Ava Youssefi

The fanciful world created by Ava Youssefi’s art is a place with an implied sense of movement and music. Colorful creatures writhe with a steady, yet powerful rhythm that suggests serenity in chaos. From her work in oils and watercolor, to her pencil sketches and graphic designs, there exists an embrace of the wild which permits otherworldly settings to feel natural, and ordinary subjects to feel mystical.

The origin of fantasy in Ava’s work dates back to childhood. For as long as she can remember, Ava has used her intrigue in avatarism—conscious character creation on a daily basis—to conger characters through illustration, painting, and clothing. It was this love of avatars that lead Ava to begin experimenting with cosplay at anime conventions. After developing her own voice as a costume designer, she moved to Los Angeles, where she landed a job as a character designer for video games at Twistory Studios. While there, she collaborated with couturier Ali Rahimi of Mon Atelier. The pair created two custom gowns based off her work that went on tour with them at conventions around the country. 

This process of seeing her art go from sketch to wearable art is what kindled Ava’s passion for costume design, which she then studied at OTIS College of Art and Design. Taking the skills she learned from OTIS, Ava went on to create costumes which can be seen modeled on dance floors all over Los Angeles. 

Such costumes include the digitally printed sportswear she designed for ShapeShifterZ, hats and headdresses which she designed during her apprenticeship under Caley Johnson of Miss G Designs, as well as hats and headdresses that she created while studying with Sylva Welch of Bubbles And Frown Haberdashery. As an assistant designer at In Bloom & Jonquil Lingerie, her designs have even reached an international audience. She also creates costumes for renowned company Lucent Dossier Experience.

Ava also manages requests for her own garment designs, which range between anything from clothes and accessories, to costumes and hats. Her shop, Avatara Designs (avatara=sanskrit for avatar), sells her custom made one-of-a-kind work. She loves creating wearable art with character and a story. Her pieces have been seen on festival-goers, Burners, performers, DJs, and fancy folk around the world. 

Though her professional career is wrought with creative productivity, Ava’s downtime isn’t any less teeming with artistry. Dancing, concept art, makeup and face painting, henna tattoos, hair styling, modeling (both runway and editorial), photography, and tattoo design are just a few of the activities which Ava engages in during her free time. 

She and her art have even become signature essentials to the renowned parties of underground production music label, Noise Revolt. Not only does she live paint at their parties, but she also creates costumes in accordance to their themes to trounce all other party-goers. Other festivals and shows she has live-painted at include Desert Hearts, Lightning In A Bottle, ABunDance, Cosmic Carnival, the Gem & Jam Festival LA pre-party (with Alex Grey and Shpongle), for Phutureprimitive, and collaboration with the well-known visionary artist Gabriel Welch.

If you have a vision that you would like Ava to transform into a reality, please send ideas and requests to avayoussefi@gmail.com.