We love representing local artisans and small businesses, and this month we were blown
away with the artwork from A Quartzy Life featured in our July box. We love A Quartzy Life’s prints, cards, and whimsical tattoos so much so we asked creator Lauren Younis to share more about her creative process and what she does for self-care.
We love your beautiful and inspiring cards that are in our July Box! Tell us about how you got involved in making and selling your own artwork?
Thank you! Creativity has been one of those things that’s probably been ‘under the surface’ in my life forever, but I really let it bloom when I was in my mid-twenties (I’m 28 now). That’s when I really chose to focus more on making art and designing my own brand than anything else career-wise. It was a big decision indeed- there is no rule book when you’re embarking on a creative, entrepreneurial life, but the growth of A Quartzy Life has brought me so much joy, I can’t imagine committing as much time to anything else!
What is your favorite item to create, and where do you get your inspiration? What does your creative process look like?
All of my pieces begin as flashes of ideas, then sketches, then paintings, and then I turn them into prints, greetings cards, tattoos, stickers, you name it. I get my inspiration from everywhere, literally: creativity is more a like a ‘lens’ through which I see the world than a ‘practice,’ if that makes sense. It’s how I see and who I am, not something I merely ‘do.’ Anything can inspire me: a talk with a friend or stranger, an idea from a book, nature… it’s about seeing the world as new every day. (Which is closely related to self-care, which I’ll talk about later!)
That said, my creative process is constant. It starts with paying attention and observing the world around me- and within me- and then manifests as art.
July’s theme is all about being adventurous. What are some ways you like to be adventurous in your daily life?
I couldn’t think of a theme I love more than adventure
! Adventure in daily life is a necessity to me, and I often find myself leaving my comfort zone to seek it. I’m not even sure I have a ‘comfort zone’ any more, actually! I was born and raised in Illinois,
but right now I’m in Colorado, and will soon be leaving for a National Parks road trip across the western US. Being in nature and beholding the splendor and beauty of the earth is something I need to to daily. I love hiking, camping, walking, just being surrounded by nature. It really puts me in touch with my soul. As I get older, another thing that inspires me a lot is people. I love learning about people, hearing their stories, deepening friendships and relationship- I’ve painted the words love is the greatest adventure
more than once, and I truly believe that when we really hear, listen, and lovingly pay attention each other, we come alive in beautiful ways.
The trösta community is all about self-care and giving people an opportunity to try new activities to challenge themselves, be creative, and learn to love and grow in their strengths. What are some strategies you turn to when it comes to practicing self-care?
We live in a world that often demands us to be something we are truly not, asking us to play a role, put on a mask, and be concerned more with our appearance than our inner character and soul. Call me old-fashioned, but I think there’s nothing more dangerous to a creative, authentic, loving life! For myself, the foundation of self-knowledge is faith: knowing the source of my real beauty, knowing how I am wired and created, and being true to higher ideals than self-advancement and the need for approval from others. So anything that strengthens my faith is always a winning strategy, be it
reading enriching books, sitting quietly in nature (or at my desk, sketching up ideas), or having conversations with those who inspire and uphold me. These things recharge my soul, and I seek them daily. Just as we need to fuel our bodies with goodness if we want to feel good, we need to fill our hearts and minds with the right things if we want the fruits of our life to be peaceable. In a more physical way, I love to practice yoga. I always tell people to forget attaching to the result: just do it! There is something about the mere practice of re-familiarizing yourself to your body in the most basic way that brings great joy and health. I love to run as well; to me it is meditative, rejuvenating, and even if it hurts at the time, my body always thanks me for it later.