The Work

Art / lae astra


:: Starfire Songs ::


Starfire Songs; 2024; dig­i­tal paint­ing in Pro­cre­ate; 2048 x 2048 px


From the writer


:: Account ::

When I paint, I hope to cre­ate visu­al poet­ry. When I write, I lean toward brush­strokes of mem­o­ry and emo­tion, some vivid and col­or­ful, some pale wisps of yes­ter­days like the ghosts of falling petals. And when mak­ing music, I strive to explore land­scapes of being through sound and words. All of this is inter­twined. Reach­ing for fleet­ing and shim­mer­ing moments. Mak­ing them into forms that I can share.

My wan­der into dig­i­tal paint­ing occurred at the same time as my deci­sion to step inside an art sup­ply store and buy brush­es, water­col­or and acrylic paint, can­vas, paper. There is a sense of vul­ner­a­ble yet joy­ful lib­er­a­tion that comes with set­ting brush to open page. A sense of mov­ing for­ward, of fol­low­ing the sto­ry unfold­ing line by brush­stroke by dot, of warm­ing up and get­ting clos­er to the wait­ing sto­ry with each try.

In these tur­bu­lent times when so many are grasp­ing for mean­ing and fight­ing to end oppres­sion, art, in its many forms, is a shin­ing thread that con­nects us all and car­ries us for­ward. I am grate­ful for the moments when I can sit with some frag­ments and col­ors, turn­ing them this way and that in my hands, until a poem emerges. I am grate­ful to be able to show a new paint­ing to some­one I love and hear what it makes them feel. Rather than push­ing an expla­na­tion from my side, I’m far more inter­est­ed in the indi­vid­ual sto­ries that the view­er or read­er bring while they expe­ri­ence a piece. Tell me what you see, what kind of future you want to build. Let us sit by the fire. There’s enough to warm us all.


lae astra (they/them) is an agen­der trans artist and writer who calls Tokyo home. Their writ­ing has appeared in Astro­labe, Gone Lawn, Over­heard, Star*Line, Strange Hori­zons, and else­where. They are a Push­cart, Best Microfic­tion, and Rhys­ling Award nom­i­nee. Find them at