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Meet Lauren Song

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Song.

Lauren, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up watching my mother draw. I remember it seemed like magic was coming out of her hands. She sacrificed her career to move to the US and stay home to take care of us, and she would draw and paint to fill the time. My sister and I would see her background paintings on the TV shows we watched as kids from when she was working in Korea, and I think it was the first time I realized that art was a career possibility. If you ever ask chefs how they started to love cooking, usually their answer is that they helped a family member out in the kitchen as a kid. Like them, I used to spend time drawing next to my mom, and this easily became something that would fill me with excitement and peace.

Sometimes I feel like a part of me chose to pursue art to fulfill the dream my mother couldn’t, but I know if I had chosen anything else I would’ve always lived in regret. Art played a huge part in my healing and growth. It was always something I could come home to and do without making too much noise. Mindless creating was a way for me to reflect on my battles, and developing my technical skills was an ongoing challenge that kept me motivated. Before college, my art was for me and me only, and I definitely miss that sometimes. But I always feel incredibly lucky to have been supported to major in it. Being an art student has taught me to value my work, embrace criticism, and to make what I want to make. And I hope to always keep learning, even after graduating.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I was born and raised in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. I had a rough and chaotic yet somehow also extremely boring childhood. I would get lost in film, music, and photography, just to keep myself distracted and passionate about something, and I think it actually had a huge influence on the type of work I am interested in making now. There were definitely times when I was really lost about what my voice was and whether it was even needed, and sometimes I still am. Art is such a personal pursuit. Our work demands so much of our identities, personalities, and stories, so it is definitely a very vulnerable and flustering experience. I think in the beginning, I definitely wanted to hide parts of myself and just make visually pleasing work that can be easily digested by anyone, but I noticed my work started to look bland and disconnected from who I was.

At one point, I dove heavily into abstraction just so I could really pour myself into my work without having everyone fully understand what the piece was about. I think now I’m more open to sharing who I am, as I’m starting to better understand myself as well, and I want to connect to people through what I make. It also feels rewarding reflecting on my own processes and growth embedded in my past work, and I don’t regret any of the confusion or fear I felt throughout it all.

Please tell us more about your art.
I am an aspiring illustrator and designer. I draw, paint, sculpt, digitally draw and paint, animate, and am always open to exploring new media. My work is eclectic like my many interests and identities but is always bound together by my desire to translate the deeply felt weight of my mind and surroundings. I hope to push boundaries with storytelling and allow my work to not only be viewed but experienced through discovering the carefully placed symbols behind my textures, shapes, and figures.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I think aside from tangible achievements, I have finally become more confident in the work I create and the purpose behind all of it. For the first time, I feel like I have the right to take up space, and a lot of it, so I’m excited for the future.

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