Oh hi again! Thanks for checking in!
You’re in for a treat this week – we were lucky enough to speak to super lovely Lauren at Lauren Gale Makes, a Bristol based illustrator with a completely contageous bright and positive nature and a massive talent for creating beautiful pieces of art.
JANEY: Lovely Lauren, thanks so much for taking the time to answer our nosey questions – please tell us all…
LAUREN: Hi there! I’m currently working as an illustrator based in Bristol wearing a few different hats. I produce illustrations and graphic designs for a local pottery studio based in Bath called Sanity Studios – who are so wonderful with a big focus on creativity benefitting mental health and wellbeing. However my own passion project is my online shop, selling prints of my original digitally illustrated artworks, along with stickers, greetings cards and enamel pin badges.
I love abstract artworks and so base my work upon escapism and my own imaginings, as well as abstract interpretations of my surroundings living on the river Avon and my fascination with flora and wildlife; especially birds and marine life. I love to partner contrasting objects and subjects in my compositions with playful and joyful colour palettes. I always look to find and explore childlike wonder in my surroundings and reflect that in my own artwork.
Though I’ve always loved drawing and painting, I really only started selling my work in 2018. Shortly before that I’d set up an Instagram account to share my artwork online for fun, which massively helped to establish an audience who’d already invested their time and interest in my work. That lead onto being able to sell my work as well as further wonderful opportunities like exhibitions and pop up shop at various local markets.
J: This all sounds super exciting! Where would you say your inspiration comes from?
L: Over time I’ve learned not to try looking to hard for inspiration as I’ve found that put so much pressure on my brain to be creative and produce work. I found that letting ideas and concepts happen organically have always tended to result in my most genuine and authentic artwork. Also the natural world is just such a vibrant and rich continual source of inspiration so watching endless David Attenborough documentaries is no hardship! But, I love Instagram as such a invaluable tool for finding new artists and creatives to learn from in not only their unique style but also their work ethic.
J: That is so so true – its like the more pressure you put yourself under to ‘feel inspired’, the less it actually happens! And when really there is so much out there, we completely agree that a bit of patience is the answer to not forcing it, which then ends up as a much more successful result!
So what do you reckon is your ultimate favourite thing to draw?
L: Now that’s a tricky one, I think the artwork that gives me the most excitement is always going to be the pieces that use contrasting subject matter, like my ultimate OG: ‘Milk Carton Aquarium’. As I’m now going into my late twenties and adulting is more of a funny old maze to navigate, I’m finding it more therapeutic than ever to indulge myself in my inner child and just be playful and uninhibited with subject matter and colour. I feel that if I can share that sense of child like wonder and vibrancy for only even a moment with others then that’s mission accomplished.
J: As a creative business owner, how did you find the Coronavirus lockdown? Was there anything you had to do differently?
L: That’s a really good question, at the beginning of lockdown I mentally put the business side of my artwork aside, thinking times are going to be tight ahead for me and everyone so don’t expect too many sales or profit. Plus on a personal level my head was all over the place like everyone else, trying to navigate the new ‘normal’. But business has just tripled since lockdown began, I suppose I didn’t expect that people’s interest in personal and unique gifts and new found necessity to shop online would funnel so directly through Etsy, and therefore down into my own Etsy shop! I’ve been so incredibly grateful for the spike in sales and interest in my small business as the busy past few months have massively helped to structure and give purpose to my day to day, being on furlough from my part time day job with a local independent art company. It’s enabled me so much more scope and possibility for expanding my business and the sorts of products I’m now able to make so I’m making sure to take none of this new opportunity for granted!
J: You’re right, I don’t think it was something which online businesses could have ever predicted, but they seemed to have thrived through that physical retail element being put on hold. I reckon it will change shopping forever: more focus on small businesses and online shopping becoming people’s natural ‘go-to’. So what does the future hold for your suberb business?
L: Later this year I’ll hopefully be holding my rescheduled solo exhibition in Bristol’s Tobacco Factory, from November 1st to 28th 2020, where all my prints will be on show and also available to buy framed. And again, hopefully I’ll be able to reschedule my pop up shop I was due to be holding with Tobacco Factory Markets in Bristol before lockdown, which will be awesome fun to get to do!
I’m so excited to have more enamel pin designs in the works and I found my Etsy shop has really picked up during lockdown which I didn’t expect so I want to hunker down on making sure that’s as vibrant and full as possible.
J: We’re really hoping to be able to get to your solo exhibition in November! In the mean time, where can we have a gander (and a buy!) of your work?
L: Currently I sell my prints, greetings cards, sticker sets and enamel pins in my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LaurenGaleMakes, and also offer private commissions and personalised prints too. I’m always more than happy to answer any enquiries and queries through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
J: Find Lauren’s wonderful portfolio at www.laurengalemakesandillustrates.com and follow her on Instagram @laurengale.makesandillustrates
Her piece pictured above entitled ‘Good Morning’ has to be a personal favourite of ours, possible predominantly due to the colour palette (I’m a sucker for pink!) but also because it takes us back to dreamy breakfasts out and the longing to order a main and pudding to start the day as a protest to having to choose between sweet and savoury, along with a gallon of frothy coffee.
Please excuse us while we drool over Pinterest brunches and cry over pictures of avocado toast. See you next week!