Lauren! Where’re ya from, what do your parents do*?
Southern Ohio, Midwest born and raised! I grew up in a little town north of Cincinnati. It was very rural. The home I grew up in was bordered by two creeks and the Little Miami River. We had 30-acres of farmland and our neighbors sold livestock. I learned very early to enjoy the outdoors. Since there weren’t any other neighborhood kids to play with, my brother and I ran through the woods and fields collecting bugs and plants, looking for arrowheads and fossils, getting dirty, doing dumb kid stuff, occasionally bringing home baby snapping turtles. My dad worked for a care facility for individuals with developmental disabilities and my mom is an accountant. I had a pretty well-rounded childhood!
How did you get your creative start?
I have always been drawing and painting since I was teeny tiny! My family was always very encouraging as I grew up. My dad was really artsy and a very talented illustrator (although that’s not what he ended up doing for a living), so he was always pretty enthusiastic that I was excited about art. I remember him once literally putting an apple on our dining room table and making me draw it with charcoals, I guess just to get my gears turning and eyes looking at things critically. I don’t usually like my parents telling me what to do, but I guess it worked out in this case.
What is your favorite part of the design process?
I feel like most designers are total perfectionists and expect everything to be perfect. I am no exception. Sometimes when you’re putting out design work or other types of content it can be really frustrating when it doesn’t look the way you want it to, at the speed you want it to. But I’ve learned that usually once you hit that point of total frustration and force yourself to push past it, thats when the best work comes out! Once you’ve done the research, sketched, and made tons of bad solutions…and then things finally start to click, and that’s my favorite. It’s so rewarding!
Any New Years resolutions this year?
I want to spend more time making art for myself, producing little paintings and zines and stuff. But also to be better at time management. Get stuff done but remember take time to relax and be still. I would also like to be more involved with my local community.
If you could give emerging designers in the Flathead Valley and beyond some advice, what would it be?
As Jake the Dog from Adventure Time wisely once said, “Dude, sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something” Don’t give up! You might be really bad at first (I definitely was) but be persistent!
Any design trends going into 2017 that you would love to see more of?
Recently I’ve seen more design fused with fine arts and I love that! It’s cool to see people breaking the rules and being more abstract, messy, and expressive. Design doesn’t have to be clean type, geometric icons, and gridded layouts. Make your own rules!
If you could sum up 2016 with one song, what would it be?
Elevator Operator by Courtney Barnett. I listened to this song so many times in the morning on days when I really wasn’t feeling it. It was my 2016 anthem. It gets me so jazzed. Her storytelling is amazing, her music videos are always the best. Courtney Barnett is a genius. I want to be her best friend.
Listen to Courtney Barnett’s Elevator Operator.
*A la the O.G. grumpy interviewer Brian Kahn of Home Ground on MTPR, whom we admire.