Lauren is an artist, advocate for refugees, and theologian. She also happens to be one of our amazing models. Learn more about Lauren below.
Tell us a little bit about your sense of calling, and how your creative self coincides with this call?
I feel called to view and embrace life as one big adventure—with its many challenges and joys—and to encourage others to see it in this light, too. Through writing, photography, and music, I seek to portray the world as a place of great beauty and hope. It’s not always easy to see our world and our circumstances this way. There’s a lot of pain and, if we’re honest, a lot of ugly. But I do believe we have the ability reframe or adjust our lens, so to speak. Creativity can help us do this. It can help us to see beyond the ugly, or to see it differently, or even to come up with creative solutions to redeem the ugly. This is the adventure. Not simply enjoying the exciting parts of life, but discovering ways to enhance its beauty, for ourselves and others.
What are your creative inspirations?
Epic fantasy has had a huge impact on my creativity. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings has impacted my imagination like few other things. I also get a lot of inspiration from travel and the exploration of other cultures and landscapes. Both nature and culture have taught me a lot about the beauty of this world. It’s surely an uncontrollable, untamable beauty. And that just makes it all the more exciting.
Sports also awaken my creativity. I’ve played competitive Ultimate Frisbee for the past few years and have learned a lot in the process about myself, my body, and the how athletics can be an art. Whether it’s in the controlled movement of the body, the creativity of strategy, or the difficulties and joys of team dynamics, I see sports as a creative outlet, and an inspiration for my writing.
Who have your primary encouragers in your creative journey?
My family has always supported my creative endeavors. Both sides of my family are incredibly artistic and imaginative. My mother is a visual artist and florist. My father is a writer and storyteller. Since childhood, they have encouraged me to not only use my creative gifts, but to hone them. Whatever I choose to pursue, they wish me to do it to the best of my ability.
Why are you excited about the Story Shop?
I am excited about Story Shop because not everyone experiences the same support in their creative endeavors that I have. I believe Story Shop is a great way for people to be plugged into community—to know they’re not alone and to be exposed to resources that can help them achieve their dreams.