There are artists, and then there’s ThinkLumi. Coming from humble childhood beginnings on a goat farm in Virginia, his work has been sought after by names like Adobe, Netflix, Universal Studios. He’s also been namedropped by Lisa Frank and his work has even being stolen at one point by Chris Brown to promote his tour. “I want my work and my ideas to speak for themselves,” says Lumi, who lives a reclusive life despite living in one of the biggest cities in the world, Los Angeles, CA. A recent transplant from Silicon Valley, Lumi is trailblazing the local and international art scene.
Lumi also accepted an invitation to attend Billie Eilish’s premiere party for her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go? “Billie gets a lot of hate, but she’s doing something incredibly unique” says Lumi, remarking on her music. “I love that in the face of so much generic and otherwise unremarkable pop she isn’t afraid to present something totally different, and as an artist I find that very inspiring.” Lumi made a series of pieces centering on Billie, which portray her as an angel of the night with glowing wings and concentric neon triangles behind her to his tens of thousands of followers on Instagram.
“I work a lot with Adobe, I’ve been sort of a poster boy for them on many occasions” Lumi sheepishly states, and he’s not kidding. In the space of just a few short months his following grew by 50,000 after doing takeovers for @photoshop and @adobecreativecloud on Instagram, creating some of their most popular posts to date, with Adobe even using his iconic red astronaut image to advertise their creative software suite, Adobe Creative Cloud. “I love the freedom of expression that Adobe’s tools enable me to have, I’m able to present my vision uncompromisingly and on my own terms. Presenting my vision with fidelity is everything to me.”
Lumi’s work has seen significant popular online, with over a quarter billion views on popular GIF platform GIPHY since February and countless millions of Instagram at @thinkumi. A trendsetter on nearly every platform, Lumi helped cement the popularity of the current cosmic theme widely expressed by artists on Instagram with luminous dreamscapes that must be seen to be believed. It’s incredible what just this single twenty-something has been able to do, his pieces often seeming to require what you would think would be an entire team of professionals. “It’s just me with a laptop” laughs Lumi, who though resists praise is always willing to have an open conversation about ideas.
When asked about his personal philosophy, “The world of ideas makes sense to me, the external world not so much. I think a lot about the difference between the physical and the metaphysical and how it relates to art,” said Lumi. He continues, “Art is beautiful to me because it acts as a mirror, what we see in a piece reveals to us who we are. I use a lot of symbolism in my work, such as triangles to represent perfection and astronauts as explorers of the unknown. Every piece represents the climax of some exhilarating realization about life. Every piece tells a story, though I leave that story open to the interpretation of the observer. I’d never want my intent to interrupt the progression of the viewer on their journey to self-discovery. I think that asking what a piece means is the wrong question, we should be asking what our feelings about a piece mean about us.”
There’s so much more to Lumi, his work and his story than could possibly be captured in a single article. Lumi’s art is heavily sought out, but not many know how to find it, but fortunately I was able to find a site that offers his art on a variety of products. I recommend hopping over to thinklumi.com immediately to see more of his work and view his beautiful products. Lumi’s art is heavily sought out, but not many know how to find it, but fortunately I was able to find his site. I promise you, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
In an almost cryptic way Lumi recites the words of AI supervillian from the 1995 film Ghost In The Shell, “All things change in a dynamic environment. Your effort to remain what you are is what limits you,” he pauses, smiling and looking up, “Who I am now could be quite different from who I am a year from now. As I develop so does my work. Life is a process, and I think it’s important for each effort you make to be better than your last.”