Instagram: @curious_lauren Behance: www.behance.net/laurencolinmitchell
1. What's your story? Where are you from?I was born in Pretoria, I wouldn't call it a small town, although it felt that way. I lived there for 22 years while getting a pretty great education. I was sort of an all-over-the-place person, I got(get) bored of things really quickly and never really stuck to one thing for very long. The only things I was really passionate about without ever really realizing it was music & photography - it was through studying photography (to my parents shock-horror - you will never find a job and be struggling for the rest of forever. I'm the only creative in the family.) I discovered and fell into the deep dark and wonderful world of design & illustration. After I finished school I got a job (WHAT) packed my bags, left everything and everyone and moved to the city of lights; Johannesburg, which I still call home.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.This is probably one of the most conflicting things to answer. I struggle with this a lot. Most of the artists I admire have a very specific skillset and aesthetic. I've never really wanted to pinpoint mine, I was taught by my kick-ass parents from a very young age that it's important to be well rounded, learn a ton about a ton of different things - it is because of this I think I haven't developed a unified aesthetic. I work across too many mediums for me to stick to one aesthetic. I've seen people delete Instagram photos because it doesn't suit their aesthetic - I think that is the most fucked up thing ever, it's your art, made by you, which by default makes it your aesthetic. I think it's incredibly important to push yourself to try new things and styles and mediums, it's how we grow and learn as artists.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?AHH. honestly, probably photography (digital & film). I don't do it nearly as much as I'd like to. I just want ALL the gear and ALL the money to travel and make ALL the art. I also use different mediums for different outlets, Photography is more weird and conceptual for me, I really like weird things. Illustration is usually motivated by something fucked up about society or politics. Design is my logical side, the problem-solving side - a never-ending challenge that gives us the balls of steel and the patience of a growing avocado tree.
4. What is your artistic process like?It's painful. I think I think too much. I never really feel finished or 100% happy or even great at what I do, but I just keep going. Do lots of research, learn about everything around you and try and make something better than or different from what you've seen before.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?Yoh, so many people, so many things. I have great friends and mentors that are artists in their own way. The people that I work with are amazing, I'm so lucky. The most influence a creative duo has ever had over me is probably: Maurizio Cattelan & Pierpaolo Ferrari (Toilet Paper Magazine) While I was studying that was all I wanted to do - make art like that.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?If you had asked me 10 years ago what I'd be doing today - making pretty things for a living would never have been the answer. I don't think we realize how important art is, it'S how we document history & culture, it's a personal expression that a million other people can simultaneously feel. I don't think of life & art as two separate things. I think that if we spent more time focused on art, the world would be a better place, imagine 20 minutes of art news instead of celebrity gossip - DAMN that would be the best. As a creative, you're always looking at the world with a question mark, trying to understand why things are the way they are.
7. Where did you study?The open Window, School of Visual Communication
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?I currently work in an agency (sort of) and I'd be pretty stoked to still be here in 5, it's the best, the work we do is great and actually means something. Other than that I just want to travel and collaborate with different artists, I get the exact same nervous-excited-happy-OMG-my-life-is-the-best feeling the night before a flight as well as the night before a big project with someone I've always wanted to work with. I want to be taken seriously (I fucken hate being young) I see myself probably still hustling to survive but still doing what makes me happy.
9. What about in ten?I just want to have an international exhibition, maybe an award or 7. Don't ask me for what yet, only future Lauren knows.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?A smile, maybe an understanding of some sort. It's easier to convey information through art than it is to read about it or teach it to someone (I know that's a pretty ballsy statement WOAH HOLD ON EVERYONE) - It's an easy way to say 'look at what's fucked up about the world, understand it, fix it and don't do it again.'
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?Mashed Potato or potato bake - Also breakfast (my cats names are bacon & eggs) breakfast from my favourite restaurant WIMPY! (locals will laugh at that one)
12. Favourite book?Zoo City by Lauren Beukes or one of Stephen King's short story compilation books. I LOVE dark dystopian things.
13. Favourite genre of music?UHMM, I won't choose, I listen to most things. Favourite bands: Portugal. The Man, Radiohead & Arcade Fire.
14. What are your hobbies?Sleeping, crushing on other people's work, I like to play a handful of songs on guitar. Drums for when I'm angry, Snapchat for when I'm bored. Drawing for when my heart is broken and writing when I feel like I have something important to say & taking photo's when I want to forget about everything else. Can someone sponsor me to travel as a hobby?
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?A cat. or a really great musician. A cat that's a really great musician. Can I be David Bowie? Am I allowed to take it that far?