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Conversations with the Inspiring Laurie Aurand

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laurie Aurand.

Laurie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have always been creative but struggled to find my true passion. I one joked that I was a new craft every year, from cake decorating, to glass painting, crochet and needlework. I then branched into jewelry and actually owned an artistic rubber stamp store in Jacksonville Beach Florida for several years. Life changes as it does for everyone and I suddenly became a single parent with a 6-year-old son. So I put away my artsy side for a while to concentrate on an accounting and IT career. But time passes, he grew up and I may have never really gotten back to my art, but an unexpected career shift had me moving to Fort Worth away from my family and social network.

With much more free time than I was used to, I started doing small mixed media projects with the rubber stamps I had from many years ago. Then I came across a YouTube Video about a class in North Carolina. I jumped in with both feet and have never looked back. I continued to seek out other artist teachers who I felt could help me figure out how to express my feelings through my art. My style has changed as I have continued this journey, but I am still thrilled every time I put a mark to paper. I am addicted to color and I think it is a positive way to put people in touch with those happy spots in their souls.

I soon found that although I love painting big bright wood panels, I still have the need to do more than one thing at a time. Several years ago, I started hand-painting jewelry bezels and filling them with resin so that I could provide mini works of wearable art.

Has it been a smooth road?
I have been pretty lucky because I had some business experience behind me, but I have to say that a transition from your passion to a business always is a bit bumpy. I would say the most important thing is to be true to what you want to do. My biggest failures as have been when I have let other people get into my head. I have painted what that told me would sell instead of what I wanted to paint. It hard to get excited about your art if it doesn’t excite you and if it didn’t come from your heart, it probably doesn’t. It is also important to remember that it is a business. This is always a balancing act for me. Make sure you have a budget and stick to it. Don’t allow enthusiasm to override your judgment.

Tell us more about the business.
I specialize in two product lines. Bold, textured abstract paintings and small painted resin jewelry. I paint on wood panels and add lots of extra texture. I like to create chaos first and then tame down parts of the painting to add structure and light. I have found that if I start with more than an outline that I lose the energy and motion that I am trying to convey. It makes me happy that people can recognize my work before they know it is mine. But what I love most is seeing children’s eyes get large when they walk into a booth at an art festival. It is also very heartening to me when young artists talk me about how to move along on their journey. I am always happy to share techniques and answer questions.

My jewelry is just a way to make people have a little piece of hand made art.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
I don’t know that there are any barriers unless we create them ourselves.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Personal photo taken by Katherine Taylor

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