Lauren Machen * Set Designer + Art Director

Hera: Favorite part about your craft

Lauren: The spontaneity of being on set and creating/collaborating with other artists. 

Most difficult part

Crazy deadlines and being a freelancer thinking I can take on tons of projects and realizing that I can but then I sell my soul to the industry and don't have enough chill time for myself, my fam and friends. Its hard to strike a balance but I am learning the power of the word “no” this year so I can say “yes” to the more important things life has to offer. In doing so, I can keep my serenity which ultimately serves to make me a better human and a better artist. 

What you like about working with your chosen medium/materials

They are ever changing. I am a gemini and get bored easily so the fast paced nature of my work and the need to create an entirely different design for each job is thrilling and satisfying to me.  I also love discovering new materials I haven't ever used before and learning to work them.

Local, women-run businesses or women artists you are loving right now

My girls Devin Pietschmann (Golden Threads Vintage), Alison Kaylor (Moon Nectar Apothecary), Kenesha Sneed (Tactile Matter) and all the other women I know who are doing their own damn thing. There are so many and its inspiring to be amongst the insight, power and independence that they all bring. 

Pump up jam you listen to while working in your office/studio

Anything that makes me feel. If Im feeling stuck/having a creative block ill get up, switch it up, dance around or go for a walk and listen to a podcast or something. 

One sentence of advice to a lady trying to start her own business

Know why you want to do what you're trying to do, make a rough map of how you plan to get there (write it out), and proceed with intention. Keep at it, it takes time. Stop comparing yourself to others. Things will happen for you in your own time, not anyone else’s.

Influences/inspiration for your work

Without sounding cheesy I really am inspired by all the people in my life. Each with their own unique voice, perspective, and approach to life. Visually I’m inspired by things in nature. Famous and not so famous furniture designers, painters, photographers, movies, architects, creatives, and other set designers. We are all a part of a huge collective of folks who just want to make stuff and share it. I also find inspiration in the materials I use, found objects at thrift stores, wide open spaces, and my own past struggles and the larger human struggle surrounding issues of race, identity, and mental health.

Fun Fact

Justin Bieber once told me I look hot in a wetsuit. Why was I in a wetsuit with the Beebs? Because we were shooting him in a huge dunk tank for a feature story. Did I get in the water with him? Absolutely not. Not because of what he said but because I knew that the only way out was for him to have to push my ass out of the tank (bc I knew didn't have enough upper body strength to lift myself out on my own) and I definitely was not going to let that happen especially not with 20-30 crew staring at us. Its a good thing I didn't go because about 10 mins into shooting he blew a giant snot rocket into the water. Gross!

For more Lauren:  Website + Instagram