Where: Cape Town, South Africa
Website: lost is a place too
Lauren who…I'm all about finding new ideas and new ways of doing everyday things. I want to understand how things are made and then make them again, my way. Sometimes it doesn't work, but I still learn new things. I was born, raised and presently live in Cape Town, South Africa. I have a degree in graphic design but I prefer to focus on illustration and craft.
Back in the day…I was very shy as a child and most of my extra curricular activities fell into the arts bracket such as playing instruments, choir, drama and ballet. So I think I was always interested in expressing myself creatively. I wasn't ever very good at art when I was at school but my high school offered an extra subject, graphic design, which I found to be more stimulating.
Inspiration…I'm mostly inspired by listening and watching people. I like to draw myself in embarrassing situations and I looove to draw Victorian houses. I grew up in one. I'm also inspired by other people's work, internationally as well as locally, whether it's professional or just for fun.
Favourite medium…I'm very comfortable with black fine liner and black ink. I think this is because I have a lot of control over the pen, whereas with other tools such as paintbrushes I feel a bit uneasy and unsure.
How it happened…I did my tertiary education at AAA School of Advertising where I completed a BA in Visual Communications. I got into doodling in high school mostly on the covers of exam papers and in my diaries. After my degree I worked at a web design company for three months. I really didn't enjoy it. Although I learnt a lot there, I just don't think I'm built for offices. After that, I put an illustration portfolio together and mailed it to everyone I know including all the advertising agencies and magazines. Eventually after many months, someone contacted me about some illustration work and I've been working as an illustrator ever since.
Sense of style…I suppose it's kind of a quirky, doodley, girlie kind of style. It's very minimalistic. I don't like drawing something for too long, I get bored or mess it up.
Believing before seeing…I remember in high school, we had to make journals for English class and make a cover too. I'll never forget what one girl said to me – she remarked that if I ever made journal covers for a living she'd definitely buy them. I should track her down now! Later in life, I guess seeing other people with a similar style of illustration to mine made me realise that just because I couldn't draw in the classical sense of the word, it didn't mean that my illustrations were bad. They're just different.
Design vs illustration…I think I mostly design for work. There's more of a demand for it, whereas illustration is very specific. I definitely prefer illustration over design. I feel like I'm in the right place when I illustrate – like I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing.
Top blogs…Ffffound is a great site for finding lots of inspiring work in a short amount of time. Boooooom is an awesome blog where you can find new artists and they also put out little projects every couple of months. On the local front, Heather's work is always as inspiration to look at. Jesse can knit and sew anything. I find her work inspiring and interesting. The instrucatables website is fun and handy. There, I find new ways of doing things as well as step by step tutorials on making stuff.
Cape Town's finest…My mum works in a consignment shop called Stock Exchange, a high-end second-hand/vintage shop. I buy most of my clothes there. I love to have tea at The Daily Deli in Tamboerskloof. It's nice because it's one of the places that all the cool kids don't know about. Lazari is also nice for a tea with friends. The Milnerton Market is a favourite for finding old dusty stuff to fill my house. Otherwise I like to stay home most of the time.
SA faves…I've recently come across an illustrator called Justin Southey. I really like his work. Alex Latimer is an awesome illustrator and his works makes me feel jealous, which means I think his work is great.
Downtime…Besides knitting and drawing, I like to cook, clean and bake, watch movies in bed, drink whiskey at Arnolds (a restaurant) with my two best friends, play guitar, drink tea and gossip with my housemate.
Knitting…I was always a bad knitter. Dropping stitches, bad tension. It was terrible. Then, a couple of years ago I decided to knit myself a scarf. I found that my knitting wasn't looking too bad! I got a book on knitting and learnt some different stitches and all of a sudden I was making tea cosies, hotwater bottle covers, teddy bears, etc.
On the side…I bought a guitar last year July and took a book out of the library and taught myself how to play. I now have a steel string acoustic/electric and I plan to play and sing at an open night mic just as soon as I gather some courage..
A day in the life…I take about half an hour to get out of bed from when my alarm goes off. I can't work in a dirty environment, so I do a few chores before starting work. I also find it eases me into being awake, getting my brain to start up. I work from home and I get down to whatever is on the agenda, unless the job requires me to go into an office for work.
A few of her favourite things…I really love tea cups, little glasses and crockery. I think I collect a lot of stuff I put out as decoration. I also collect eye glasses frames. I hope to fill them all with my prescription one day. So far I've had two done.
Happiness is…My friends and family, music and cheese.
Right now…I've just finished doing a range of cards with a local card company and I'm also working on a few exhibitions as well as market days. I'm also working on a t-shirt design for a local band. Besides that, I'm just doing freelance graphic design for a few companies.
In the future…I want to be doing exactly the same thing! But at more of a steady rate with more work and collaborations.
Words of wisdom…Do what you love. If you do what you love, nothing can go wrong. Be patient with yourself and let yourself grow. Very few things happen over night. I read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron last year. It made a huge impact on my life and I recommend it to anyone and everyone.