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

Hi Lucas, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
I think identifying our fears is key. By taking the moment to go through our emotions and understand whether the block (whatever it may be) is a form of escape or an actual way to protect ourselves from a hurtful experience. I believe that most creative situations present some sort of challenge that we can benefit from or learn something new that turns into self-growth. Now, the biggest problem is to get stuck in self-analysis and overthink. Even though the first step is the hardest, I often feel the answers come with the act of doing, making, taking one step at a time. If something feels really foreign to you or too strange, you will know. Then you will have to ask yourself whether the thing you are doing has a connection with you, your way of thinking, your goals, etc.. In most cases, through the process of doing, I feel there is a energy within me that tells me to keep going, and that fear and doubt will always be there but what I can change is my relationship and response to those feelings. I prefer to think we can always shift, change, reinvent ourselves and retrace our path. That is very different than giving up.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Over the years I’ve realized there’s an element of storytelling in my art. I don’t really plan this, it just develops organically. I believe this might have a connection to my childhood and my interest and curiosity in human relationships, our role in nature, and a yearning for magical transformative experiences. This made more sense when I saw how people would connect with my paintings. There’s a certain nostalgia and mystery in the images; they seem otherworldly but familiar at the same time and this feeling takes the viewer to a forgotten part of themselves. So, the work I do it’s a constant exploration of myself and the feelings connected to my younger self that is, at the same time, me, as well. One of the major challenges of this journey has been believing and accepting that what I have to express is meaningful. By staying true to myself I’m able to make more meaningful connections with others and have a greater sense of purpose.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As a nature lover, my first suggestions would be tide to the green spaces Austin has to offer. Morning swim at Barton Springs or coffee at Laguna Gloria gardens. I love picking up a fresh pastry from Texas French Bread beforehand. The Greenbelt is a great place to hike and do a picnic when the weather is pleasant. If you like rock climbing, there’s great areas to do so. Or if you prefer cycling, Lady Bird Lake is a great option with plenty of places to rest and get a coffee or snack. There’s a lot of things to be discovered on the East Side, different arts and crafts shops and art studios like Cloud Tree Studios on E 5th, Austin bouldering Project and great food trucks such as the ones on Cesar Chavez and Pleasant Valley.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Well, of course there’s many special people I need to give credit that supported me in one way or another throughout this journey; most important, my wife Ellen (for her love, patience and great sense of humor. She always believes I can), my Mom and Dad who gave me sooo much, and my friends for listening and understanding, for being there when I needed them. But also, there has been so many individuals that provided great support to my path spontaneously and unexpectedly: Sharon who gave me her box of oils so I could do my first oil paintings; Brian, for opening the doors to Cloud Tree Studios; all the people that stopped by while painting a mural that felt so moved and inspired that their words of encouragement were so powerful it was a sign I had to keep doing what I do; all the artists I’ve met throughout this journey who made me feel that my art mattered. The list goes on. One must recognize this intricate network of meaningful connections and relationships that happen throughout time and help you evolve and keep moving forward.

Website: Www.LucasAoki.com
Instagram: LucasAokiArt
Twitter: LucasAokiArt
Facebook: LucasAokiArt

Image Credits
Profile Photo: Phillip Lehans photography Facebook AIR: WiseKnave

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