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"I believe that art is important and soul sustaining..." Story told by Lauren Kindle

Easton, PA

Owner of Lauren Kindle Art Studio

Lauren tell us about yourself ?

I was born in Fort Worth TX, but my parents moved to New Hope, PA when I was a baby. I grew up in New Hope, oldest of four girls. I had a very creative childhood, writing plays for my sisters to perform in, making treasure maps and hiding clues, and playing in the woods and creek near my house. We were all creative kids. After high school, I spent three semesters at Bryn Mawr College before transferring to Hampshire College in MA, where I majored in Arts and Classics. I got married when I was 23 and started a family. When my kids were 4 and 7, I started painting seriously as a career. My husband Ian is an environmental educator with the PA state parks system. His job title is: environmental education regional program coordinator. Naturally we spend a lot of time outdoors, going on hikes or kayaking on the Delaware River. We have two kids ages 14 and 10 and we live in downtown Easton, PA.

What inspired you to become a professional artist?

I think I’ve always had the seed of potential inside me, looking back on my life. I realized it most clearly when I reconnected with an old classmate, Graham Preston, a friend from high school who had become a painter. At the time my kids were 3 and 6 years old and I was a stay-at-home mom. I hadn’t seen Graham in 15 years, and when he told me he was now a painter, something awoke inside of me. I knew I had to do that too. I had taken a few painting classes in college, but hadn’t pursued painting seriously. That summer, Graham gave me a few painting lessons, and that was enough to get the ball rolling for me. After that I couldn’t stop, I had a lot of momentum and passion which carried me along. I got my own studio downtown in Easton, and that is where I do most of my work as well as occasionally having open studios or exhibits. I also work at home and en plein air.

"I knew I had to do that too..."

What challenges did you face in becoming a professional artist and how did you overcome them?

I think my main challenges have been psychological. Having self-doubt, or anxiety about the future. Of course it’s important to be prudent and realistic about money, but there is also an element of trust and confidence needed to “go for it.” The way I have built my small business as a professional artists means having to accept a sporadic, inconsistent income, and remembering to save when times are good, in anticipation of the lean times. I wouldn’t have been able to pursue this dream without the support of my husband, whose stable income has covered all the important needs of our family, food, shelter, etc. I also had the additional benefit of his moral support. Whenever I have felt discouraged or despairing about my path and prospects, he boosts me up with his unending faith in what I am doing and his willingness to help me when I need help. He really believes in my work, and that means a lot. The other way I have overcome my challenges is just by doing art. I just show up and do my work. I set my own hours and I have a lot of self-discipline. When I’m fully engaged in my studio work, I don’t have room for self doubt. It is an act of faith. So far, it has not let me down.

"When I'm fully engaged in my studio work, I don't have room for self doubt..."

What advice can you give to up and coming artists who are looking to grow and start their own business?

Get a website and put your art on it. Mimic professional artists whose websites you admire. Treat yourself as a professional, always, even if you don’t feel like one, fake it. This will evolve into true confidence if you make it a habit. Start an art Instagram account and post your art regularly. Follow other artists you admire and be generous in liking an thoughtfully commenting on their work. If you don’t have a partner with a stable income or some other financial safety net, I would recommend getting another job or source of income so you don’t feel stressed by the sporadic nature of the art sales. Also, your art will be better if you don’t worry that you have to sell every thing you make. Putting such a heavy financial pressure on your art practice will limit what you are able to do in a negative way.

How can you personally as an entrepreneur and artist make an impact in the community?

I have had a lot of open studios in my gallery/studio and in my alley. I’ve had local musicians perform, and I have had shows of other artists’ work I admire. I have hosted other types of performances in my space as well: poetry readings and dance performances. In this way I bring culture to the community, for free, and I also promote other artists. Occasionally I will donate proceeds of my sales to a particular good cause. Some of my favorite causes are Third Street Alliance, a local shelter for women and children, and I believe that art is important and soul-sustaining. If you’re true to yourself, if you’re authentic as an artist, this is a gift to the world.

"I believe that art is important and soul-sustaining..."

Visit Lauren Kindle's Art Studio

7b N Bank St, Easton, PA 18042

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