We had the good fortune of connecting with Yiming Amy Hua and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yiming Amy, how do you think about risk?
Risks are part of a balancing act you have to play if you want to do exciting things. I’ve taken plenty of risks in life, including co-founding an experiential marketing agency and putting myself out there as a fine artist. It’s all about how you choose to look at it and how you weigh the consequences, because there is some risk in every decision you make. When people talk about risk, what they’re really talking about is the fear of failure or harm. The way I see it, if something could potentially harm me (like petting a bear), I’ll think twice about it. However, if the risk is failure, I’m much more likely to go for it anyway because I know that even if it doesn’t work out, I’ll learn a lot. For instance, early in my adventures in fine art, I had the opportunity for a solo show at a tea shop. I was so excited! When the closing party came around, I was too nervous and insecure to market it properly, so hardly anyone showed up. It was a massive failure and my fears came true. But having already face-planted pretty hard, every show after has been less frightening. I learned that I could survive the failure, that it didn’t reflect on who I was, and I need to commit to a marketing plan next time.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve struggled to define who I am as an artist into one neat story, but I’m one of those people that doesn’t fit in just one box. I’m an art director and multidisciplinary designer who creates experiences that mix tech and reality. I’m also a fine artist who paints pop-surrealist images that explore inner worlds and an illustrator who loves character and whimsy. These are all important parts of who I am. I wouldn’t say that the path here was easy, nor is this anywhere near the end of the journey. Often I get a heavy dose of imposter syndrome and feel like I am a million miles from being the artist or art director I want to be. It also drives me to keep pushing. A few years ago I suffered from sever burn out, which lead to a downward spiral of deep depression. I’ve had to learn the hard way that taking care of my mental and physical health has to come first. Even recently I came pretty close to changing careers altogether. Then a project came along that reminded me how much I love making art. It reminded me that being creative should also be fun and that it’s important to find that fun in every project.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are the standard LA things that I would make sure we see, like the Getty, the Observatory/Griffith, and Venice. I would also take them to Two Bit Circus, hit up a few speakeasies, some breweries, and Garage Gallery! This is all non-pandemic stuff, of course. Food-wise I would love to show them Smorgasburg, Myung-in Dumplings, and Kogi to start.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people I’m grateful for who have supported me along the way and continue to encourage me now. I’ll start with Steve Tiseo and Dave Wolfe, who are my partners at Friendly Vengeance, the experiential marketing agency we founded. I’d also dedicate this shoutout to the Garage Gallery LA, because they’re an amazing indie venue that showcases great local artists and they took a chance on me!