#SEAMLYGAL: Painter Laura Guese

This is the fourth in a new series called #seamlygal – interviews with bold and mindful women, posted (most) every other week. Sign up for our weekly newsletter for future interviews with artists, makers, founders, movers and shakers!

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Laura and I met in Denver, in the hallway of the converted factory-to-art-studio building we both worked in. We started going to yoga class together — almost every weekday for a few months — and little by little we’d swap habits, stories, feelings about being creative and what that means.

I was, and still am, totally in awe of what Laura has accomplished (in a short amount of time). She’s known for her large-scale atmospheric paintings that are… well, words can never do:

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Last time I visited Denver, I took some photos of Laura in her studio and we talked about some of the harder things about being creative, why habits are helpful, and the business effects of yoga. Photographed in the No Sweat Pants.

KG: We’ve talked a lot about the creative mind and perfectionism. What is that relationship like, for you? 

 

LG: I am always striving for perfection with my paintings. I am always pushing myself to create better work, and better expressions through my paintings. I realize that I will never be perfect nor will my paintings, but I love reaching for something greater, and improving along the way. I think that perfectionism can drive creativity because it allows you to continually improve and never become complacent in your work.

 

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KG: When we first met, I wondered how you’d managed to create such an impressive body of work at such a young age. As I got to know you more, I realized that you paint most every (week)day and have serous habits and commitments around your work schedule… It’s clear that your dedication is probably a big part of your success and growth. What’s a typical day like for you? And why is routine important for you?

 

LG: A typical day is getting into the studio in the morning, making some tea, and evaluating what I need to accomplish for the day. I usually review my list of weekly goals and tasks at the beginning of each day, and then structure my day around what needs to get done. Sometimes that can mean a whole day of working on a painting commission, or sometimes that could be a whole day of marketing and researching new potential venues and outlets for my work. Or it could be a combination of working on a painting and business tasks.

 

I usually end my day with yoga or some other physical activity. Sometimes I head back to the studio after yoga. Routine is very important because it allows me to be as productive as possible. It allows me to be creative because I have carved out time for painting and I don’t have to worry about anything else while I am working. It gives me balance, focus and direction.

 

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KG: Knowing that your yoga practice is a big part of your life, what impact has yoga and self-care had on your business?

 
LG: Yoga and self care has had a huge impact on my business and life in general. It has made me more focused, calm and passionate. I certainly worry less thanks to yoga, and it has helped me to be more grateful for all of the positives in my career. Any negatives or setbacks in my business seem to be lessened thanks to yoga because I keep moving forward and stay positive. I find painting to be very meditative, much like yoga. My goal as an artist is to create work that is very calming, just as I feel while practicing yoga. Self care is important because it is necessary to have a good work life balance. If I don’t take care of myself, I don’t create my best work.
 
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A very warm thank-you to Laura for letting me photograph her process and sharing her thoughts. ♥︎ I’m the (very) proud owner of the painting she’s working on in these photos, and it’s a total dream to look at every day. As much as the pure aesthetic joy of having it in a room, it’s also just a little reminder for me, knowing Laura, that commitment + diligence = beauty.

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Kristin Glenn

Hi! I'm Kristin, the founder / designer at Seamly.co. A few years ago, I became obsessed with sustainable fashion, co-founding {r}evolution apparel and Kickstarting "the Versalette" -- without knowing how to sew industrially or draft a pattern. Now, I'm going back to the basics, and learning how this big fashion machine works...

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