If you haven't heard of Lauren from the blackline more's the pity. Her stunning work has graced such clients as TAG Heuer, Bottega Veneta, Tiffany & Co, La Prairie, Swarovski, Patron, Spell & The Gypsy Collective, LOVER The Label, MIMCO, Megan Gale, Williams-Sonoma Pty Ltd, Pottery Barn, West Elm, MAX MEDIA LAB, MAX Connectors, Westfields, Maison du Maillot, House of Airlie, Collabosaurus, A21 Campaign & The Children’s Cancer Institute. Which is a pretty impressive list.
But more than this, she is a chick who took the time to answer my questions with thought and care, which I think really speaks about her as a person, considering there was very little, in it for her.
After a conversation regarding personal assistants (she has none) and creativity ( she has a boatload) Lauren agreed to chat to me for this post. I had many burning questions and side note, I'm a fan.
Starting with her epic, epic name. "the blackline by Lauren". With a brand that is all about the shape of the blackline and converting that into beautiful written words this name encompasses what she does so well.
" I went through a series of ideas"
With an aesthetic dominated by the colour black and the use of black ink, Lauren knew that black had to be somewhere in the name of her brand. "Everyone shot my ideas down as being politically incorrect or racist - The Black Press and The Black Agency being two of them." A little hindsight and she could see their point, but as we all know when you're caught up in the big dream of what you want your idea to morph into, you can miss the obvious things. In the end a brainstorming session with her mum birthed "the blackline" While unconventional to run two words together Lauren knew it imitated her art, in which "all things are fluid and my definition of calligraphy is blurred; I don't play by the traditional rules but I play with traditional tools." With a brand that continues to evolve and grow and develop into more than just calligraphy "the blackline by Lauren" is a name that encompasses all that the business is and can grow into.
Pretty damn wise if you ask me.
With "the Blackline by Lauren" starting as a side hustle or as Lauren calls it "moonlighting" I wanted to know what gave Lauren the last push over the line, to go her own way. " i hated my job... as simple as that" she also had this to say
"I think it is worth pursuing a side hustle if you have a burning desire to do it and if you think about doing it a lot".
However Lauren recommends having a dose of realism about what it will take to pursue a creative career, the sacrifices involved that might turn your love of something against it. Start with moonlighting she advises, it buys you time to start, tweak ideas and see if you still will love it, if you have to do it all the time. "it gives you the time to see if the side hustle that you're working on is sustainable, and give your ideas time to evolve to a point where you're comfortable to step into it as a full time career."
We talked Creativity, a word that is used so often it can lose its meaning. I asked how Lauren defines creativity
"My personal definition of creativity would have to be the inexhaustible pursuit & exploration of beauty through making, imagining and problem solving."
Which has to be one of the most beautiful definitions I have seen/heard. Making, imagining and problem solving, we all do these. All of us in our daily lives do these. "creativity is so much more than the making of things. It's rooted in the way we conceive of ideas and the way we solve problems" I agreed, wholeheartedly.
Creativity is in our essence, in the way we approach things, in so many aspects of our daily lives.
I asked what things do you do in your day other than work that you consider creative? "this raises the question of when I'm not working in my day... I've got a fascination with cultivating beauty and creating the life you want. And lets be honest, it requires ongoing creativity to bring that about with the constraints of time and budget; and my brand in many ways is the embodiment of that pursuit in which I string together words, ideas, imagery and lifestyle."
I don't think my creativity is ever really isolated from the work I do.
Lauren works on Pen and paper with her calligraphy then converts to digital, keeping a sense of purity to her work. She fell in love with the art of writing as much as calligraphy, "it was a creative escape and a beautiful vehicle to explore my love of words and their power to change the world"
I wanted to know what advice she had for those who don't consider themselves creative... "You'll probably never tap into creativity if you tell yourself you're not creative." Everyone has creativity its just discovering what flavour yours is, whether it is "creative problem solving, creating , managing, whatever."
"Put yourself in the way of discovering that creativity, whether its attending short courses, looking at your strengths in workplace scenarios and how you respond to problems ect. Then cultivating those skills in as many ways as possible."
On the importance of creativity:
"It is the heart of innovation and if we are going to keep moving forward and improving on where we've been, creativity is key."
Laurens favourite quote
Love her but leave her wild - Atticus
Last but not least I asked what her fave song was, Lauren thought this was the hardest question I asked but said, she was obsessed with Alaska by Maggie Rogers. I had never heard of this song or artist, but now it's on repeat and I cannot get it out of my head. "It inspires feelings of wanderlust" for me too Lauren.