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Meet Lesley Goren

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lesley Goren.

Lesley, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After graduating from art school (I attended RISD and the Museum School, Boston) I worked in many art-related jobs, doing painting restoration, fine art printing, decorative painting, etc… I also had a few cooking jobs, which is an art form, too. With those jobs, I was employed by someone else, and I would use my “free” time to make fine art.

Over the last year I decided to shift my focus by blending fine art with design and by starting my own business, My brand is me, Lesley Goren; I create illustrations and designs with an emphasis on natural and environmental themes. In addition to client work, I have launched a stationery line, which focuses on the native flora of California. My products use eco-friendly materials.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been certain projects I felt passionate about which received a rather lack luster response. Other projects which I wasn’t excited about have proved quite successful. Working with clients and consumers is a whole new game for me, I view it as learning to be a better listener, a more intuitive collaborator. Now I find the process of client work to be very rewarding, and stronger than work I can create on my own.

Also learning about producing goods has been challenging, although rewarding. I really believe people should buy less stuff, but better stuff. I have spent many hours researching vendors and manufacturers who use eco-friendly materials and produce in an ethical way. This is more costly and time-consuming, but it matters to the health of our planet.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Lesley Goren – what should we know?
I am fortunate to live and work in a paradise located just outside of Los Angeles. My studio is adjacent to 11,000 acres of relatively untouched land, Topanga State Park. This is a deep wilderness filled with canyons and creeks, woodlands and grasslands, yet it resides within a giant metropolis. I have frequent animal visitors in my yard- coyotes, bobcats, hawks, rattlesnakes, owls, and there is a resident mountain lion in the area, which I haven’t been lucky enough to see yet!

This area is located within the California Floristic Province, a biodiversity hot spot. This means there is an extremely diverse group of endemic plants in this area. These plants can not exist in any other area, there are irreplaceable. Being a biodiversity hotspot also signifies that an area has already lost over 70% of its native vegetation. Without the native plants, the insects, birds and mammals that all depend on these plants are also at risk.

My surroundings have greatly informed my work, especially in today’s political climate. I’ve realized the importance of protecting these unique landscapes. I want to raise awareness of specific plants and specific places in a world that is increasingly becoming homogenized and monochrome. My art and designs aim to inspire people to connect with their natural surroundings to help preserve them.

In addition, I create nature specific work in a style that feels very different from many contemporary botanical artists. I prefer bold design and color, intense patterning, and a combination of design with fine art. I think this looks feels fresh and fun, and can engage a wide audience.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I am constantly inspired and pushed to do better things by the people who surround me, especially the people who work to preserve the health of our planet. The folks at the Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley are a wealth of plants and information for those wishing to restore the environment, even if its one plant at a time. I have learned so much from this organization.

I also donate 10% of my retail sales to another inspiring organization, the Wildlands Conservancy, who has a dual mission: “To preserve the beauty and biodiversity of the earth and to provide programs so that children may know the wonder and joy of nature.”

In addition, I have the best supporters at home, my husband, Chris, and kids Collin and Siobhan, who are always excited to see what I create and challenge me to grow beyond of my own self-imposed limitations.

Pricing:

  • Cards (singles and gift sets) $4.00 – $20.00
  • Art Prints $25.00 – $35.00
  • Button pins $6.00
  • original art $150.00 +
  • Organic Tote Bags $26.00 – $30.00

Contact Info:


Image credit:
Art Lens LA

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