Monday, 2 April 2012

Lauren Spencer King

I first came across Lauren Spencer King's work when I discovered her blog a while back. I was completely blown away by her beautiful watercolours , photography and her idyllic subject matter.

The lovely Lauren answered some of my questions ......

How do you like to describe what you do?
I am an artist. I combine my watercolors with cut glass, to make geometric objects that hang on the wall or sit on the floor.
As a "day job" I also have a small business, Spencer Studio, where I create hand drawn elements for special projects or events. I mostly do a lot of stuff for Weddings.
You grew up in the Midwest (Belleville IL) does this still feel like home to you?
Yes! This will always be my home. Growing up in a very small town, with a house set in the woods, really shaped my idea of what home means, and the kind of home I want for myself, and my future family. As a kid I spent time playing in the woods, swimming at our lake house in the summer, and sledding down our hill when it snowed. Because it was such a small town, there wasn't a lot to do, so we had to create our own fun. I spent a lot of time with my mum making art projects at the kitchen table. It really taught me that I can create anything and everything. It's funny now living in LA, I feel like I can always spot a person from the Midwest. It's not always obvious to everyone, but I feel like we are kindred spirits. Midwest people always seem to be very kind, and grounded. I am very grateful for the environment I grew up in.
What has been your most rewarding project so far?
With out a question, it's my Graduate Thesis Show. During my first term in Grad School my mum passed away. I took the next term off. And when I came back and started working in the studio again I realized my focus had totally changed. What I was wanting to create was so new to me, and it was coming from a totally new place. It was so deep and personal and raw that I found it really challenging to talk about in a setting that was so academic and where discussions were so heavily based in theory. For a few terms I really struggled with this. And as I was thinking about my thesis show I had this realization, that it was the last chance I was going to get in school to speak my mind and share my voice, and I just went for it. I felt like I risked a lot putting that work out there. Some people didn't get it, and I finally stopped caring about that. But, some were really supportive and it was really liberating and interesting to have conversations about the intensity and mystery of death, and the complicated feelings of grief. I think there is such beauty and pleasure in those things. And that was what I really wanted to share. And I feel like I did.
Do you have any hobbies or collect things?
Minerals, gemstones, crystals! In the last few years I have become an avid collector! I love learning about them, I even go to the awesomely dorky Mineral and Fossil shows in the middle of nowhere. But, it is so fun! And I end up learning a lot from the people who are there. The shapes and colors really inspire me in my work.
You seem to be drawn to watercolour what do you enjoy about this medium?
I just love watercolor! I took a set with me about ten years ago when I went to Europe one summer, and I did a series of small watercolors of all the hotels rooms I stayed in. And the medium just kind of stuck with me ever since. In the beginning I loved them because no one else in school was using them, and I felt like I really wanted to revive watercolor and rescue it from being the medium for "Sunday Painters". I wanted to make it serious. I laugh about that now. But once I started making the work I am now, it really started to make sense. Light reflects through watercolor just like it does with gemstones, and glass. Light moves through it. And the pigment and colors just can't get more brilliant!
You live in LA do you find that this creates a certain element to your work?
Not really. But I will say that living in LA you have a lot of resources. Because the entertainment industry is here there are so many places to get any kind of material you could want, or get anything made you could dream up. Also, not that this influences my work, but it fascinates me... the quality of light in LA. It is really particular, and beautiful.

Thank you Lauren , you are a true artist !

To find more of Lauren's work please check out