Steve: What were your little kid years like?
Lauren: I grew up with three brothers and they were always in their own world, and I was always in mine. I was highly imaginative and loved pretty things, as all girls do. I was introverted even at a very young age, very shy, and absolutely loved reading books with intricate illustrations. I can vividly remember sitting in preschool and watching my teacher color a cartoon apple, and I was mesmerized with how smooth her coloring was. It wasn’t streaky like mine. I don’t doubt that’s when I wanted to learn how to color like she did. I took music lessons and art classes all throughout elementary school. And as I entered both middle and high school, I always had art as an elective. Rather than play sports, which I loved, I devoted most of my time to art and music. I was blessed with amazing teachers throughout my childhood, each one shining light on different avenues of my artistic abilities and opening my eyes to different techniques. Over the years, art has been cathartic for me in a variety of ways. I learned how to value and depend on self-expressive outlets to cope with certain curves that life threw my way. I couldn’t imagine life without it.
Steve: Since you touched on high school, what was that experience like?
Lauren: High school was actually a very pleasant experience for me. Our class was very fortunate to have grown up together, and we were all very tolerant of each other and our differences. Of course, we had our cliques and social groups that we preferred to spend most of our time with. But overall, we were really cool with one another. High school was when the doors to my creativity seemed to fling wide open. I started delving into writing and music. Plus, I started stepping out of my comfort zones to perform. I also had an art teacher that became my mentor and to this day is still one of my greatest influences. She was one of the toughest teachers that I had, and made me cry often LOL. But she made me better, taught me how to push myself to try new things, and to take creative risks. I wouldn’t necessarily want to go back and relive my high school years, but I definitely think back on them fondly and can see the parts of them that had a great impact in shaping me to be the person that I am today.
Steve: What made you decide to do the wonderful art work that you’ve put forth in the Artists Community?
Lauren: Some pieces are personal, others are gifts, and some are products of requests made by friends or family. Each piece has a story and a reason why it exists. I’d love to say that they were all overflows of creative “genius” but I can’t. Inspiration can be anywhere and can be found at any time. So whether I’m inspired by what I see on Pinterest or something new and fresh in my mind, whether it is for commercial purposes or learning experiences, it’s all a fun and creative adventure.
Steve: Is there a place where people can find your work?
Lauren: Yes, you can find it in the Artists Community on Creating Camaraderie, alongside some other very talented artists. My work is in the second wing, under the name Southern Versatility.
Steve: What do you hope to accomplish?
Lauren: I hope to continue to learn, continue to share my art with others, and engage in a collaborative community of artists that serve as encouragement and inspiration for each other. I’d also love to venture off into other creative avenues, possibly illustrating a book at some point, or painting murals, or just simply coming up with a new technique. LOL. The possibilities are endless. I’m not there yet but for now, I love what my art is and I am excited for what it can become.
Steve: How do you hope to inspire others?
Lauren: I would want to inspire people to do what makes them happy. To make time to pursue creative things, and discover the world and themselves in new, colorful ways. I’d want to inspire them to use their talents and creativity to make this world more beautiful, and to want to inspire others to do the same.