Lauren, a freelance illustrator and designer aims to evoke a gentle feeling of fluidity and tranquility through her art. She talks openly about her inner vulnerability and wants her illustrative style to embrace this.
She designs eco-friendly Greeting Cards and Art Prints which you can find on her Etsy shop or at an incredible bunch of indie stockists. But Lauren doesn’t stop there. She also works on private commissions for both brands and personal projects, including tattoo designs!
Ready to be wowed by her work? Let’s get to know the brains behind this incredible, independent, eco-friendly business.
What was your path to becoming an illustrator and establishing the Lauren Marina brand?
I’ve been making art my whole life but took the plunge into freelancing full-time last year after leaving my previous job. I studied illustration in Norwich 12 years ago and absolutely loved the course and my practice. Life took me on a different career path after uni where I gained a bunch of other skills which all contribute to me running my business now.
I work on a mix of private commissions for clients and also create my own products. I sell my items online, at markets, and with a growing list of carefully curated independent stockists in the UK.
One of the things I really love about illustration is the limitless applications! I currently mostly create paper products, but I’m also working on my first run of a repeat fabric pattern, ceramics, and enamelware.
You’re focused on forming flowing lines through your illustrations to generate calm movement. Can you tell us more about why this approach is important to you?
My hope is that when someone sees my art it aids them to feel a sense of peace and calm. With some of my work I try to offer wording that comforts and that the viewer can find solace in.
For example, my ‘Stay Gentle’ print was inspired by being told that I was ‘too sensitive’ which, over the years, I have come to learn is my strength, not a weakness. I didn’t think too much of it when I first made the print, but the sentiment has really resonated with a lot of people and it’s a bestseller.
What are your top tips for building a social community around your brand?
- Genuinely interact and engage with people. I find this easy as I love socialising on Instagram. For me it’s so important to acknowledge someone who goes to the effort of complimenting my art on a post or sends a DM.
- Share the exciting wins but also the ‘boring’ everyday stuff that you do and don’t see as interesting! I’m fascinated by creatives workspaces.
- Show up as a human beyond your industry. People like to see the person or people behind the brand, so I like to be visible on my feed and stories for my community to get to know me. Just because you’re a designer doesn’t mean that all you can post is design.
A monochromatic colour palette has a special place in your work. What inspired this theme?
I’ve got a history of printmaking in this way, and my drawings emulate that process to some extent. I tend to start with the bold black shape, and then carve my white lines into it. I definitely enjoy primarily working in black and white, I think because it does nod to traditional printmaking, but sometimes add a wash of colour to my work.
I’m inspired by blooming houseplants, changing seasons, natural forms, expressive flora, and wild creatures. I’ve recently gotten into drawing more animals, and I’m loving creating a series of expressive galloping horses!
If you could only choose three items to have beside you as you draw, what would they be?
A big mug of tea, a little speaker playing a good podcast and a cat on my lap!
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I’ve really learnt to lean into my natural energy cycle over the last year. At first I felt strangely guilty about starting later, like it was lazy of me to not be at my desk at 9. But then I remembered that I run my business now, so I get to make the rules!
I normally take a slow morning with some reading, stretching, and a little walk around the local green. My flow peaks at around 3 so that’s usually when the good stuff happens and I smash through my to-do list!
Greeting Cards are a really important part of your collection. What drew you to working with this product?
I just think Greeting Cards are great! I’ve always enjoyed receiving cards, relishing in the love and words contained inside and sticking it up on the wall if it’s a design that I like too. I like that cards have stuck around and continued to be popular in our ever digital world.
They can be so meaningful too, it’s an honour to be a part of some really important life moments for people. For example, a woman wrote to me and said she bought one of my cards to write a note to her unborn son that she will give him when he’s 18. How incredibly thoughtful is that?
How did you find Printed.com and how do you use our eco printing options?
Printed.com was recommended to me by a fellow local illustrator for card printing. You print my Greetings Cards and I choose a part recycled, part FSC certified stock with a lovely light texture. I like that you offer eco printing solutions such as Compostable Cello Wraps as part of your green credentials (and that you’re very speedy and friendly too!).
Finally, how can people find out more about you and shop your range?
If you’re looking to create more sustainable stationery for your business, you can check out our own eco printing credentials right here. And don’t forget to get in touch if we can help in any way.