Kärlek: Hi Lauren! Tell us a bit about yourself!
LK: Hi, I'm Lauren!
As a fine artist who lives in Emmaus, PA, I manage a studio as a resident artist at the Banana Factory Arts Center (Studio 345) and volunteer as the vice president with the Emmaus Arts Commission, a group that focuses on developing art events and enhancing an appreciation of the arts in my community. As far as my paintings go, I specialize in custom, commissioned oil paintings that offer opportunities to capture a 'moment' in lieu of a basic likeness. I regularly show my paintings in national juried shows, and I'm always on the lookout for more opportunities to use my art to help those in my community.
Kärlek: What was the inspiration behind your art?
Last year, a customer asked me to paint his daughters' surfboard as a surprise graduation gift. It was her very first surfboard and since she was graduating from the University of Hawaii, we chose a design of banana leaves and yellow hibiscus. For this backpack, I wanted to employ a similar pattern that offered the opportunity to use a variety of colors and shapes, so I went with a similar leaf pattern but with pink plumerias. On the inside of the backpack, I alternated the color of the leaves to purple to add some pop.
Kärlek: Love it! :-) So, which mediums did you use and what made you choose them?
LK: I used Winsor and Newton Professional acrylic paints with a Golden painting medium. I'm not familiar with paint markers, and so I stuck with the traditional brush-and-paint combo.
Kärlek: What did you enjoy most about using a Kärlek backpack as your canvas?
LK: I liked how the seams of the bag sectioned it into parts, so I could pick different colors and designs for each area, complimenting the shape of the bag. The clean, white surface allowed the colors to really "sing" and leaving some of the bag in white left a clean trim around artwork. Also, the glassy surface of the fabric (unlike canvas, with the toothy "waffle" pattern) allowed the paint to go on really smoothly.
Kärlek: Do you have any tips or thoughts to share about your experience?
LK: I think stuffing the bag full of clothing made it easier to paint, as it prevented any folds from interfering with the paint. I had a good time painting this bag! It really made me think in "3D" which really stretched my creative muscles.
You can see more of Lauren's work on her Instagram: @art_by_lauren_kuhn