Do you love the artwork that features on our new Giant Gumnut Flower Press? We recently sat down with artist Laura Horn to learn more about her art and her journey to becoming an artist. Find out what sparked Laura’s creative career and what fills her heart with inspiration.
Q&A with abstract botanical artist Laura Horn
What inspired you to start illustrating and painting? Did you always want to be an artist?
As a child, I loved art, but I also struggled with self-doubt. I didn’t think I had the talent to be an artist, and I ended up studying business and working in an office environment. It never felt right, but it paid the bills. It wasn’t until I was on maternity leave with my second child that I started playing with art supplies again. I often found myself at the kitchen table, bleary-eyed, trying to entertain a pre-schooler with crayons, glitter, glue, and other glorious things. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. It woke something up inside of me, and I’ve been on that path ever since.
How long have you been illustrating, painting, and creating? How long did it take you to develop your style?
My son was born ten years ago, and that is how I remember how long I have been doing this. It took several years of experimenting before I started to notice recurring themes in my work and began to understand why I was drawn to certain colours, materials, and processes. I worked part-time while I established my art practice and business. In 2017, I was able to leave my job and commit to being a full-time artist, which felt terrifying and exhilarating at the same time!
What mediums do you like to work with most and why?
I work across a wide variety of mediums including ink, watercolour, acrylic, pen and pastels. I find that different mediums appeal to different parts of personality. Loose flowy work encourages me to let go of perfection while drawing with a pen is a quiet meditative process that allows me to be still and take in the beautiful nature-filled environment where I live.
How would you describe your art?
My art is about finding calm and comfort in a busy world and noticing what is happening around you and within you. It is part play and part meditation.
What’s your source of inspiration? What makes your heart filled with inspiration?
There are two main sources of inspiration for my work: my outer world and my inner world. I draw inspiration from my garden and the national parks that surround my home, noticing new plants, seasonal changes, and shifting colour palettes. The other important aspect of work is how these things make me feel and the impact of my environment on my emotions. This is why I often combine a loose, emotive background with a fine line drawing.
What do you enjoy most about creating art?
It somehow enables me to feel my emotions while also providing a peaceful, non-judgemental state. Sometimes it is like nothing else is happening other than my pen pressing up against the paper, and at other times it is like everything is happening and I am feeling all kinds of emotions at once.
What does a day in your life look like?
Like most artists I know, every day is different. I am always balancing making art with running a business and taking care of myself and my family. I work best when I have a clear purpose for each day, and I try not to take on too much at once. Some days I will play music for most of the day and bounce between different parts of my art practice, and other days I will go for a long walk, stop off at a coffee shop, and catch up on never-ending emails and marketing tasks.
What aspects of the creative process excite you the most?
I love it when a new idea starts to form and you are filled with excitement and possibility. A new idea can feed me for weeks, months, or even years! It’s wonderful to know that you have something good going on that will keep you creatively nourished and itching to get up and make things. That is when I feel the happiest and most alive.
When people view your artworks, what feelings, thoughts and experiences do you hope your art evokes in them?
Mostly, I hope they feel peaceful and at ease with who they are and how they show up in the world. The imperfection of nature is a wonderful reminder that beauty comes in many shapes and forms.
What did you love most about creating a botanical illustration for a Sow ‘n Sow Flower Press?
I had the opportunity to work on a very different kind of project. I had to adapt my style to work with the laser cut nature of the press. This meant simplifying my drawings and only leaving what was needed. It also gave me the opportunity to draw two of my favourite things – wattle and gumnuts. Both of these plants are in my own garden and give me a feeling of home.
What advice would you give to others wanting to start creating art?
Start now! There are so many wonderful resources out there and beautiful communities to encourage you in your art journey. If you are feeling the call to make art, that means there is something in you wanting to come out. Creativity is an incredible healer and teaches you so much about yourself. It has helped me throughout my life, and I truly believe that there is a type of creativity or art for everyone. Even if you are short on time, there are ways that you can make art in just a few minutes, and it is never too late to begin!
View more of Laura Horn’s artwork here.