rtistry takes talent, but to achieve true success, it takes a certain level of commitment and discipline; architectural artist Yang Luo-Branch knows all about discipline. At the ripe old age of 24, Luo-Branch emigrated from China to America to pursue her interest in architectural design. Today she lives out her dream as founder of Y-Illustrations. Luo-Branch grew up in a traditional Chinese home in central China where she received her undergraduate degree in architecture. As a child, her family pushed her towards academics and the arts; as a result she is a skilled pianist and dancer, but chooses to hang her hat on a different medium--paper. She began drawing around the age of six, and at nine she won an international children’s drawing contest in Japan.
O u ac h i t a Hi gh C ount r y
From China to Central Arkansas, Y Illustrations Draws Perspective by Grace Ann Brown photography by Amanda Shelley Ledbetter
After completing a five year undergraduate program in her home country, Luo-Branch packed her bags and pursued her version of the American Dream by attending Texas Tech University to complete her master’s in sociology, and later her PhD in urban planning. “The first year was tough, I’m very lucky my first move was to a university campus,” said Luo-Branch. As a graduate student, Luo-Branch taught architecture and freehand drawing at design studios part-time for four and a half years. Although she felt out of her element teaching, it was an enriching experience that allowed her to refresh on the fundamentals. Luo-Branch’s specialty lies in drawing structures, mostly from photographs.
She feels that her work exceeds photography, because she can manipulate the landscape around a building that would otherwise obstruct a clear view. The structures she draws all have some meaning to them; she prefers to stay away from generic structures because the lack of emotional attachment to it. Her degree in sociology allows her to understand the relationship people form with these structures, and she enjoys creating works people will appreciate on a much deeper emotional level. Working meticulously over the past ten years to perfect her skills, Luo-Branch continuously draws, but it took her husband commissioning her to do a piece for her to actually start drawing for a living. After finishing an illustration of the Old Main building at the University