Experimenting with Visual Art

Lauren Guymer is a Melbourne based visual artist, with a Bachelor in Communication Design. She is currently working as a gallery assistant at Melbourne Arts Club, and is working towards her first solo exhibition in September. In the lead up to her debut exhibition, we caught up with her for a little chat.

Hey Lauren, How did you first begin to experiment with visual art?
Hey Giddy! Visual art has been in my life for as long as I can remember. Whilst growing up my mum practiced painting, I hung out with my dad in his shed while he designed his own surfboards, and both of my older sisters practiced painting and drawing. My grandpa is also an amazing landscape painter too! Throughout my childhood I experimented with so many styles and mediums, creativity has always been the most ‘normal’ and natural thing to me.

DSC_0800And how has this developed to the artist you are today?
I guess after 24 years of using whatever medium I could get a hold of has taught me a few things. I’ve learnt to understand my strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly to never give up.

With having been showcased in a plethora of group exhibitions, what’s the best advice for other artists trying to get their work out there?
Half the time I have no idea what I’m doing, but have learnt so many things along the way. Starting as a novice has been so great in that sense. Research a lot, ask for help and suggestions, attend exhibition openings, talk to other artists and industry professionals, and apply for exhibition call outs. Networking is really scary for me, but having friends and contacts in the industry goes a long way.

What is your creative process behind each new piece of work?
Everything I draw is from imagination or snippets of where I’ve been, so before the process even begins I need to have a good dose of inspiration. I regularly visit new places, go camping, bushwalking, and so forth. Most of the time my ideas come straight away and I’ll do a really simple sketch and go straight to pen work. Other times I do several sketches, make grids, stress a little, pat my dog, draw something really bad, then come back the next day and start again. Each new piece is getting harder and harder for me as I try to make them more complex or different from the last.

2015We love the compositions of your black and white pieces, what is it about these colours that you love so much?
It was never my intention to solely work with pen and ink, but it’s so addictive and satisfies my undiagnosed OCD haha. I go to pretty extensive lengths with my technique where I use tiny repetitive dots and lines. It takes ages to complete and a lot of motivation, but that’s apart of the fun. Not many people have as much patience as I (or other artists) do.

Growing up in Melbourne, how do you think this city has influenced your work and development as an artist?
It’s influenced by development massively! There are so many talented arty babes and friends doing amazing things, it inspires me daily. About 16 months ago I flicked a switch and told myself I could do the same, so I did. There is so much support available from local galleries, businesses, professionals, other artists etc.

Space Cave 2015If you could choose any canvas in the world to place your art on, which city and what would it be on?
I’d probably go to the moon and draw a huge smiley face into the surface.

What can we expect from your debut solo exhibition at ‘Off The Kerb Gallery’ in September?
The exhibition will feature a series of landscape drawings that I’ve been working on for the past five months. It’s been my biggest project to date, so everyone better come or we’re not friends anymore. The exhibition opens on Friday 30 September, from 6pm, Collingwood

And lastly, for those wanting to buy one of your prints where should they go?
I have an online store – www.laurenguymer.bigcartel.com or you can visit my website www.laurenguymer.com and Instagram @lauren_guymer.The Pines 2015

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