Rachel Lyons

“I Wish it were Easy” (36x48in, acrylic on canvas, 2021)

Rachel Lyons is a visual artisan and designer that specializes in India Ink and Impasto artworks. ‘I Wish it were Easy’ is a 36 x 48 inch acrylic work that was created at the beginning of 2020 to depict what it feels like to be overwhelmed, but gained a new meaning as COVID-19 being a reality when it was finished in 2021.

Find more of Rachel’s work on: @rach.lyo and @roxvx on instagram

Andrew Jang

“Digital Collapse” (flexible, Adobe Photoshop/digital, 2021)

“Define the beauty” (flexible, Adobe Fresco/digital, 2021)

“Gazed society” (flexible, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Fresco/digital, 2021)

“The moment in the lucid dream” (flexible, Adobe Lightroom/digital, 2021)

“City lights” (flexible, Adobe Lightroom/digital, 2021)

“My name is Andrew Jang (boundary) and the main focus of my art pieces are patterns, illustration, and photography. I started creating art pieces when I admired how a single piece of artwork can contain and convey a variety of feelings to the audience. Sharing my pieces in public to communicate with the audience has always been my pleasure and my art pieces contain an attraction of pulling multiple sentiments from the audience. There is no right or wrong answer to feeling a certain way. Instead, I want you to focus more solely on the emotion as you scan through my art piece. Welcome to my boundary.”

– Andrew Jang

See more of Andrew’s work on https://www.instagram.com/boundary____official/, https://welcometomyboundary.myportfolio.com/

Kofi Bazzell-Smith

“My work covers a wide range of craft and genre. Manga requires proficiency in drawing figure and environments, design literacy, dialogue, and story construction. My recent series, Rabbit and Toad, is inspired by 12th century emaki scroll art and references Edo and Heian era pieces as well. Employing modern cinematic narrative and manga techniques, this story addresses social hierarchy, egalitarianism, and class conflict, using anthropomorphic animal characters as metaphors.” – Kofi Bazzell-Smith 


Kofi Bazzell-Smith is an artist, professional boxer, and educator specializing in Japanese manga(comics). A U.S.-Japan Bridging Scholar, Kofi has boxed and studied manga in Japan. He is also boxing coach and teaches workshops on art, language, and storytelling. Championing the Black manga movement, Kofi strives to build bridges between the United States and Japan through art making and public speaking. Kofi is the founder and president of the Eastern Illinois University Japanese Culture Club, where he teaches free Japanese lessons to students. He is also the creator of the Azuki children’s book series, written in both English and Japanese.
See more of his work at www.kofimanga.com

Julia Morrison

Julia Morrison entered 8 to Create’s first ever Undergraduate Gallery hosted in October 2018. In collaboration with The Collective, ten UIUC undergradate artists displayed their work for over 200 audience members to vote on. The winner would be one of our eight artists in the upcoming 5th annual 8 to Create event. Julia’s work won by a landslide and we are so excited to work with her this spring.

Julia Kay Morrison, JMO to many, is a 19 year old from Oak Park, Illinois who has been an artist since birth. She attended Oak Park River Forest High School and is currently studying the Studio Arts at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as a sophomore. With a Social Worker mother and a Musician father, JMO was raised with creativity and social activism as her religion, always drawing, singing, and dancing with her less important siblings. For her Junior year of school she will be attending Lorenzo De Medici in Florence, Italy, so go get an autograph while you still can.

My creative process is about passion, inspired by the characters around me, spontaneous adventures, provocative ideas, and of course sweet, sweet politics. With the unquestionable thirst to create, I utilize video, audio, drawing, painting, and more. When it comes to 2D art making, I have found surrealism to be the most fun way to tell stories. I get energized from inventing, exploring the unknown, and creating spaces with color and form while distorting reality.

Image provided by Julia Morrison

Featured Artist: Tracy Lee Stum

Tracy Lee Stum began drawing as soon as she could clutch a crayon. She studied privately as a child and earned a Bachelor’s degree at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. She continued her studies in naturalism at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.

A gregarious graffiti lover, Tracy began street painting in 1998 and is considered by Madonnari peers, festival directors and viewers alike as one of the finest street painters today. Known for splashing color in festivals and events in all corners and crevices of the globe, her paintings have won numerous awards & accolades – her only regret is that her masterpieces rarely fit on the fridge.

In 2006 Tracy added the Guinness World Record to her collection of vinyl for the largest street painting by an individual. In 2013 she was honored to be a contributor on the Cannes Gold Lion award winning team for their work in the now iconic Honda CRV commercial.

Experienced in multi-city campaigns for such clients as Cadillac, SoBe, and Dos Equis, Tracy is continually creating commissioned 3D and 4D works in chalk for advertising, public and private events, corporate PR and educational sectors. Her international team building skills have been utilized in developing street painting festivals in China, Mexico, India, Russia and throughout the United States. Her art travels well and is always up to date on all of its shots.

Tracy has been privileged and honored to serve as the US State Department’s 2012 cultural ambassador. She’s toured Tajikistan and India creating 3D street paintings and teaching workshops at distinguished universities and art colleges to promote education, awareness and positive cross-cultural communication.

In 2013 Tracy put on clean pants and stepped effortlessly into management as she curated the first annual DO/AC 3D Chalk Festival in Atlantic City, New Jersey, showcasing 14 renowned international 3D street art & chalk artists.

Tracy’s chalk conversations speak to her vast audience with imagination, beauty and playfulness – often with a thick Italian accent.



Images from tracyleestum.com

Rachel Lindsay-Snow

Originally from a small town in Upstate New York, I have lived the last ten years in Chicago where I obtained my Bachelor’s of Arts in Conflict Transformation and in Art. I am currently a MFA candidate at the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana in the studio arts. While grappling with laborious actions of ritual and repetition I have found much of my recent work and material set to be toying with notions of mortality, cycle, and temporality through the poetic gesture. Through mediums of installation, performance and sculpture–and the use of both multiples and the juxtaposition of seemingly estranged objects–I collaborate in moments of pause, of recentering, of questioning. I see the process of making art as a practice of asking questions, research, and wonder.



Images provided by Rachel Lindsay-Snow.

Phil Strang

Phil has been painting since Junior High school in New York, but only in the past fifteen years has he developed a practice of painting on glass. He was doing mostly portraits of Second Life avatars and some of real life characters. and in the summer of 2014, he started experimenting with various types of splatter painting as two eye operations have made detailed work much harder. Now he does a combination of Impressionistic painting on glass and acrylic abstracts on textured canvases.

He has lived in Champaign-Urbana for the past 50 years and loves the flat peacefulness and constant change of the Midwest. He is most grateful for his two great kids and his wonderful wife Mary and her three daughters. Besides painting, Phil has also played in bands doing original music, performed in over 50 theatrical productions, written dozens of reviews and articles about music, art, and theatre and managed a music store for over 33 years before the crash of the music industry. He then managed two theatres and an auditorium for the University of Illinois and painted whenever he had free time. He retired in December 2016. and now does whatever he wants to (or whatever Mary tells him to do).


Images provided by Phil Strang.