Lauren Taylor Creates

watercolor

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. 

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!

 

Inspired: Lesley Murphy

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 Who is she: Travel blogger from The Road Les Traveled

What makes her inspiring: Lesley runs a really successful travel blog called the Road Les Traveled. I met her when I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was living there at the time so I reached out to her after I bought my one-way ticket and asked for advice about where to stay, what to do, etc. She was super friendly and helpful and we met up for lunch a couple times in BA. While her blog is usually filled with amazing travel photography and destination recommendations, recently it’s been filled with stories about boobs.. her boobs to be exact. Lesley’s mom had breast cancer three years ago and she recently found out she carries BRCA2 gene which means she has a high risk of getting breast cancer herself. She took her health into her own hands and elected to have a preemptive double mastectomy. Instead shying away from social media and going offline during this challenging time in her life, she’s documented every step of the process on both her blog and Instagram. She’s shared her thoughts and fears, how to throw a ta ta to the tatas part, photos from her surgery and the process through the reconstruction. While it’s lovely looking at gorgeous photos from around the world, it’s refreshing to see someone with influence to talk about something so personal and difficult. Her openness and positivity through the experience has been so inspiring. 

Find out more:  theroadlestraveled.com

Who would you like to see featured? Email me at laurentaylorcreates@gmail.com to submit someone who inspires you!

Custom paintings from Christmas

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Christmas is my busiest time of year for custom paintings. They are the perfect unique gift to commemorate a trip, for a friend who was recently married or your parents who always wanted a nice family portrait. I love working with clients to turn their memories into beautiful watercolor paintings. Now that the holidays are over and gifts have been given, I'm excited to share with you a few of my favorites from this past Christmas. 

Wedding Illustrations

Travel Illustrations

Interested in a custom painting? Check out the process here and email me with any questions!

Inspired: Ashley Longshore

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Who is she: Ashley Longshore is a hilarious and talented pop artist.

What makes her inspiring: If you don’t follow Ashley Longshore on Instagram, you should. She is a successful pop artist who draws inspiration from fashion, icons and greed. She churns out painting after painting that are bedazzled with beautiful crystals and have cheeky phrases and characters such as Gucci Jesus. Her work is beautiful and she has a long list of celebrity clients and incredible collaborations. Not only is her work over the top, but Ashley is a character herself constantly wearing oversized jewelry and sunglasses and says fuck a lot. 
Ashley is hilarious and really inspiring to follow. Not only does she post her amazing work but she constantly posts motivational and inspirational quotes along with her own positive thoughts. In a recent post she wrote “I hope that today you say fuck it, and make the decision to live the life you have always wanted.. it is not the easy way, but it IS the better way… live a fulfilled life chasing your dream not someone elses. Your time is precious. I love you!” 
She also encourages artists to skip the galleries and promote themselves and for art enthusiasts to purchase art directly from the artist (since galleries typically take anywhere from 50% - 70% commission). She’s making waves in the art industry and doing it her own way and encouraging other artists to do the same.

Find out more: http://www.ashleylongshore.com/
Follow her on Instagram

Who would you like to see featured? Email me at laurentaylorcreates@gmail.com to submit someone who inspires you!