Home Jersey City Lady Lucas: About the Life + Work of This Jersey City Illustrator 

Lady Lucas: About the Life + Work of This Jersey City Illustrator 

by Yiwei Gu
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When you browse stationery stores in town, you may encounter prints of cute little animals carrying out their lives around iconic Hoboken landmarks. The drawings are colorful, dreamy, cheerful, and soothing. These are the works of Ashley Lucas, aka Lady Lucas, an illustrator based in Jersey City who whips up gorgeous prints for the Hudson County area. Read on to learn more about Lady Lucas, a local illustrator based in Jersey City. 

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About Ashley 

Ashley herself is as warm and easy-going as her art. She is the daughter of two artists and has since childhood, “been obsessed with different arts and crafts mediums.” She came to New York from her home state of  Pennsylvania at the age of 18 and graduated from New York University with a degree in film. After graduation, Ashley took a few office jobs, but never felt truly fulfilled in a corporate environment. In the meantime, she kept experimenting with different media, launched her own products on Etsy, and continued working on developing a distinguished tone and style

How Lady Lucas Was Born  

More changes and breakthroughs came into Ashley’s life unexpectedly. She met David — her now her husband and Austrian native. After the couple got married, Ashley moved to Salzburg, Austria, and lived there for two years. She learned German, explored the artistic urban life of Salzburg, and experimented with various approaches to boost her artistic career, with mixed results. It was also around that time when the main characters of her “Lady Lucas” brand took shape — the egg-cup-collecting tulip farmer Zinnie The Bunny, the Monday-loving sewing enthusiast Zoe The Tabby Cat, and the forever-optimistic gingerbread baker Iggie The Hedgehog

“The best high as an artist is being able to create something you see in your mind, and watching it come alive before you,” Ashley told Hoboken Girl. And there, with constant experimenting, searching, and reflecting, these beautiful little animals came alive and the Lady Lucas brand was born. 

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Finding a Home in Jersey City 

Ashley enjoyed the peaceful and orderly life of Salzburg, but found herself increasingly missing the vibrancy, diversity, and inclusiveness of cosmopolitan New York. The couple eventually moved back to the U.S. and settled down in the historic district of Downtown Jersey City. They moved into a live-work space converted from a former A&P warehouse, with airy spaces and high ceilings. It turned out to be a creative community, with many artists setting up studios and workshops in the same building. Last year the tenant artists collectively held an exhibition, in which Ashley was proudly a part of, to showcase their work and connect with the broader Jersey City neighborhood. 

About Ashley’s Work

lady lucas work

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Her work is essentially a celebration of small things. In some of her earlier pieces, she integrated food photography with animal illustrations — a hedgehog {drawn} proudly waving a whisk behind a colorful row of cakes {photographed}, or a spider fiddling around with utensils and condiments. In these drawings, the mundane small objects become the same size as the spirited characters {who are also small animals}, creating a parallel universe of small tranquil happiness we all can take refuge in.

Lady Lucas + Baby Lucas

ashley lucas son

Ashley is driven, organized, and approaches her daily tasks and long-term work in a structured manner. Before her son Leon was born, she wondered how to keep up the creative momentum, since motherhood can sometimes be all-consuming, and she wanted to continue her work while juggling the tasks of early parenthood. So last year she launched a new product line for children, called “Baby Lucas.” 

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The themes and styles are consistent with her original “Lady Lucas” brand, but here, Leon is her inspiration, model, and sometimes even the first critic of her work. Even the busy schedule as a work from home parent has become a blessing in disguise for her artwork. “[My son] has become my balance. I simply can’t get hung up on things that don’t work out anymore because I have so little time,” Ashley said.  

Reflecting on her work so far, however, Ashley is most proud of being able to bring her thoughts to life. 

“I always thought that the coolest thing is that you can literally take a thought and make it tangible.” And there are so many things in everyday life she loves that took shape under her pen. She loves animals and her work is all about little animals coming to life. She loves kids so she held art classes for kids and is always struck by their imaginations. She loves plants, so her windows are lined with blooming plants she tends to herself. And of course, she loves food, as we can all see in her artwork. She hopes to carry these passions into her future artistic creations and in hopes that they become more well-known to locals and beyond.  

Have you seen some of Lady Lucas’ work around town? Let us know in the comments! 

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