Posts

It’s Been a Bit

Honesty time. I’ve been MIA on social media for a while now. I’ve made and broken promises to post more. I’ve made goals to do art and fallen short of them. Mostly I’ve struggled with how open and vulnerable to be with myself and my audience. This lead to me defaulting to posting nothing but my plant babies ❤️🌱 as I’ve worked to rebuild my life.

I’ve finally come to a place where it feels appropriate to update those who have followed me for a while and an introduce myself for those who are newer. I am Lauren. I am an illustrator, wife, mother, plant addict, trinket collector, and speaker to bones. I feel intensely, dance frequently, and I’m working to find comfort in sitting honestly and vulnerably with myself.

Life has been a rollercoaster these last few years. In 2017 I left an unhealthy marriage of 6 years and moved with my daughter across the United States back to my hometown. Being a single mom and working to reestablish a sense of balance was a struggle that pushed me to my limit every single day. I worked while she slept, played with her while she was awake, and strove to make the world a safe and exciting adventure. I went to counseling, worked through some PTSD, wrestled (and still wrestle) with anxiety, and found a new normal. In 2018 I dated a man that embraced me as I am wholey. He loved the person that was let out only in small amounts into my art. He saw ME and encouraged me to thrive and flourish. In 2019 I married this wonderful man and, after a difficult pregnancy, gave birth to my second daughter.

I can honestly say that I have never been happier. Life has never been better or brighter. I have never breathed so freely.

I make no promises for posts in the future. I am slowly beginning to work on personal projects again. I’m slowly coming out of my own shell and experimenting. For now, that is enough. When I have an update I will post it but until then I appreciate your patience. ❤️

Seeing Your Art in a New Perspective

Last week I posted about Getting Feedback on Your Art. While getting feedback is essential to artist growth, it isn’t always a possibility. This week I’m going to cover what you can do to improve your art if you know something is off but either don’t have the time or ability to reach out to get feedback on your artwork. These are some tips and tricks that I’ve found helpful. Be warned, you may find more errors than you expect when using these methods, especially the last two. Don’t get discouraged! Seeing your errors and working to improve them is all part of the learning process.

  • Take a break. Despite your deadline find time to take a shower, get a snack, stretch and walk around your house, or even put the piece down for the night. Whatever you choose to do isn’t as important as getting some space from the piece. When I get really invested in a piece I tend to work on it long after I stop really seeing it. This causes me to make unnecessary mistakes and to frequently overwork pieces. Due to this I try to take a 5 minute break every hour or so (difficult as it is!) by setting an alarm and going to get water, play with my cat, step outside, etc. This allows me to come back to the piece with a fresh set of eyes and allows for me to assess the piece from a more open perspective.
  • When working on a piece for a longer span of time than a day or two I find that I get use to seeing it. This can be a problem when I need to work on a piece for a few weeks and can feel it slowly going off course but not being able to pinpoint how. To see a piece from a different perspective I’ll prop it up, stand back, and walk around the front of it. Seeing the piece from a different distance and angle can help see the piece as a whole instead of only being able to see the details. This can help with seeing how the composition works as a whole, how the lighting is balanced, and how the color usage is coming across.
  • Another trick that I’ve found is to take the piece to the bathroom (provided it is small enough) and look at it in the mirror. If this doesn’t work for you taking a picture of the piece and mirroring it in Photoshop will do the same thing. Looking at a piece reflected in the mirror will cause your brain to see your piece in a new, fresh way instead of a familiar way. Because of this you will be able to see compositional or proportional errors that you may have overlooked.
  • Similarly to using a mirror, flipping your picture upside down will help your brain register the piece in a new way. Seeing an image upside down allows your brain to perceive the image as a group of parts instead of as a whole, which can be especially helpful for faces. Because of this fresh viewpoint it is much easier to pinpoint what is off and how you can fix it.

 

Did I leave anything out? Let me know if I should add something to the list by commenting on my Facebook Page.

Continuously Learning

When I graduated in 2013 I thought that my days of learning were going to slow significantly. I figured that I’d learned most of what I needed to know for my craft while in school and it was just time to implement it. I was completely and utterly wrong.  Read more

Ready to Go With Time to Spare

Salt Lake Comic Con is just around the corner and I’m ahead of schedule! I have my supplies bought, my art created, and everything is neatly packed and ready to go (I’ve even written three separate lists to make sure that setup will go as smoothly as possible on Wednesday!). Read more

On Critique and Praise

I’ve always been a fan of Ray Bradbury. He is one of my top 20, maybe even top 10, authors (and considering my “to read” list is over 200 books long, that is high praise). He has provided a lot of brilliant information and insight to the world. This quote in particular stuck with me. “You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.”

Read more

Lessons on Failure

I use to be petrified of failure. So much so that when choices would come up I would refuse to make a move. I would just sit, waiting for a choice to be forced on me so that I wouldn’t make the wrong choice or choose an “OK” option while surpassing the better choice. Learning to overcome this fear is important for forward progression both in life and with art. Read more