She might live by the ocean, but this Sydney-based artist’s cactus-filled home is more akin to an abode in the Arizona desert. Working under the moniker Lauren & The Lost Boys, Lauren Webster has lent her crafty eye to everything from the runway (with fashion label Backstage) to the streets (by way of Byron Bay’s Lark Skate Co.) and swell (with McTavish Surfboards).
“I’m also in cahoots with another really cool Byron Bay-based label, Into the Fold,” she says. “We’ve been working on giant cactus covered outdoor cushions and other goodies for the home… Most recently I have been adventuring and painting in the outback with my friends who have moved from Sydney to the desert to open the Andamooka Yacht Club.”
Needless to say, we’re a little bit in love with the life of Lauren.
Tell us how your upcoming pop-up with The Standard Store came about.
The Streets of Barangaroo were curating four weeks of art, design, music and fashion events in their precinct, so they reached out to see if I would like to jump on board. I think I must have willed the final idea to come to life… because The Standard Store has been a favourite of mine for years. I really like how they champion beautiful design and appreciate quality, but also have a very playful and fun approach to fashion. They have their own unique, creative take on things, which is what I love, so I was really excited.
What kinds of items will you be customising for shoppers?
I will be hand-painting pieces of my artwork onto some thick canvas tote bags. I actually have one of these exact bags that I have been using for a while now and they’re the best! So handy for trips to the beach, as well as carrying around piles of sketchbooks and paints. So I’m sure everyone who grabs one while I’m down there will put them to good use.
I will also be offering to customise anything that people buy in store on the day. So I will have a few pieces of my art to choose from and I can paint it onto accessories, clothes and even your new leather shoes. I’m game if you are!
What’s your advice for other artists who are hoping to take on more collaborative projects and opportunities?
I think it’s important to develop your own style and visual language with your work. Of course it’s necessary for this to constantly develop and evolve, but don’t feel any need to chop and change based on trends or what the success of other artists might look like. Those artists have forged their own path based on their strengths and you will do the same if you are true to your own work and are saying something that you believe in. This honesty in your art will be visible to others and can’t be imitated (try as they may), so I think that’s when people are likely to reach out to you for what you do best, as it’s the only place to get it.
Were you always the artistic type?
I never really made a decision to become an artist or necessarily “chose” this path… I’ve just been doing the things I liked doing since I was a kid and stubbornly never stopped. Ignoring any reality that one day I might need to grow up, I’ve just had my head down drawing and painting furiously for years. I survived art school in Sydney and soldiered on from there with my paintbrushes still hand. The years have rolled on and I’m so happy to still be splashing paint around for a living.
How would you describe your work?
My work is pretty graphic most of the time. Bold lines, block colours, repeated symbols and motifs. It’s mostly figurative but I also really like using text. I think most of my art is quite playful in appearance, but it tends to lean towards something more melancholy and a little darker underneath it all. I’ve always liked that balance.
What’s your creative process?
My go-to materials are ink, acrylic paint, pencil and spray paint. I’m keeping things pretty old-school over here. I’ve also more recently thrown myself back into film photography, an old love of mine, and I’m using some of the photographs in my work as well. Most of my pieces find their beginnings as something I have scribbled down in my sketchbook. From there I can come back and steal what I need any old time for new paintings or projects.
Any advice for budding artists?
Sleep when you’re dead… Kidding! (Kind of not kidding.) I’ve given this advice before but it’s honestly the first thing that comes to mind. Don’t be half-hearted about it, throw your whole self all the way in.
Lauren Webster x The Standard Store
Lauren will be live creating customised tote bags with her unique illustrations, free when you purchase any fashion item or get a custom flash design on any sneakers, wallet, bag or denim item purchased at The Streets for conditions visit thestreetsofbarangaroo.com
Where? The Standard Store, Scotch Row Barangaroo
When? Thursday 2 Nov, 3pm-6pm; Friday 3 Nov, 11am-3pm; Saturday 4 Nov, 11am-3pm