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How to find the artist within


COURTNEY McCLURE The Standard


Lauren Walker is a local artist who has achieved a few awards and organized shows. One of her first shows was the Kent Farndale Gallery, at the Scugog Memorial Public Library, in Port Perry.

Lauren said if you are an artist, the best skill you can learn is confidence. Pursuing an art professional helped build her self-confidence and improve her patience.

About two months ago, in April, Lauren won first place at the 56th Annual Oshawa Artist Association Juried Show at the McLaughlin Gallery. The piece she entered was titled “Queen Street, Port Perry in the Early 1900’s.”

Lauren also entered two of her pieces into a portrait competition hosted by Art and Color 365 Magazine. Her and the work of the other finalists will be published in their next issue and featured on their website, too.

Art and Color 365 is an online art gallery. You can visit their website at artandcolor365.com.

When Lauren first started painting, she didn’t think she would have a lot of success. She said this is a common thought for many artists.

“I felt compelled to pursue [painting], and I really haven’t let anything stop me,” she said. “It’s a compulsion.”

Lauren tries to keep her self-talk as positive as possible. If she is having issues with one of her pieces, she usually stops working on it for a while.

“Usually what I tell myself is, ‘I’ll figure it out,” she explained.

When you are an artist, negative feedback can and should be expected. However, Lauren said she considers where the feedback is coming from. The person giving the feedback may not have any experience in a creative field. Other artists are more likely to give you feedback on how you can improve and provide advice on how to do that.

Although Lauren doesn’t tend to give advice to other artists unless specifically asked, her best piece of advice is to keep practising. “If you are going to improve in anything, you’re going to need to practice,” she said.

Her first painting was a black and white piece of John Lennon from the Beatles.

“I left [painting] for a very long time,” she explained. “I dabbled in it on and off for a few years. And I didn’t really get back into it until about three and a half years ago.”

“I was going through a rough time, personally,” she briefly explained. “So I found art was just my ‘peace.’”

Creating art, specifically painting, helped Lauren handle what life was throwing at her. After picking art back up, Lauren realized how much she enjoyed being creative, so she kept going and didn’t stop.

Lauren has a few upcoming shows this year. In August, her work will be on display at the Whitby Public Library. Later in October, you can find her work at the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby.

If you would like to see more of Lauren’s work, you can visit her social media pages on Instagram. Her Instagram username is @theartistwithin86.

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