BRIEF HISTORY OF Yulia.i (Part 5).
I wanted to work in Advertising, so I went for a second degree - Graphic Design at LCC (University of the Arts London). It felt incredible to be creating again and be surrounded by creatives. Clothing line was doing great and I involved some of my uni friends in photoshoots. The items were popular by word of mouth and I had people message me from Dubai and Canada to say that they had spotted someone wearing one of my designs.
I went to New York to do a semester abroad. The 7 months I lived there were hugely impactful. I saw how confident, unapologetic, bold and proactive artists there were. It showed me that art can be accessible and exist outside of the traditional establishment. I went to exhibitions held in living rooms; climbed fire escapes to graffiti on roof tops; snuck into building sites to tag and generally lived out loud.
When I returned to London I saw that the only thing standing between me and being an artist was me. I formed a collective with my LCC family called Side Effects. We did an exhibition for an event against knife violence, a Xmas show, and another show where we created one piece all together at a group show in Brick Lane Gallery.
My LCC dissertation looked at politics of art in public spaces - specifically the power imbalance between the people and the art establishment.
After graduating I started working in a startup called NACUE that supported student entrepreneurs and eventually got absorbed into the job, entrepreneurship and business. I did Graphic Design, but I completely stopped creating art.
Around 2011 or 2012 I was decluttering my home and threw out all my school sketchbooks and 99% of the art work I had made during and since school (which is why there are hardly any pictures that I can share). When my friend Joel questioned my actions I replied "There's no point keeping all that crap - it's not like I'm ever going to be an artist."
1 Phaya website design by @starfake_magic.
2 Phaya photoshoot.
3 Phaya clothing labels
4 Tagging in NY.
5 Flyer for first Side Effects show.
6 Me with my prints. Rakim & Nas.
7 After the show in Brick Lane.
8-10 Logos for NACUE.