ROAR: We met Lauren through an art/music collaboration event. Safe to say we are huge fans of her illustrations, paintings, murals and more! Lauren, how did a country girl end up in the city being at the forefront of edgy creative art and designs?
Lauren: Ah thanks guys! I landed in the city after school when I went straight onto art school for university. I knew I wanted to study art and I only applied for the one school in Sydney because my art teacher (who was totally rad) had gone there and said it would be up my alley. According to her I would be in a band and painting in all my spare hours… Laughs* So I didn't even look into anything else. I’ve been kicking around here in Sydney since and lucky for me I still get to splash paint around.
Oh, I don't have a band yet by the way… Still working on that!
ROAR: We can't wait for the band! We see the name 'Lost Boys' with your work? Where does it come from?! Very intriguing and mysterious haha!
Lauren: Good segue… laughs* Speaking of my band the ‘Lost Boys’ will make up drums, base, keyboard and banjo! Ah, there’s actually a few reasons for that name… I have a habit of rambling so will take care not to write you an entire essay. The main reason is that it refers to my tendency to indulge in a bit of Peter Pan syndrome. I don't think I have grown up just yet and I don't see it happening anytime soon. The pseudonym encompasses all of my creative pursuits, not just my visual art, and so it’s an overarching perspective and state of mind that I try to impart upon all my work.
ROAR: I think we have Peter Pan syndrome too! We love all the cactus art and American roadhouse images you create? Where does this inspiration come from? Did you grow up watching cowboy flicks?
Lauren: Ha, no! It’s funny you ask that. I actually kind of hated Westerns as a kid… Those themes are something that have been with me since I was young though. I travelled to the US when I was quite young and visited some interesting and inspiring places full of cowboys, cacti, Navajo silver, steel guitars and deserts. I loved it all even then!
In more recent years my attraction to this imagery has evolved to encompass a romantic ideology of the outlaw character. The wayward traveller. The misunderstood pirate. The lonesome lover. The sentiment of the sailor and his sea. Once again, I have conjured some convoluted notions and tales about these characters over the years… They are who I often speak of in my work.
ROAR: These characters you write and draw about are epic! We especially love your fonts with bright retro colours and styles. Do you find these go hand in hand with your artworks?
Lauren: I have been using text in my work for a while now and really enjoy it. At first I actually found using words one of the most daunting things to do. As someone who has always painted and drawn I don't really have many qualms sharing pictures, but words felt like a whole new level of honesty. I’m not so shy about it now and generally keep the text lighthearted on the surface. The fonts and fun typography are another way to contrast a message that might be a little heavier underneath. At the end of the day I like to have fun with it but I might also be using some flashy bright pink to sneakily distract you from something else.
ROAR: We have been following your progress for the last few months and have noticed some massive opportunities coming your way. Tell us about some of them and how you hooked them up!?
Things have been pretty flat out lately which is great. I’ve been working away on a few collaborations which are starting to be released and have some more exciting ones up my sleeve!
I’ve teamed up with Australian fashion label Backstage to create a capsule collection, BACKSTAGE X LAUREN WEBSTER which was launched with a preview of a few pieces at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week last week. So that was a whole lot of fun and there’s plenty more to come from that collab so am looking forward more goodness with those guys.
I’ve also been working with an awesome skateboard company from Byron Bay, Lark Skate Co. We're doing some limited edition skateboards which has been a blast.
I’ll also be collaborating with an iconic Australian surfboard company this year which I can’t wait to get to to work on. As well as that I have some fun product designs and a bunch of other art projects on the way!
I guess most of those gigs have come about by being a friendly (potentially over-friendly) stranger and chatting to people… ha. Either that or because some of those guys have stumbled upon my work and just been really open about expressing an interest in doing something together. Which I love!
ROAR: Safe to say your smashing it!! Nothing better than collaboration. We are in love with the ocean and pirates similar to some of your pieces? Has this style come naturally to you and if so why?
Lauren: The ocean is something I have been drawn to a little later in life. I never had much to do with the sea or the beach as a kid growing up in the country but more and more I am seduced by it’s charms. Nowadays I live near the ocean and it’s become more important to me than I thought it ever would. My artworks which reference those things must be somewhat a result of that. I never really thought about it to be honest… It just crept in. The pirate though, the guy I mentioned before, he’s another one of my anti-heroes, much like the outlaw, who’s story I like to tell. I doubt we’ve seen or heard the last of him.
ROAR: Sounds rad! What is in the near future that excites you with your art and creative mind?!
Lauren: Well for starters the projects and collaborations I just mentioned have definitely got me pretty darn excited! So they're number one in my sights right now. Aside from those though I would love to go for a bit of a wander, nomad-gypsy style of course, and spend some time travelling and gathering ideas to start creating a new body of artwork. I think by the time I get that under my belt and out of my system it should be high time for me to have another solo show… your all invited to come play!