Apr, 13

{studio sunday} with Lauren Holgate


I’m thrilled to have Lauren featured this week on {studio sunday}!  She’s so many things – a mama, an artist, Etsy Shop owner and a writer.  She has a way with words that will pull you into her world.  And her illustrations can speak for themselves.  After reading her interview, I know that you’ll be inspired to create in your lovely space!

LH-Art-making things

1.How long have you been drawing? What is your inspiration to create? And how did you get started?

I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. In fact, I come from an entire family of artists – painters, musicians, carpenters, chefs, and storytellers in the making (and there’s a good chance none of us will ever have any money, unless someone marries rich). A few of my earliest art lessons came from my grandmother, who painted lighthouses and sailboats. Her tried-and-true advice (and my own creative mantra): you just have to play with it.

My inspiration to create is always changing. I saw a quote somewhere (probably Pinterest) that said: ‘being creative makes you a weird little beast because everything seems so bloody interesting for some strange reason.’ I feel the same. Inspiration may be found anywhere, and being an artist is less dependent on talent than on how you see the world.

Currently, I keep a little Etsy shop where I sell my illustrations, postcards, picture book, and the occasional mixed-media piece.  I also accept a variety of custom orders, generally based on personal photographs. I hope to expand my inventory in the near future, but for the time being I have space and material restrictions and am working on a very small (hobby-esque) scale.

LH-The little bronze turtle
(The little bronze turtle, acting as paperweight on rough sketches, brought all the way over the pond to Dk.)

2. Is this your only job, or do you have a day job, too?

I’ve always been a temp of sorts (temp? dabbler? distracted!) I think it was Maggie Stiefvater who coined it best; something about her ‘inability to be gainfully employed.” That might be me, in a nutshell. I also work for a data management company, and am attempting to homeschool my five-year-old son in between Danish kindergarten and bedtime (so when we move back to the States he isn’t terribly off in his English abilities). My dream job is to open a coffeehouse of my own – a hub for creative individuals, coffee addicts, book lovers, and various artistic pursuits.

LH-These paintbrushes were actually my grandmother's and I will always keep them for her.
(these paintbrushes were Lauren’s grandmother’s brushes – so they are dear to her heart.)

3. Where’s your studio located? and why?

My studio, as it were, is part and parcel of an actual studio apartment in Roskilde, Demark. The boys and I are living in tight quarters for our last few months in Europe (less space, less rent, more travel – seemed like a pretty good tradeoff). This essentially means our kitchenette is in our living room is in our bedroom, with dishes and tea tins on bookshelves, and books on floorboards, and plants on windowsills, and so forth.

That being said, my art space is mostly transportable. It comes out at odd hours, spills over on all surfaces, and has high hopes of a permanent studio in the future. Maybe this will happen by year-end, when we move stateside again (although, truth be told, we have no idea which state, as of yet. It’s going to be an adventure).

LH-My real-life pinboard
LH-A few of my succulents.

4. Are there any items that you like to keep close while you create, for inspiration?

Absolutely! Lately these include paper cranes, driftwood pieces from the fjord, a black-feathered dreamcatcher, and a collection of small potted succulents (which, surprisingly, I have yet to kill). I am also inordinately fond of oddly-shaped thrifted coffee cups. They house my pens and plants and various other things.


5. What’s your favorite part of your studio space? Why?

The most convenient space to work is our multi-faceted six-foot-long table. It is occasionally a dining room in and of itself, a fort for the kiddo, a preschool catchall, an office for two, and, on humbler occasions, a laundry mat. In its spare time (when the boys are out, between meals, after the kiddo’s bedtime) it transforms into my creative space. This happens almost daily.

LH-Sweet Dreams, Sweetheart ... my latest illustration

6. Do you have any tips or advice on how to maintain an inspiring and functional workspace?

If your workspace is your home (is your shoebox) and you live with boys, then yes.  Organization is best (for setting up and taking down your ‘studio’ in a moment’s notice); a sacrosanct drawer or two is preferable (or a closet! I’d kill for a closet); and coffee is a must (for early mornings and late nights).
Arthur Ashe has the best advice on the subject, I think: Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.


Thank you so much Lauren for sharing your lovely and inspirational space!  I love how you use what you have and make it work in your favor.  You really have a clear view of what’s important and you’re insanely talented.  Your images are stunning and I really enjoyed reading your interview – you’ve motivated me to create today.  I highly recommend that you all go over and read Lauren’s blog and also visit her Etsy Shop.  The illustration above is called Sweet Dreams, Sweetheart and it’s the latest piece in her shop, so go get it!

Thank you again for taking the time to share, Lauren.  You have been a true pleasure to work with and you’re incredibly talented.  I wish you the best in all that you do.

9 Responses to “{studio sunday} with Lauren Holgate”

  1. Lauren

    RobbieLee, thank you so very much for featuring me! I feel so very honored. Your blog is a lovely spot to be.

    • RobbieLee

      Lauren, it was so fun working with you on this feature. Your images are lovely and I loved reading about your space. Thank you for sharing!

  2. jenn

    RobbieLee, you have a lovely space here. So happy to find it!

    This has been so much fun to read! Lauren, I love that your creative space also functions as all those other things and that you are doing what you can with what you have right now (and doing it so very well.) Your latest illustration is gorgeous!

    • RobbieLee

      Jenn, thank you for stopping by! Lauren is such a talented young woman and her space sure is inspiring. I don’t have a large studio at the moment, so Lauren really helped me embrace it even more.

  3. Sarah

    Thanks for sharing! With a studio-of-my-very-own a distant dream, it’s encouraging to see some great put-up-and-take-down ideas, and realize that ingenuity and flexibility at an artist’s best friends! I hope you get your dream workspace someday, wherever you fetch up stateside — and keep up the beautiful work!

    • RobbieLee

      Sarah, thanks for dropping in! I really hope that you get a studio space of your own soon. Lauren’s put-up-and-take-down approach is a great way to start! Ikea has lots of versatile furniture to help in this process and there’s no better time to start than now! Good luck!

  4. Lora

    I love your “Sweet Dreams Sweet Heart”.

  5. Lauren

    Thank you everyone! Your comments are all so kind and encouraging! I loved doing this post because art-making is one of my passions – no matter the space!



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