Meet Yusuf Osman, Make and Reuse course facilitator
Yusuf Osman, Leather Craftsman

Meet our artist community: Q&As

Part of an ongoing series, members of our artist community share insights about their work, their stories and their relationship to ACAVA. Visit this page to read more.

Yusuf Osman is one of eight highly skilled artists and makers who worked with ACAVA in 2023 to run Make and Reuse Creative Workshops, a series of free creative courses inspired by the circular economy and sustainability. Learn more about Yusuf’s ‘Leatherworking, Creative Thinking and Design’ course here.

Read on to learn more about his studio practice, current projects and plans for the future.


Yusuf Osman

Art practice
Leather Craftsman

Where can we find your work?

Yusuf Osman leading a leatherworking course at the Shed. Photo by Andreia Sofia Leitão

Would you like to tell us about yourself?

I’m on a mission to get the world talking about leather. By engaging with life as a craft, we can navigate complex issues that we face as individuals and as a society; discover the relationship we want with ourselves, with each other, materials and the natural world and in doing so, cherish the threads that connect us all.

What kind of art do you make?

I spent too long trying to define what I do for others and I realise now that it’s a waste of time and a distraction from developing my self-expression in craft. I always seek to push the boundary of what’s possible for me and so a definition is not something I seek anymore. I leave that up to those who connect and engage with my work.

Yusuf Osman, Leather Craftsman

What themes are you interested in?

I’m interested in viewing craft as intrinsic to the human experience and I explore what it means to be human through the lens of craft and leather as my material of choice.

What inspires you to make art?

I am inspired to explore my curiosity and self-expression. I can be drawn to a material, a process or an object and I follow that curiosity for as long as it brings me joy.

What inspires you to keep making art?

Discovering what’s possible motivates me to keep pushing past the boundary of what I know and I use that to propel me forward and keep creating.

Yusuf Osman, Leather Craftsman

Did you study art?

I read law at the London School of Economics so a craft career was not even a concept for me. It’s been a long process of moving away from what didn’t feel right to get to where I am today.

Do you collaborate with others? Who with / how?

To me, craft is a conversation or a series of overlapping conversations. The conversation the soul has with the universe, the conversation one has with oneself, the one between the maker and his materials and then one maker and his craft has with the world. It’s a forever-evolving circular conversation and for me, it’s natural then to expand that conversation to include others to expand the scope of what’s possible for me as an individual.

Yusuf Osman's studio

Where do you want to take your art next?

Hopefully beyond what I can imagine for myself right now.

What advice would you give to new artists starting out?

Conventional people cannot help unconventional people. Artists are quite often very porous. Be careful of the energy that surrounds you and that which you let in. Just make your art and don’t force or be attached to the outcome. This is an ongoing assignment for us all.