“Make sure you enjoy what you do too. No, scratch that, LOVE what you do. Without that incentive, you cannot possibly hope to survive the competitive industry of Art and Design. It’s what keeps you grounded, it keeps you thinking and it keeps you going when it gets tough. If I’ve learned anything, it’s to keep that love for what you do alive and do it well!”
– Lauren W. Price
Lauren W. Price
Artist and Graphic Designer
Illustrator and Graphic Designer Lauren Price hopes to someday work for Pixar, Disney or Dreamworks as a Storyboard and Concept Artist. Take a look at some of Lauren’s great work and read on here. To find out more you can visit Lauren’s Website, or check out her Facebook, her Online Shop Wynta-illustrations, or her Deviant Art page.
Out of all the different work you have completed, what is your favourite piece of art and why?
…That’s actually a really hard question to answer. It’s like trying to choose between your children. Haha. It changes periodically but I think my favourite at this point is my ‘Mermaid Silhouette.’ I’ve drawn various interpretations of the little mermaid since I was old enough to hold a pencil so to see it cultivate in a current reflection of my skills at this point is just awesome and makes me want to do a better variation next time. It’s a great motivator.
It must take a lot of patience to create such detailed work. What is the longest amount of time you have spent on a piece?
Patience is just the tip of the iceberg. But funnily enough, I don’t think it becomes a major factor when I start working on a concept. Patience falls into the back of my mind and I just want to work until it’s ‘finished’ or at least until it looks ‘right.’ The amount of time spent on a concept really varies. It depends on the nature of the project – what mediums I choose/need to use. And of course the deadline if I have one hanging over my head.
In the past it has taken me hours over a course of days, sometimes weeks, to finish a concept. The most intense I’ve worked on, as of late, would probably be the ‘Mermaid Silhouette’ concept. I was teaching myself new techniques and making adjustments, getting feedback etc. How many times I re-shaped her jaw line or the shape of her nose, I could not put a number to because I couldn’t keep track after a while. It took over 2 weeks to ‘complete’ and even after that I was making changes. “It varies” is the simple answer here haha.
What does a typical day look like for a freelance illustrator and graphic designer?
Well, being a freelancer definitely has its perks. One can choose their own rates, set their own hours- what time of day they start/finish work and how to make contact with their clients via email/phone or in person without having to arrange it through a middle-man. I work primarily from home so it’s like mixing your comfort zone with your office space. I have my art books, a full itunes library, my animator’s light table and a lot of material to draw inspiration from to get the work done. I can get feedback from fellow artist/design contacts via skype/email if I need to and that can really help get a project under way. On the other hand, freelancing has its own distractions (television, facebook, internet in general…) and downsides. Because you work for yourself, you are the artist, the bookkeeper, and the one who writes the payment invoices and has to ensure that you get paid. You’re doing several jobs at once. There isn’t the safety net of a company to give you your weeks’ pay-check or a set 9-5 hour week time frame. You do, sometimes, envy people who have the 9-to-5 jobs. It becomes a bit of a fantasy in the back of your head when you’re stressed out on a deadline. Haha.
Overall, freelancers must rely on themselves. Which can be challenging but it can also be a great teacher and does have its rewards. You find independence. However you are your own boss. And with great power, comes great responsibility.
Your aim is to someday work for an animated film company as a Storyboard Artist and Concept Artist. What is your favourite animation movie and why?
I change my mind about this so often! There are so many to name as favourites for so many reasons. I’m one of those 90’s kids who grew up on the Disney ‘renaissance’ period (circa 1989-1999) and then the Pixar early days- so I’m going to narrow it down to two. My favourite of the Disney renaissance period was ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ I was terrified of the Beast when I first saw the film (I was 4 years-old, you can imagine). But apparently I watched it so often at my aunt’s house that she ended up just giving me the movie (it was a VHR tape back then!) It’s also the earliest Disney film I can remember watching as a child. Plus, my favourite animator/concept artist Glen Keane was the key animator for the Beast (and has contributed to Disney films for over 25 years!) so it’s up there on top of the list.
My favourite Pixar film will have to be ‘UP.’ I first saw it when I was 18 years-old and I can remember just being in absolutely emotional turmoil after the first 10 minutes of that film and by the end of it, I felt that it just reaffirmed my goal to work for either Pixar, Disney or DreamWorks someday. It gave me an ambition boost. It was my “Okay, let’s get serious about this now…” moment.
*I’m actually currently in the development stage of preparing my portfolio to send off to Walt Disney Animation Studios. No pressure or anything…
You are also a Graphics & Fine art Tutor. What’s it like teaching something you are so passionate about?
It’s challenging! Some kids aren’t as interested in the medium as others. Which is fair enough. But when you get at least one student who is just as interested in the medium as you, it all makes the challenge of teaching worthwhile and inspires you to teach them as much as you can.
I actually teach at my old high school, (Applecross Senior High School) in the same Special Art Gifted & Talented program. So I feel like I’m giving my students an opportunity I didn’t really have in my time there. There wasn’t really much to do with Graphics & Fine Art during my time in the program. It’s the classic ‘I didn’t have that in my day! You should count yourself lucky young one!’ So I feel like I’m giving my students the preparation skills I didn’t have at that age. And really, if I can get through to at least one kid and they go on feeling that they have gained some skills they can take with them to university or wherever they go, then I feel like I’ve done my job. It’s a fantastic feeling.
You also run Wynta-Illustrations, where people can buy your work in various forms including canvas, cards and prints. Can you remember selling your first ever piece of work online?
Wynta-Illustrations is only in its toddler stage so it’s still early days with sales. Most of my sales come from specific commission work and they usually come from word-of-mouth opportunities or people contacting me directly. Currently I’m collaborating with an overseas artist and selling prints & merchandise on demand. I can’t recall the first but I can recall the most memorable – which was for a book cover design. It got published and a lot of my new clients still ask if I could sell the print on to them or do something ‘like’ that.
*I’m actually gearing up for the Perth Supanova Pop Culture Convention in June 2014. I will be setting up a stall and selling prints and bags and other merchandise with my work on them. It’s going to be great fun and while it’ll be a LOT of preparation work, it’s going to be an awesome experience. I can’t wait!
Would you say you have a slight fascination with Mermaids?
A “slight” fascination you say? Haha. Oh I know I have a bit of an obsession with mermaids. I loved the little mermaid as a kid. I had the dolls, the colouring-in books… the show bags from the Royal Show…Not much has changed since except I can’t get the show bags and I don’t need to get the colouring-in books because I can draw her myself haha. Anything with mermaids and I’m hooked. They are just so fascinating and fun to draw. I don’t think I’ll ever stop!
You started drawing at a young age. What advice would you give to other aspiring designers and illustrators?
I would say keep drawing. Don’t ever stop drawing! Keep scribbling on napkins at restaurants. Keep watching animated movies that inspire you. Keep buying art books, keep reading about new advances in digital art programs and overall just keep learning. No one should stop learning, especially in this particular industry. In the last few decades, there has been such a boom in technology and mediums/techniques used to create art and design and it would be most unwise not to keep up with the changes and soak up as much knowledge as possible. But make sure you enjoy what you do too. No, scratch that, LOVE what you do. Without that incentive, you cannot possibly hope to survive the competitive industry of art and design. It’s what keeps you grounded, it keeps you thinking and it keeps you going when it gets tough. If I’ve learned anything, it’s to keep that love for what you do alive and do it well!
Lauren W. Price
Artist and Graphic Designer