Hello there! Lauren here - I'm the one-woman show behind A Quartzy Life. You can look around this site or at my instagram and see what my art is all about: it's bright, uplifting, colorful, adventure-inspired, and designed to inspire happiness, joy, and encouragement. I always said - be it through art, images, words, or my own being - that I want to put out into the world what I believe it needs more of: love, gentleness, spirit, encouragement, quiet strength, and then some. But here's a bit about the person behind the creations: my self, my story, and what got me creating.
I was born and raised outside Chicago by my parents: my mom, a (very) Italian New Yorker from Brooklyn, and my dad, a first-generation American whose parents hail from Syria. My parents' personalities and cultural differences made for two unique, fiercely independent girls: myself, and my little sister, born 2.5 years later. I was an introverted, sports-loving tomboy in school, but creative, emotionally intelligent, imaginative, and studious too; an 'old soul' from as far back as I can remember. I always sought meaning, depth, and adventure from life, and never thought as much about a what I would be when I grew up as much as who.
My early and eternal love of reading and writing lead me to study Journalism in college (Science Journalism, specifically, after spending a summer as an intern writing about high-energy particle physics at America's largest accelerator laboratory). I was hooked and in love with all things physics, but it was also in college that I began painting as a hobby. It stuck with me, first as a therapeutic outlet, but soon as something I just couldn't live without. After graduating, I worked at a marketing company for about a year, but felt my heart calling me to pursue more: more adventure, more that made me feel really in touch with who I was (which I was still figuring out), and new journeys, both inner and outer.
So in 2013, at 25, I made the decision to volunteer abroad instead of jumping into a new job. I left my pretty comfortable life in Illinois and found myself in Peru, teaching English and Art at an after school program for young children, and that experience became a turning point in my life both personally, creatively, and spiritually. It was in Peru that my eyes were really opened and I discovered the Lord was pursuing and calling me: to come into who I truly was, to release some pain from my past, and to use the gifts He gave me for my good and His glory. When I got back to the States, I had changed- and continued to change, slowly, into the person I am today.
A Quartzy Life was born in 2014 in my first little apartment in Palatine, Illinois, near where I grew up. I began printing and selling my work online and at shows, and have since moved a few times to explore new places and grow my craft, and my self, and my faith. In 2015 I traveled much of the US, taking a cross-country train trip, visiting my first National Park (Olympic, in beautiful Washington state), and exploring the places and beauty that inspired a new-found sense of freedom, joy, and adventure. I fell in love with the U.S. National Park System and the beauty our land has to offer, and although my heart has always called me to explore far-away places and different cultures, the natural beauty of the American landscape - the wild Western mountains, in particular - have captivated my attention in recent years and influenced a lot of my work. I've visited 17 National Parks since, and am always itching to see more.
By 2016, I decided it was time to leave my beloved Prairie State of Illinois and seek adventure in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, so I moved that year to live and work at the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. Here is where my work really started budding authentically, as I continued deepening my walk with God, love of nature, and passion for painting. I really listened to my heart and my calling, and spent countless hours, days, and nights exploring the beauty of Colorado, meeting wonderful people along the way, and connecting with local (and national) business owners to expand A Quartzy Life's influence and following. This ongoing process of creative evolution is still happening today, outside Asheville, North Carolina, where I have been living and creating since early 2017.
Life as an artist has not been a direct or easy path, but has always been exciting, scary, and limit-pushing, and my past, present, and future are constantly impressing on my work to create what I hope is always something inspiring, encouraging, and lovely. I love to connect with others (artists, admirers, travelers, faith-chasers, dreamers, free-spirits...) so if that's you feel free to say hello and ask questions, request artwork, or just tell me your story and connect. Thanks for being here, supporting, and following along on my creative journey, and I hope it brings you so much joy, encouragement, and happiness.
And, follow along on my blog to see what I'm currently up to, and stay tuned to this site for my show and market schedules too (if you're near Asheville, mark your calendars!)
Much, much love,