February 14 - "A joyful heart"

Happy S.A.D!

The satirical, acronym take-over of Valentine's Day: "Singles Awareness Day" - it just so conveniently spells out "sad"!

If you're single (or maybe attached and feeling lonely) - I know that with some encouragement you can see past the Hallmark-hype.   Please excuse my little therapist-tangent here - but there is just so much joy to grab a hold of when you choose contentment and gratitude - all roses and candy-hearts aside.

"Thanks Lauren, we knew that already" - I know... it's just good to say things out-loud sometimes to re-affirm :)

And on that note, here's some of that out-loud re-affirming for me today.

If you've been following me over the last year, you know that I've pretty significantly redirected my career focus. I've been a graphic designer for over ten years, and with a lot of encouragement (thanks guys!) I've taken a big step into marketing my artwork. Somehow I've felt kind of sheepish to answer when asked what I do for a living... I still have a lot more confidence in saying "I'm a graphic designer", over "I'm an artist." Maybe it's because the word "artist" is so vague - but actually when I think on it, "graphic designer" still pretty accurately describes what I feel I do.  I find myself applying very similar strategies, concept/composition rules as I approach a painting; the same way I approach a client's poster or website design.  Finding what works and what doesn't - simply communicating my message.

It's tough to describe the emotions a person can navigate on the 'journey of artistic expression'. When you put out a piece, you really are putting yourself out there.  So as I'm deciphering through my projects, one thing that replays in my mind is something my dad taught me (probably the mantra of cutting grass on the farm or cleaning the shop)

- "Any job worth doing is worth doing right."

My dad's voice still really drives me to be a perfectionist, to strive for the best.  (Good parenting, dad!) However I'm learning that I need to balance that perfection-drive with contentment and JOY.  Too often I can take something I love to do, and put so much pressure on myself that it sucks all the joy right out of it.

"A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit dries up the bones."

Proverbs 17:22

This just goes for everything in life.  Call me corny, I can't help but read into it - a joyful "ART". I really desire to pass along contentment and JOY through my work. "Do what you love", right? I can't help but believe there is always an element of choice - CHOOSING to love what I do: love what I have, love how God made me. Choose that good medicine.

So, back to you - I hope you enjoy Valentine's Day (or S.A.D!) with a joyful heart. Whatever you're scheduled for - an extravagant candle-lit date with your sig-other; or an extravagant Netflix binge with a carton of ice-cream - there's just no good in drying up the bones. 

Myself, I am deeply grateful for the loves I hold in life - my husband, my kiddos, my family and friends. When it comes to Valentine's though, honestly, I'm just looking forward to the clear-out prices on the chocolate, post holiday ;)

And of course - enjoying CREATING more, as I'm able - my opportunity to share my heart with you.

Artfully yours,



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