We’re still pinching ourselves that we got to work with Lauren on the artwork for The Natural Cycle Collection. She hand drew each element using her signature technique, making each piece a true work of art. Inspired by her Mexican heritage, Lauren draws from myths and themes of rebirth and renewal to create transcendent art that reflects deep cosmic connections among all things. Lauren has spent the last six years traveling the world, creating and collaborating with cool brands. We sit down with Lauren to hear her inspiring story and try not to fangirl too hard. Read the interview.
Ned: We love your work! How did you become an artist?
Lauren: I never planned it, I was always creative and drawing, I was always collecting and arranging stuff, I always had this very super symmetrical Virgo brain of everything must be organized and have its own place. I was very creative in this super tidy way. I didn’t have a lot of ambition when I was younger. I was always just allowing myself to be open to whatever came. I grew up in the Bay Area, 45 minutes from San Francisco. When I graduated from high school, I ended up moving to Oakland and it was the first time I was exposed to a different kind of art. I started meeting and being exposed to a whole different community of artists, people who were working on the street. I was young and super reckless and I just really liked that. My art then started shifting to something more abstract and folk art-based.
Ned: You’ve done a lot of traveling. How has that influenced your art?
I quit my job and moved out of my house and just started traveling and saying yes to every project. Just the most random painting projects ever. Six years of nonstop travel and nonstop work. The US and Mexico, then Asia, and a little bit in Europe. I took all these photos while I was traveling of things I found beautiful or inspiring. I try to just sit with images that I think are really beautiful and instead of trying to emulate them, I just allow them to fill my subconscious, and as I’m creating stuff, just allow that stuff to come through. People associate this very spiritual, or very calming feeling around what I make. I try to be in the calmest, most neutral space possible when I’m creating, and hopefully whatever comes out speaks to people.
Ned: Where do the symbols and the spiritual essence of your art come from?
Lauren: I started really incorporating the moon and plant matter together when I was living down in Mexico. I was living right next to the ocean off the electrical grid. It was crazy how different my body felt not being on an electrical grid and being five yards away from the ocean and just really feeling things in cycles in that way. And just being connected with a lot of the nature that's out there — the plant life, the animal life. My mom got really into gardening and when she was planting we would talk about planting seasons and how tides and the moon changes everything and also helps everything go. It’s representational of these cycles we go through and how everything is super connected and work in cycles together.
Ned: Why are you excited to be a part of Ned’s Natural Cycle Collection?
Lauren: I have PCOS, so my menstrual cycle my whole life has been super off. To treat it, they’re like ‘take birth control.’ I’m just super grateful that products are being created in a natural way. I’m happy there are people out there that are trying to find this alternative, so that way we don't have to rely on pharmaceuticals for everything. Plants are super healing and we can get back to that natural holistic healing.
Ned: Natural remedies are where it’s at! How do you use them for your wellbeing?
Lauren: Because I’ve been traveling for six years, I haven’t had a garden or anything. Before, when I had a big yard, I had a garden and chickens and that was part of my wellbeing. Just going out there and growing food and planting a seed and watching it grow and allowing that to nourish your body is such an amazing process. I’m super lucky to be surrounded by a lot of amazing body workers and people who make tinctures and salves and oils. I’m very blessed to be around a lot of healers in that way. I’m always trying to look for some other kind of remedy before I would go to the doctor. I try to incorporate as much natural remedy into my life as much as possible. I use the hemp oil sparingly in situations when I’m feeling a lot of anxiety, feeling stressed or my body is hurting. I use the salve. It rubs in so nicely, I really like it, it feels really good. I’ve taken other CBD stuff from this other company in Denver, but it feels like there’s a really nice sweet intention behind what you’re putting in your stuff. It just feels different. You can feel that there’s a really nice, sweet peaceful intention that goes into your stuff, just a desire to make people feel good.
Ned: Why were you open to working with Adriaan and Ret and being a part of the Ned brand?
Lauren: As an artist it feels really nice, I felt like they really valued the work that I make. As a creative person in the cannabis industry, it's pretty common for people to be detached from what it means to commission art. I appreciate that they were respectful, understanding and super supportive, of what art is worth. Their heart is in the right place. Sure, it's great to have a thriving business, but it's also really great to have a business that can help people heal and supporting women especially, and women farmers in the cannabis industry, I’m sure there’s not many of those. In any moment that men can just, like, sit back and let women to do a thing is amazing. I think it’s really amazing that there is this example, and I hope that other people take notice of it. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a female videographer. I think it’s really amazing that they set out with that intention, and I feel super grateful to be a part of it.
Ned: Has connecting with nature changed your life in any way?
Lauren: My mom has been a drug addict for most of my life and a couple of years ago she started working with this non profit called Valley Verde which give low-income Hispanic women, they build you a greenhouse in your backyard and teach you how to grow food organically and they would grow seedlings and sell them at the farmer’s market which they could then keep 90% of the profits from. And just watching my mom go into that program as a super cynical drug addict, just watching her care for something so lovingly and take pride in what she was doing and watching her transformation and suddenly she’s like no we don’t buy that food from the supermarket anymore we can get that at the supermarket. Watching her transformation was transformative to me. Allowing herself to take pride in something and get her hands dirty she loves it. Watching her do that is probably the most profound impact that concept has had on my life. They have a mudra that symbolizes touching the dirt. Watching her transform is beautiful to me. I’m really proud of her.