For Lauren, creativity is everywhere. It’s found in the beautiful words she crafts by hand and in imagining the path that lies ahead as an entrepreneur. She is the creator behind The Blackline by Lauren – a calligraphy label specialising in unique, handcrafted Calligraphy for luxury brands and personal clients. Having worked with internationally renowned labels including Tiffany & Co., La Prairie, Giorgio Armani, and many more, we couldn't feel more privileged to be collaborating with Lauren this Valentine’s season to bring you beautiful limited edition artworks with each RUUSK gift voucher purchase. Last week we spoke to Lauren about herself and her vision for the Blackline and it's with great pleasure that we introduce you to this talented Sydney creative.
1. Why calligraphy?
Great question! I don't think I chose calligraphy, I think it chose me! Having discovered I wasn't in love with the fashion industry (and I'd really never envisioned or planned for that happening) I was really only left with one other thing that I felt I could do. And that was hand lettering and calligraphy; which I loved but didn't really envision at the time could be anything more than a hobby. I suppose in hindsight it makes sense when I look at my degree of Fashion Design & Journalism - as it it more or less the middle ground between the two.
2. Do you have any rituals that help you get into a creative mindset?
I wouldn't say I have set rituals to get into a creative mindset - but I keep my life spontaneous and open to different experiences / events and have quite an analytical and curious mind which keeps me constantly pushing ideas and inspired. I also make sure that my work environment is beautiful - fresh cut flowers, beautiful surfaces, lots of light and white walls because I'm a visual person and having the right environment sets the tone for me to feel inspired despite the space being the same day in / day out.
3. What are your favourite pieces to create?
It's hard to say! I think any piece that pushes my work in a different direction to what I'm used to adds some excitement to my day! I also love being part of 'secret' commission work - vows to a loved one, surprises that are part of a proposal or attempt to woo someone. I'm a hopeless romantic at heart so I get way too invested in the excitement!
4. What advice would you to someone who wants to pursue a creative career and/or turn their “side hustle” into a career?
Just begin! If you know what you want to do (roughly), sign up for some classes, watch tutorials and start to explore it more. Once you've done that and your passion is still running high for it, start to work on it for 2-3 hours a day on top of your part time / full time job and see if you're still loving it. If it's starting to feel like a bit of a chore, maybe keep it as a side hustle but if all you can think about while you're working your other job is how to expand, grow, create your side hustle and want to be working on that then you're probably in a good position to take the leap. I always advise people to know themselves first - what are you hoping to get out of turning your side hustle into a career and what is your "risk" style. I've spoken to people who have found that their sweet spot is working a few part time jobs with their side hustle to keep them constantly challenged and engaged with some financial security whilst others have thrown themselves in the deep and found that to have worked best for them! Either way, stop planning, get started and it'll organically work itself out!
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Another great question! I stopped planning that far ahead after the fashion dream fell apart; I learnt that it's good to dream and have some loose goals in play but it's also great to stay child-like and open to the opportunities that land in your lap unexpectedly. As such I'm more about planning for the month or the year; which I'm sure will horrify some people in business but it works for me - and some of the best opportunities for the business have been born out of this method. I think I'm more planned about where I'd like to see myself in 5 years in my personal life than my business!