Lauren Taylor Creates

My Ireland

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I have such a love for this island that I now get to call home. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling around Ireland over the past three years and wanted a way to compile my favorite places and memories. What better way than to create a book full of illustrations, photos and stories of my time so far in Ireland! Blurb is a company that lets you create anything from photo books to magazines. When I saw their gorgeous examples and especially the layflat option I knew it would work perfectly for what I wanted  to create.

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Most of my art is inspired by my travels and I’ve been working on a lot more landscapes recently. I knew I wanted to push myself as an artist and go above and beyond since this project was a personal one. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve created new maps, scenes and illustrations of my favorite places around Ireland. It was fun going back and looking at old photos and being reminded of amazing trips and beautiful locations. 

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After I finished creating the artwork and selecting the photos I wanted to include, I used their free software BookWright to compile everything and layout how I wanted to book to be. It’s totally customizable which I loved as it made it easy to add my artistic twist. 

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The final product turned out perfectly. Anyone who is paper obsessed like me will greatly appreciate the quality and texture of the paper. The layflat book has double thick pages so there are no seams on any of the spreads. This meant I could spread paintings and even text across two pages without worrying about something getting hidden or lost.

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I’m excited to share more of my travels around Ireland. It’s definitely an ongoing exploration as I’m constantly finding new places to visit and I’m excited to soak up all the beauty and inspiration Ireland has to offer!

Thank you Blurb for sponsoring this post. 

Pop Up in Charleston

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I absolutely love Charleston, SC! The history, colorful buildings, friendly people... it's such an amazing a beautiful city! Now that much of my family has settled there, I love visiting as often as I can. On a recent trip, I partnered up with the most adorable local shop, Mac & Murphy for a pop up of original artwork and prints! 

Mac & Murphy is a beautiful paper store that has lovely cards, prints, stationary and accessories and the owner Liz and her team made me feel right at home as soon as I walked through the door. The pop up was a one night affair with some of my best selling artwork, bubbles and great fun. I absolutely loved live painting and talking to people who braved the rain to make it down. For the event, I created a new piece of artwork, Charleston Doors and had the framed original available along with prints of the new painting (now available in my online print shop). This painting is obviously inspired by the colorful doors around Charleston and I wanted something extra special and local for the pop up. I hope to have another pop up soon and am excited to meet more of you in person! 

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Top Moments of 2017

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I feel like as I get older the years get shorter. 2017 completely flew by! It was a tough year that taught me a lot, challenged me and forced me to deal with my demons however it was also an amazing year filled with so much joy, travel, and love. I always find myself looking forward and on to the next thing which is great because it pushes me to want more and to go outside my comfort zone, but sometimes I forget to look back and the amazing things I've accomplished. So, I'm taking some time to reflect on the special moments of 2017. 

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Snowmobiling on New Years Day
Instead of laying around with a hangover, I wanted to spend the first day of the new year doing something I've never done before and that would be epic. My youngest sister and one of my oldest friends and I woke up early to drive up to South Lake Tahoe and explore the back country on snowmobiles. It was completely exhilarating and the views were breathtaking. It was so much fun and such a great way to kick off 2017!

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Plein Air Painting with Kathleen Dumphy
Early in the year I was feeling a bit disconnected from watercolor painting and when my friend Kathleen Dumphy invited me back to her plein air workshop I jumped at the opportunity to dive into oils for a weekend. Kathleen is an extremely talented oil painter and her workshop is all about light, how to approach a painting and using a simplified palette. I've learned so much from Kathleen and I'm excited to get out more on my own in 2018 in Ireland with my oils!

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Around the World Series
In 2015 I joined the #100dayproject and did #100daysofportraits. It was a lot of fun and challenging so I decided to do it again in 2017. This time I did #100daysaroundtheworld and created paintings of iconic landmarks and scenes. It was fun painting on location, painting some of my favorite places and some places I would love to visit!

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LOVE Victoria's Secret
I created 52 custom paintings for the launch of Victoria's Secret new perfume LOVE. They gifted my paintings to beauty editors and influencers along with the perfume and other VS swag. The portraits were such a personal gift and they received amazing feedback. I loved seeing on InstaStories and Instagram posts how much these women loved my artwork. It was such a dream working with Victoria's Secret and I'm so excited to work with them again in the future!

