London-based illustrator, Instagram superstar and self-proclaimed life enthusiast Joey Yu is the latest creative to join our Artist Series roster. She’s created two fresh new designs – Lake Bathers and City Larks – for our Original bottles, putting the ‘extra’ into ordinary scenes with her inimitable explorative style. Scroll on to discover her studio set-up, playful philosophies and the inspiration behind the collaboration.
“Orderly clutter” – that’s how Joey summarises her creative setup. “There are materials everywhere in my studio,” she says. “I like to pretzel my legs up and sit in uncomfortable shapes on my metal chair whilst working – it’s also sturdy enough for me to stand on during solo karaoke breaks!”
Aside from singing to herself, Joey swerves the distraction of music when in the zone. “Listening to podcasts is my favourite, but nothing super difficult – just people meandering in conversation, talking about everyday stuff. As though someone’s in the room chatting to me – that’s the atmosphere I like.”
Previously partnering with the likes of Hermès, Nike and Tate, what’s the best thing about collaborations like this? “I enjoy these projects because something’s created that I wouldn’t be able to do on my own.”
And Joey’s in demand – having graduated from Kingston University in 2017, she’s worked non-stop since. But what’s her proudest accomplishment so far? “My work reaching out to people around the world,” she says. “I’m always very touched when someone messages me about my drawings. It feels magical!”
What else does Joey love about her job as an artist? “The playfulness of it, and that it can be whatever you want it to be.”
Joey’s motivation? “Exploration. The satisfaction of materials and ideas making something unexpected.” That’s why she doesn’t go overboard with planning. “It typically involves a thumbnail sketch and a little play with a colour scheme, then I go right into making the work.”
And if ‘artist’s block’ strikes? “I don’t usually try to shake it off. Just accept it for what it is and do something else. If you like creating, know that the urge to create will always come back.”
Sound advice. So how does Joey live her best life? “I try my best and love everything – it’s all experience. Living is so fun!” We couldn’t agree more.
Lake Bathers & City Larks
“Lake Bathers is about escapism – makes me think of going on holiday. Living in London, there aren’t any big pools of water anywhere, so this design evokes a hot sunny day with friends; dipping in for a swim then drying off whilst lounging around!”
“The City Larks bottle scene is more familiar. I’m grateful for the green spaces that exist in London – and any city, really. I love the community energy: all the dog walkers; little groups wrapped up and catching up. This artwork reflects those sweet moments.”