Wild Woman: Artist Lauren Echo
Self-taught artist/illustrator Lauren Echo (@echo.lauren) is a busy gal—despite being a full-time student, the 21-year-old still has time to dedicate to her art and has even collaborated with awesome people like Kula Cloth, Lucy & Yak, Big Raven Yoga, and Dirt Chalk Bags. She recently placed in an art competition for Brighton Ski Resort to have her art hung in the resort. Lauren’s art—as seen in her stickers, pouches, bags, prints, and yoga mats—is fun and playful and represents her love of the outdoors. Read more about how this young powerhouse makes it all happen!
When did you start doing art? How do you balance art with working and school? Lauren: I’ve been interested in art from day one. I was always in some sort of art class and ceramics was my passion for a while! I didn’t start dabbling in digital art until two years ago when I was living in New Zealand. Illustrating isn’t my only job at the moment, but I’m getting closer to that being a reality and it’s SO exciting. I’m actually in school full time studying Outdoor Product Design and I work as a Customer Support Agent for TrainerRoad part-time. I’m still struggling to find a way to balance these three jobs, but one thing that helps is writing out my schedule each morning. I write down what three tasks NEED to get done that day and try to set an allotted time for those jobs.
How would you describe your art? What inspires your art? Lauren: My art is definitely inspired by the outdoors, but I try to bring a fun/playful element to it. Bright colors are my jam and I want to make people feel calm and happy. There is a strange stigma that you have to be hardcore in order to be “outdoorsy”, but that’s simply not the case and I want to convey that through my work.
What kind of medium do you work in? What’s your process for creating a new piece? Lauren: I work in digital illustration and use all sorts of Adobe products. My iPad is my best friend lol. I don’t have a set process when creating. Most of my illustrations are based on photos I’ve taken myself and experiences I’ve had. Being able to connect to my art by being able to pull in real life experiences is huge for me. So, all of my art stems from an experience I’ve had. Nearly all of the colors I use I found in nature as well! I’m a very amateur photographer and I use Adobe Capture to pick out colors I want to use in my illustrations.
What are some of the collaboration projects you’ve done? Lauren: My little company has led me to work with some of the most amazing people and I will forever be grateful for it. I’ve been able to work with Kula Cloth, Lucy & Yak, Big Raven Yoga, and Dirt Chalk Bags. I also recently placed in an art competition for Brighton Ski Resort and my art will be hung up at the resort! Where did you grow up and what was your relationship like to the outdoors growing up? Lauren: I grew up in Reno, NV and it was such an amazing place to learn and be in the outdoors. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the outdoors at a very young age by my dad. He would always make sure that we got out every weekend and worked so hard to ensure that we used it as a healthy outlet and a safe place. Being outside has been my happy place ever since.
Where do you live now and what’s your relationship to the outdoors like now? What outdoor activities do you like to do?
Lauren: My love and admiration for the outdoors has grown throughout the years, but the mountains and I have been going through a rough patch. About 1.5 years ago, a friend of mine was killed in a cycling accident and it’s affected my ability to perform the same way I did in high-risk activities. It’s been really hard to have to take a step back from lead climbing and backcountry skiing, but I’ve been slowly exposing myself to both these activities again and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a very humbling journey. Climbing, skiing, and hiking are my go-to activities, but I recently started fly fishing and I’m in love with it! What’s your favorite trail snack? Lauren: Pancakes!! I love Kodiak Pancakes and I’ve been starting to bring them on adventures.
To check out Lauren's awesome art, visit www.laurenechoart.com.