#THATSWHATSHESAID: LAUREN ROLWING, ILLUSTRATOR

Lauren Rolwing's illustrations are like the 80s coming back in the best way possible. Her poppy illustrations are bold, with a level of refinement that make working with her a no-brainer for clients like Adidas, Refinery29, and The New York Times. 

And, beyond the eye-catching colors, her range of subject matter keeps things interesting - taking on everything from fashion, to work-life balance.

Q1: Best gift you received? Who gave it to you?

I have received some wonderful and extremely thoughtful gifts from friends, family, and especially my parents. If I had to pick only one, I would say the gift my aunt gave me for Christmas. It is the only time my mom has managed to keep secret what my aunt (her twin sister) is giving me for Christmas. 

One of my all time, favorite illustrators is Eric Carle. My aunt found out that he uses the same framer that she does, and managed to ask him to personally sign A Very Hungry Caterpillar addressed to me. It is the showpiece of my bookshelf!  It is so special to me, not only because Eric Carle has been such an influence on my professional and personal life, but because it was such a thoughtful gift from my favorite aunt.  

Q2: Best gift you gave? Who did you give it to?

I love making gifts for friends and family, but I have a very hard time waiting until the occasion to give it to them. I also like to watch them open it in person, so usually, I will wait to give it to them until I am with them, as opposed to sending it though the post. On my mom's side of the family, all of the cousins are girls, and now their children are all girls, so it is a lot of fun making gifts for them. I don't think I can pick just one. I have just recently started a tradition with my cousin's daughter, Grace. She is getting ready to turn 6, and instead of giving her a store-bought gift, I like to wrap all of the pieces for a project for us to work on together. It is a gift of time and experience, which is my favorite kind of gift.  

Q3: Most meaningful project thus far? 

It is extremely difficult to pick just one project that has been the most meaningful, as usually whatever project I am working on at the moment is the most meaningful. One project that stands out in my mind is a fashion illustration I created for Harper's Bazaar Netherlands.  Since I was little, my dream was to work in fashion. When I got into college, I switched to the illustration department and loved it, but part of me has always held onto the dream of working in fashion.  That illustration was the first time I was commissioned to bridge my 2 interests of fashion and illustration, and it means so much to me.  I was extremely honored to work with their Creative Director, who also happens to be one of my favorite fashion illustrators, Piet Paris.  

Q4: Self talk motto(s) for staying motivated? 

Working freelance, I think it is very important to stay motivated. I love working on self-initiated projects, because it is a wonderful place for experimentation. Often times, when I get a PDF from an art director, they will contain images of my self-initiated projects that lead to being hired. If I am not working on a commissioned project, I always like to give myself a project to work on. That is how my series of fashion illustrations started.  I love the quote by Picasso where he said, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” 

Q5: Go-to look for winter?

Hopefully they will be the new boots I just won in an Ebay auction.  I lucked out and found a pair of Comme des Garçons boots for sale in my size.  I cannot wait for them to arrive!  

Amber DavisComment