We were lucky enough to get a glimpse into the mind of talented graphic designer, crafter and illustrator Lauren Fowler.
Where do you live and what’s your daily routine when it comes to creating your lovely things?
I currently live in Kalk Bay in Cape Town. It’s the cutest little seaside town and gets crazy busy on weekends. I love the weekdays best because no one’s around and I feel like I have the whole bay to myself.
My daily routine is very unroutiney which is probably a bad thing. I’ll have days where I sit down at my desk and work all day, sometimes I’ll ride my bike to Empire Cafe in Muizenberg and work there off their wifi since I don’t have internet at home. Some days, most days now, I go into the city to have meetings, drop stock at shops, go to the printers etc. It’s very disruptive, I’m figuring out a way to make it all work, so hopefully in a couple of months I can be more productive.
What’s your background?
I grew up in the city bowl in Cape Town and went to school there too. I got my degree at AAA School of Advertising, if anyone wants to study graphic design, I can highly recommend the school. I tried to work in a web design agency and hated it with a passion. I ended up working as a sales assistant in a boutique shop on Long Street and spent my days there sewing or knitting. That’s how I got into craft again. Trying to pass time. I eventually started doing illustration work for magazines and a few private clients. I moved house a lot around the city bowl and eventually grew tired of city living. I moved to Kalk Bay to gather my thoughts and reconnect with myself and my work. After 2 years living here, I feel I’m ready to move back to the city bowl.
Which other South African artists/designers/artisans inspire you?
My boyfriend, Gene Kierman is a musician. He has a band called Miss Texas 1977, he plays the french horn, he’s a music teacher and he’s a painter. He’s one of those people that’s always thinking about how to make stuff. His music blows me away every time and constantly inspires me. We both have our fingers in multiple pies and he keeps me grounded when I get too carried away or stressed or generally freaked out about life.
I bring up two guys everytime I talk about good design and illustration. Adam Hill is an amazing designer. Seriously. I have raging jealousy every time I see his work. I don’t wanna talk about it…I may cry. View his work here: http://www.velcrosuit.com/ Jordan Metcalf. Terrific illustrator. More source of my jealousy. Sigh. http://www.behance.net/ThisWinter (They’ve both been featured on Handsome Things – we still need to interview them!)
How can we get hold of your work (especially in Jo’burg)?
My work is currently all over the place. I stock The Fringe Arts, and soon other shops. Ha! Best place to get it is through me: www.laurenfowler.co.za
I’m looking for somewhere to stock in Joburg, what are your recommendations?
Do you have any pets? (We’re big pet lovers)
YES! I have two kitties, Jemimah and Jack. I love them so. Jack is still very young and he likes to chase stuff and get groomed by Jemimah. He wears a tuxedo all day, it’s ridiculous. Jemimah is slightly psychotic, but I still love her. She enjoys: biting people, (maybe she has an iron deficiency?) leaving hair every where, meowing in the middle of the night, sleeping on my bed and getting brushed. She wears ginger pants and a tortoise shell jacket. She sounds like a hobo. She also has freckles.
You have such a lovely website and a great blog (and you’re on twitter) any advice for other artisans when it comes to leveraging online (&social) media to help build your brand as an artisan?
I’m so glad you think so. I feel like my website is currently under construction and always needs to be updated. My blog is sometimes left alone to gather pixel dust for months and then I blog about something stupid like riding my bike.
Advice? Don’t be so hard on yourself ;) When you don’t have a website, have a blog and actually blog, when you don’t have a blog, tweet.
When you don’t wanna tweet, talk about yourself, when you don’t want to talk about yourself, love yourself.
And P.S just get an assistant if you don’t wanna do any of that stuff….except that last one.
Thank you so much Lauren, we’re inspired! If you’re hunting for a good blog to read check out Lauren’s: http://lostisaplacetoo.blogspot.com/