And the hits keep on coming! Tomorrow at 10am EST we welcome new Well + Wonder artist Lauren Smith! Lauren’s pieces draw inspiration from the life she shares with her husband, Jonathan, and their three children in North Louisiana. Her works are a creative mixture of her love of interior design and background in graphic arts. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, Lauren acquired an understanding of fine arts during her studies, combined with the intense precision of graphic arts. It was during that time that Lauren fell in love with color theory and attaining the perfect balance that make the colors and forms in her works sing. Lauren paints while imagining the space in which her pieces will one day live. Places much like her own home that are gathering places for friends and family, bustling with family energy and fun. From larger abstracts to smaller gold framed works, Lauren’s work is bright and full of whimsy and pretty pastels. But before tomorrow comes, as is tradition, we wanted to introduce you to this fun lady and talented artist and what better way than through our Pardon Me blog post? Keep reading and get to know the lady behind the paint brush and remember to SET YOUR ALARMS for tomorrow! Welcome, Lauren!
What is currently on your nightstand?
Not much, I like to keep my surfaces as clean as possible. Which is hilarious because with three kids and a sweet husband, none of the surfaces in my house are ever clean. In all seriousness, I have to framed picture of our kids, my wireless phone charger and cherry Chapstick. Just don’t look in my nightstand drawer. It’s a disaster!
Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?
My family. More than anything, they inspire me to follow my dreams. I want to show them that they can find a way to do something that fulfills their soul. I pray that my husband and I are teaching them to aim high, be humble and have a strong work ethic. They are also great cheerleaders. They tell me when they like a painting I create and help me give them titles. I love that!
Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?
As it relates to art, growing up I always assumed that because I couldn't sit down and draw a sketch of a person's face or really any realistic subject matter, that I wasn't artistic. My mom pushed me to take an art class my senior year of high school and I really developed a love for art then. I learned that the word, art, meant so many things and could be so many things. It wasn't just about drawing a sketch of an object and it looking accurate. So, I went to college and majored in Graphic Arts. Our core curriculum included fine art classes, figure drawing, color theory, oil painting and art history. I learned to work with different mediums and push my own boundaries. Sometimes being forced out of your comfort zone in pursuit of a good grade is just what you need to find out what you're capable of doing.
If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?
Oil pastels. They are so fun and highly pigmented. The color richness is so satisfying.
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
My kitchen, it’s open to a sitting area and our kids practically live in there. It’s our most used space with lots of hustle and bustle.
What is your biggest score online?
My favorite pair of Mother jeans. That sounds so silly but how important are you favorite pair of jeans? The cut has been discontinued now. I didn’t know how lucky I was when I found them!
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?
I think a collective allows you to explore lots of variety and personality and see what speaks to your soul. When you connect with a piece, you should buy it. You’ll always find a home for things that you love. That’s what makes your home yours and not the neighbors house!
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
We have a spectacular local museum. It’s the R.W. Norton Art Gallery and it also has the most beautiful southern botanical gardens. They do field trips with our local schools which I love! It is so influential and beneficial to our community.
What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?
This isn’t the right answer to the question because it isn’t a hotel but we have a farm just south of where we live. It’s just far enough away to feel like we are in another world. We love to spend time there enjoying each other and enjoying nature.Time moves slow at the farm and that is a wonderful change of pace. We also spend time every summer in Alabama at the beach. It is a time where we can truly relax and enjoy time together as a family. It’s the perfect place to unplug and get inspired.
If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?
Pink! Definitely pink. Its sweet but says I’m ready to have fun.
I can never get on a plane without….
A good book and ear buds
How did you get into the world of art?
I have a graphic design degree from Louisiana Tech University where I had to take several fine art classes and explore different mediums.
I really didn't explore art as a career until after my third child was born. I had been doing local free lance interior design work for friends and friends of friends and that was growing by word of mouth, but throwing a third child in the mix made me rethink my time away during the day. I knew I wanted to be at home with my newborn but I also needed a creative outlet. I pulled out my brushes and canvases and attempted to create something that I thought people might be interested in putting in their homes.
What do you do to relax?
Painting! It’s how I relax and zone out. I also take a hot bath every night without fail.
When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
I'm always inspired by a color balance or composition balance. I'm usually more interested in the composition of a piece than the subject matter. My background being in graphic design adds an interesting element to my pieces. Graphic arts are painstakingly precise and so that's always lingering in my subconscious. I'm not happy with a piece until it feels balanced, either in composition or in color. My pieces are whimsical and happy but there's an underlying order that makes them feel calm.
Prediction for the Color of 2023?
I think some sort of deep green. It has definitely peaked my interest lately and I think it’s been a while since it’s had a moment.
What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?
I love a good date night and we try to schedule them once a week. I love to sit, catch up and laugh with my husband and enjoy a couple cocktails. It’s so good for the soul.
Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.
I just started exploring a new composition and I’m obsessed with it right now. I’m marrying my hatch marks and landscapes and it feels fresh and relaxed but traditional enough to slide into any space.
One piece of advice for buying original art?
Buy what you can’t stop thinking about!