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Artist Statement


I am an illustrator and painter living West London. 

Ever notice how you feel more upbeat when wearing an outfit that is ablaze with complementary colours and propels you into being seen? Or how you feel happier looking at colourful artworks? That's because there is a correlation between certain psychological properties and colour. I use this objective to make work that promotes self assurance with lively, vibrant artworks - as everyone could do with a little colour in their lives.

My work tends to explore topics such as current affairs, self-love, and social acceptance through positive body representation, typography of affirmations, and reminders to be comfortable and confident in your own skin. There is an abundance of yummy colour palettes, aesthetically pleasing gradients and textures in my work which I have drawn from my interest in botany, collage, and photography of primarily women in their naturally confident and powerful states.

Piece Description


For Brainscan's immigration issue, I wanted draw from my own family's experience moving to the UK from Ethiopia and also use it as ode to all groups of migrants. My family being from 'Across The Pond', has been the root of their struggles they've faced - from prejudice and racism, to issues such as mental health issues and lacking confidence in 'British' spaces. I know there is a lot to be said about the hardships of being an immigrant in the UK (including issues within different groups of non-natives) but I wanted to focus on the idea that regardless of how alone they have felt, immigrants have a great way of creating community wherever they may be - whether it be with your neighbours, the people in your block, the people you went to school with, your place of worship. Although these fish are from different sides of the pond, they're in the same pond together. 


You can see more of Ayu's work on Instagram and in the gallery below.


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