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09 | Lauren Marina, Illustrator

Lauren is a like-minded soul - a very, very talented like-minded soul. If you haven't checked out Lauren's first solo exhibition at Pen Gallery, do it. You've got one week left.

El: Why black and white?

L: My brain just loves it. I love the boldness of the contrast and the unity of all my pieces. I limited palette is fun because it provides some level of framework to work within. I don't find it restricting as there are just so many briefs, projects, and little puzzles to work out.

I used to work in woodblock and linocut and have huge admiration for printmaking. But I also love working digitally with the freedom and pace that can be attained. I think my style is a coming together of this. I tend to start with the bold black shape, and then 'carve' lines into it using a white pencil. El: What pushed you to ditch the 9-5 to pursue the freelance life?

L: It wasn't a case of me ditching the 9-5, more that the universe had other plans for me and gave me a good push! I always lacked the confidence to believe that I could be a freelancer. I ended up being in a scenario where I just had to make it work. During a tough period of time, I saw a glimmer of hope that I could make it as an artist and I just fought for it. In retrospect, it feels like all roads were leading here. I've never felt so at ease and satisfied with work.

El: What's been your steepest learning curve?

L: There have been so many new things to learn and adapt to over the past few years! Something I'm still trying to manage is knowing when to take a break from the 'productivity wheel'. It’s totally unsustainable to expect yourself to be smashing your to-do lists every day, yet I give myself.a really hard time when I don't. I think because my determination is a gift, I really battle with myself to keep getting 'stuff done' even when I'm exhausted. I try to remember to take it easy, spend more time ‘off’. I love to get outside as often as possible and take some deep full breaths of fresh air. Being a sensitive soul I really need alone time in nature to settle my spirit - but the extrovert side of me also gets an energy boost from being around people. It's an odd mix to manage!

El: What's your dream project?

L: Having my solo exhibition at Pen has really given me a taste for expanding my product ranges within my brand. I love the idea of having bigger and broader lines of products and maybe even a shop! Within the exhibition, I also revealed my new wallpapers so I would also really love to do some more interior styling projects. I can't wait to see my wallpapers in people's homes!

Thank you Lauren

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