admiration for surrealism, fauvism and bold colors. Typically, it takes Lowrey one to four months to finish a piece. She explained that, although her works are not generally large in size, they are transformative in nature. Meaning, Lowrey begins with a small idea or interest and then lets the work build itself over time.
Earlier this year, Lorewy expanded her paintings into a clothing brand, YEWNU, featuring clothes illustrated and designed by herself.
When asked about what she wanted the impact of her work to be on the larger community, Lowrey responded ““It’s really weird for me to think about the impact of my work. Everything is really narrative for me in a personal way, where it’s like what it could mean to me and what it could mean to five other people in the same room is completely different. But, if I had to have one sound message it would be to explore your emotions through color, narrative.
In the future, Lowrey plans to open up her own gallery and youth-arts center. Her goal is to create a space where high school kids can learn about and create art, while being with likeminded peers.
“I would say that it is OK to be vulnerable. I think that a lot of brown and Black kids grew up with this idea that if they’re emotional they can’t really talk about it. From my experience, parents can be iffy about therapy and stuff like that. But, even if you can’t make it to a therapist, it’s good to do therapy on yourself. Do therapy on yourself through art.” Leah Lowrey
You can find more of Leah Lowrey's work by following her @aquafinduck and @yewnuapparel on Instagram.