We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Purves and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I’m a Scottish Canadian gal living in California. I grew up with Holocaust Survivor grandparents who made nothing into something – a craftsman, a tailor, a fashion designer, and a seamstress. They also owned a scrap metal yard at one point, but we never heard much about that phase.
My dad was (and still is?) an architect. My mom always worked for architects but never practiced herself. She marketed their work.
I fall somewhere all between all of this. I got my degree in Fine Art History, have a background in painting and drawing, but most people would say I’m more of a curator of objects usually under the microscope of the camera. I love textiles, objects that hold a sense of history and storytelling. My love of life revolves around sharing, experiencing, and connecting with like-minded individuals who encourage the ongoing growth for this desire.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been told I have a good eye. Why that sentence isn’t plural always confused me, but that’s for another day. I capture moments, in-between, spaces, a glimpse in – all through my camera. It’s often the things that go unnoticed, so I’ve been told. A shadow on the sidewalk of a balloon blowing in the wind, with a cat climbing along the fence. Sometimes capturing these moments means standing in the middle of the road, climbing a tree, a cliff, or getting close enough to the action. I think I’ve lost friends over interrupting them for the compromise of capturing a moment whilst mid-conversation. Or maybe what they were saying just wasn’t that interesting. Either way, I’m always on the lookout. It could be a contradiction, a juxtaposition, or simply a radically amazing instance that I know needs to be captured.
What’s exciting me right now is the opportunity to enlarge some of my work. I’ve never seen my work large until this year. It’s part of a series of portraits I’m doing along the PCH. I love hearing people’s stories, and when I get the opportunity to take their photo, I believe there’s a beautiful connection that happens beyond our discussion.
How did I get to where I am today professionally? I would say the consistency of sharing my work. Constantly. Never stop creating. Doing what I love and going with instinct, as annoying and cliche as that sounds. Instagram has helped. I’m naturally a visual storyteller, and it’s through my camera where I’m able to share the curiosity and beauty of the world in a way that’s direct and instant. Sharing what I see propels me, it’s my therapy. It hasn’t been easy. I have worked professionally as a Marketing Director, and yet, I had the hardest time marketing myself. I big part of being an artist is knowing how to sell your work. I think I was (and still often am) too close to my work and that gets in the way. What helped me overcome this challenge is becoming less of a perfectionist, and stop comparing myself to others. I also take inspiration from other artists (dead or alive) I look up to. It gives me perspective on what matters, and it usually results in me going with the instinctual mindset I had before doubting myself.
I’ve learned that staying playful, curious, and maintaining a level of creative freedom (whenever you can!) is one of the most important things not only professionally, but also day-to-day. Through COVID-19, my camera became a therapist to seek beauty in the hardest times. I never want to let that drive for beauty go, and I hope to continue to share that with the world through my pictures.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Should out to Dylan Collie, architect/designer/developer at Design Assembly, for all the encouragement, support, and for being there.