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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. ❤️

Creating Art with a Newborn

What most people said:

I was trolling the interwebs when I found this article today. It really hit home. Over the course of my pregnancy I was frequently told by friends, some family members, and other artists that I wouldn’t be able to do art anymore when my turtle baby was born. I’m fairly (okay, extremely) stubborn and don’t react well when I’m told that I can’t do something that I’m 100% capable of doing. Want to give me advice? Great! I’d love to hear it. However, if you want to tell me that I will be limited in a specific way then I’ll just work ten times harder to overcome said limitation.

On Creating Art with a Newborn

My turtle baby is 7 weeks old and I’m pleased to say that I’m still creating art. I don’t have as much time or energy as I previously did but I have found that, with some creative shuffling, I still get work done. Sketching, looking up reference images, writing e-mails/blog posts/social media updates all occurs while the turtle eats. When she sleeps I’m able to work on larger projects. I sacrifice longer showers, naps, and personal time to be able to work but it is worth it.
 

Behind the stubborn shell

To be honest, like the article mentions, motherhood has improved not only my life but also my art. If anything, motherhood is a huge exercise in learning. I’ve learned is to use my time more wisely and have learned to more fully embrace and absorb each moment that I’m in while I’m in it. Patience for myself, my turtle baby, and others is growing. I’m learning to utilize more tact in my daily interactions while maintaining honesty. I’m learning to appreciate life and enjoy each moment to its fullest. Because of my turtle baby I’m happier, better balanced in my priorities, more full of love, and over all a better human being. Frankly, I’d never trade this experience for anything.
Lauren-crest-illustration-baby-motherhood-mom-artist-portrait
 

Staying Centered

About two months ago I talked to Amir, founder of Nurture the Creative Mind, about how things were progressing in his life and with the foundation. The foundation has been growing fairly quickly and I was really impressed with some of the great opportunities that they have been able to participate in. He talked to me about opportunities that the foundation had accepted and had passed on and pointed out that it was important to constantly review the path that the foundation was headed down while frequently re-centering on the goals of the foundation. I didn’t know how this conversation would impact me until now. Read more

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

Consistent Learning

I remember thinking, a few months before I graduated, that I’d continue to read and learn about art and my trade. I wanted to be sure that I continued to grow even after leaving the academic setting. I can honestly say that post-graduation I have been learning and growing in ways I couldn’t have imagined and in directions I hadn’t previously thought about. Read more

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