Yer Za Vue’s journey is made for the movies.

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Before becoming an award-winning painter and respected teacher, the Hillsboro artist began her life in a Laotian village, moved to America with her family at age 7, and fell in love with the colorful illustrations in children’s books.

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“I would go through tons of books that I didn’t know what they were called but it’s Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and I loved it. I thought the drawing was spectacular.”

Her love of art and design eventually lead her to her dream job at Disney Feature Animation Studio in Florida. Working as an animator she brought some of Disney’s most beloved characters to life, including Lilo and Stitch and Mulan.

“The favorite character is Mulan, obviously, not just because I have some background with her but because I love that she understood the bigger picture beyond herself.”

Still influenced by storytelling, these days Yer Za Vue revels in creating her own art. She pursues her great love of painting by both teaching and painting herself, finding plenty of inspiration in the Pacific Northwest.

“It could be just the lighting behind the mountain or the way that tree, the gesture in the tree, it speaks to me,” she says.

New work by Yer Za Vue is on view now at Art on the Boulevard in Vancouver, Washington, part of the “Northwest Impressions” exhibition, a two-person show also featuring work by Oleg Ulitskiy.

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