Inspiring women — Lauren Holton and her dreamy textile universe
She describes herself as a "design lover and color enthusiast" and we can easily see why. Lauren Holton is an amazing contemporary fiber artist from the United States, with a unique talent to combine shapes and hues and turn them into amazing works of art.
We admire her deeply and her vision inspires us everyday, it's such an honor to have her today with us!
Let's meet Lauren!
Ahoy Lauren! Welcome to our journal, thank you for joining us today! Could you introduce yourself to all our sailors? Where are you from, where do you do...?
Hi there and thanks so much for inviting me into this incredible space! My name is Lauren and I’m a fiber artist, mum of 2, design lover, and color enthusiast in the PNW. I was born and raised in the Willamette Valley in Western Oregon, sandwiched between the Cascade and Coastal Mountain Ranges. The scenery consisted of farmland, vineyards, temperate forests, and meadows spotted with ancient oaks. It only took an hour for us to drive to the Pacific Ocean from our house, so our many trips there are among my favorite childhood memories.
These days, I live with my little family and elderly dog, just a stone’s throw from the Puget Sound near Seattle, Washington. I spend my days trying to find balance in a daily rhythm of creative work, parenting, home-schooling my oldest child, and enjoying lots of time to play and rest. I absolutely love making things. Most often I can be found designing embroidery patterns, stitching, weaving colorful tapestries, or sketching in my notebook.
We are deeply in love with your talent! How can your embroidery projects be so beautiful!? When did you know you wanted to focus your professional path on fiber crafts?
Well goodness, thank-you for the kind words! Honestly, I never imagined that I would end up running a creative business of any kind. I went to university for a degree in Environmental Education and intended to be home with my children during their early years.
I have always been creative and enjoyed making things, so when my older son was a baby, I spent a lot of those nap times working on various projects just for fun. I picked up embroidery during that time on a total whim and was immediately hooked. I never followed any patterns and worked from my own designs right from the beginning, experimenting with different stitches and how to use them as I went. I took to embroidery unlike anything else I had ever tried—immediately smitten with the huge selection of thread colors, the textures of the stitches, and the ways I could bring simple drawings to life with just a few embroidery techniques.
I’ve been refining my creative style for more than 6 years now and am really settling into the types of designs that are my favorite to make. I adore designing landscapes, botanical patterns, and working with more simple geometric shapes, where I can really focus on just color and texture. Selecting color palettes is one of my favorite parts of the creative process—I love using both rich, saturated colors alongside soft, pastel hues. I strive to create work that is thoughtful and sophisticated, while holding onto a little bit of playfulness, and I think that comes through.
We believe Nature is one of your main inspirations, are we right? What other sources of inspiration help you create? And what are your creative references or favorite artists?
Yes, like so many creative people, nature is my ultimate inspiration. I am always inspired by plant life, landscapes, and the many shapes and colors found in our environment. I’m also always inspired by the colors, textures, and shapes used in interior design and architecture—I love archways, round windows, interesting lighting, etc. This combination of working from both indoor and outdoor inspiration is very reflective of my actual life—I spend a lot of time outdoors, beach-combing, hiking, and gardening, but am also very much an indoor creature.
I follow along with and admire so many incredible artists, both in the fiber/textile community and in other mediums. Some folks I’m loving right now are Vanessa Barragao, Emily Vanhoff, Hayley Sheldon, Carrie Shryock, Sonia Alins, and Emily Jeffords.
We know you also teach others with your tutorials and classes, it must be very fulfilling to help others. Is teaching a favorite part of your work?
I love sharing embroidery with others. It’s a craft that is timeless, meditative, and accessible. Keeping my hands busy with the methodical movements is so calming for me and I know so many other people could benefit from that as well. Teaching this craft via patterns, kits, and workshops is also really wonderful for me; since embroidery is a slow craft, there is no way I could ever reproduce a large amount of finished embroideries for folks to purchase but I CAN teach them to make their own, and give them the skills they need to keep creating more artwork for themselves.
A little bird told us you already knew Don Fisher and you liked our Bonitos, yay! What do you like the most about them?
I’ve followed Don Fisher for years and actually found some adorable little Bonitos as souvenirs for my boys on my recent trip to Spain! Don Fisher ticks all the boxes for me, these creations are beautiful, playful, useful, clever, and designed for both adults and children. I mean, bags, purses and pencil pouches that look like fish (on the outside AND the inside)—does it even get more creative than that? Bonus points for using all the best colors, which is something I’m really particular about.
Before I had children I worked as a volunteer at our local aquarium, so fish truly have a special place in my heart. I can think of dozens of ways I want to use these little bonitos, for a special handbag day, to keep my embroidery supplies tidy on the go, to keep my kids’ and pencils organized inside bigger bags—the possibilities are endless.
Thank you so much for sharing this time with us, Lauren! We loved diving into your professional and personal life a bit and getting to know you more.
Do follow Lauren's talented journey on her Instagram page, shop her creations and take a look at her tutorials!