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Proposal
This was by far my favorite moment in 2017! My boyfriend James proposed to me while we were on vacation in Greece. We were sailing through the Greek islands with Med Sailors for a week. We woke up one morning before sunrise and took the paddle board out to the middle of a bay to watch the sun come up. The sky and water were a brilliant orange. The water was perfectly still and I felt so at peace and happy. As the sun rose he held the ring up around the sun and then asked me to marry him and I said yes. It was so romantic and such an intimate moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

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Women and the Ocean
Combining two of my favorite things - drawing women and the ocean. As a diver I’m obsessed with sharks and I’ve been trying to come up with a way to mix this obsession into my artwork. Since sharks are usually portrayed as scary mindless monsters I wanted to make a different statement. One that’s a little playful and inquisitive as I’ve found sharks to be in my diving experience. Definitely have a lot more concepts and ideas so I'm excited to continue this series in 2018.

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International Shipping
Even the little wins should be celebrated, so I was excited to be able to offer international shipping for prints this year. It's something I had been working on for a while and had a hard time finding another printer that would ship internationally. I'm glad I waited because the right partner came along.

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Cross Country Trip with Mom and Buddy
I helped my mom load up a 12ft Penske truck and we drove from California to South Carolina over 7 days with her lab Buddy. It was a big move for her and I was glad to be able to help her with this transition. More than that, we made the trip really fun and stopped off in some amazing places like the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest and Santa Fe. We listened to audiobooks, laughed, sang and played with Buddy. It was definitely a memorable trip and I'm glad to have spent that quality time with my mom. 

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Moving to Ireland
Shortly after helping my mom move, my fiancé visa was approved! I thought my visa would take forever and was plesantly surprised that it got approved way before I expected. I packed up the rest of my belongings and purchased a one way ticket to Ireland. My mom and brother ended up coming to visist and spent Christmas with us and my sister and her husband are here now spending New Year's with us! I'm so excited to be settled and living with James.

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Travels
This year has been full of amazing trips! I went to Chicago for St. Patty's day to visit my best friend, Scotland, Barcelona, New York, Conneticut, and had some amazing adventures around Ireland. 

I'm so excited to make plans and goals for 2018 and to see what the new year has in store! What was your favorite thing about 2017?

Happy New Year!

 

LTC Gift Guide: Photographer

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A few years ago I got really into photography. I bought an entry level Nikon DSLR and became obsessed with learning how to use it and learning about aperture and shutter speed. Then as my art business grew I picked up my camera less and less until I barely used it at all. It started to feel bulky and I was drawn to using my iPhone to take photos out of convenience. Recently I've been using my Nikon again and I'm reminded why I loved it years ago. While it's not the most professional camera, it takes beautiful bokeh shots and gorgeous portraits. When I am out somewhere and see something I know I want to paint but don't have my supplies with me, it's nice to have a good camera to capture the image to paint it in my studio later. Or even just to keep the beautiful photo and be reminded of the moment. So whether you're an iPhone photographer or a Leica photographer, this gift guide is for you! I included a few fun gifts for the camera obsessed like my Pink Camera Series phone case and this adorable camera necklace; to more practical gifts like the backup hard drive and the Adobe Cloud Photography Plan. Let me know which gift is your favorite and what you're hoping to receive this Christmas?

Lauren

LTC Gift Guide: Diver

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1. Shark Giclee Print // 2. Regulator // 3. Wetsuit // 4. Wading Giclee Print // 5. Mermaid Earrings // 6. "This is not a plastic bag" Tote // 7. Swimsuit // 8. Wet bag // 9. Octopus Giclee Print // 10. Adopt a Shark // 11. BCD // 12. GoPro Hero 5

Diving is one of my biggest passions! Breathing underwater is exhilarating and the colors and creatures below the water are incredible. I've had some of my favorite adventures underwater or on a dive trip. I spent a week with my best friend on a live aboard in Belize. I completed my Divemaster course in Tenerife and saw a rays, loads of Cuttlefish and even a Mola Mola. The majority of our planet is covered in water and I intend to explore it! So this gift guide is dedicated to those who intend to explore it with me. Whether you're above or below the sea, there's a gift for you. I love this new Girls That Scuba tote and that part of the proceeds go to Plastic Ocean. Also, I am obsessed with sharks and my best friend is too. The fact that I can adopt one in her name is absolutely amazing! What are you wishing for for Christmas? 

Lauren