These adorable illustrations are the creations of Andrea Lauren of Paper Sparrow, and they're just whimsical enough to leave you with a smile. Her prints, especially, are perfect for the Nursery. Today Andrea will let us in on the process of making this little menagerie.
(AW) Have you always been an artist?
(AL) I'm more comfortable saying that I've always been creative. I began playing cello at age 3 and have fond memories of art class, ballet and music class from my childhood. I stuck with music and have a graduate degree in cello performance. Other than a few art classes I took in high school and college, I'm self-taught. During my graduate work, I injured my wrist which meant I spent a lot less time practicing and playing cello than I should have; I found painting as a stress relief and haven't stopped since. The tables have turned and I spend more time with art these days, but I still play cello in the local orchestra and am hoping to put together a CD of my music soon.
(AW) How are the characters in your prints born?
(AL) Most of my art starts as a sketch or a doodle until I'm happy with a character and then I think "who is this little guy?" and "what does he like to do?" I like to define a certain element of the personality or the story and then the rest just falls into place naturally.
(AW) How would you describe your aesthetic?
(AL) I like to think of my work as whimsical; it's always progressing and changing form; at the moment though, it has a childlike nostalgia to it. I wasn't an outdoor kid per se, but my fondest memories of growing up in England were half term and summer trips to the New Forest. I remember splashing in puddles, running down hills, seeing deer, and owls, sheep, cows, and ducks and I like to think that my art is an extension of those memories.
(AW) What's your creative process like?
(AL) Sometimes I have a lot of ideas where I will sketch for a few days and then paint for a few. I paint a lot of pieces in groups, having anywhere from 2-5 going at one time. Certain pieces make it and others don't. I'm becoming more and more picky about what I'm happy with so lots of ideas get recycled or put on hold until they progress into something I'm happy with. Usually, I can't take much of a break, because if I go for more than a week without drawing or painting, I don't quite feel like myself.
(AW) What inspires you to make your work?
(AL) Memories can inspire my artwork, animals, photographs, etc. I love being outside, walking in the woods, seeing animals, and taking road trips. I've been lucky to take several road trips over the past few years with my boyfriend Paul. We've driven from Florida to Maine, all throughout the South and Midwest and last year we drove from Florida to Oregon and back. Places like Maine, North Carolina and Oregon have such breathtaking beautiful scenery, and I think I'm most inspired by the outdoor landscape.
From June onward I will be donating 10% of the sales in my etsy shop to various animal charities on a rotating schedule and will also have special prints that I will donate a bigger percentage to specific charities. I'll be talking more about this on my blog in the coming days.
Thanks for the opportunity to share a little more about me and my work, and I'm happy to be a part of Art Wall.
(AW) Truly using your artistic genius for good! Thanks for your time Andrea, and Art Wall is very happy to have you too!
Andrea's print, "Snail Meeting," is in the Nursery on Art Wall. Her Etsy shop is home to more adorable animal adventures and mischief. Follow her blog for art, music, vintage, and other such snippets of thought.