Meet Lauren Arno
What's your background?
I am a resident of South Jersey, about 10 minutes from Philadelphia and two hours from NYC, so I have great art destinations so close to home. I have a teaching background and studied art education at TCNJ and special education at Rowan University.
I have been into drawing as soon as I could grip a crayon. My mother is an artist, so I have been surrounded with art supplies all my life. As part of my art education classes, I was exposed to many mediums and means of expression so that I have a broader perspective to offer to my students.
What's your medium of choice when you're creating art?
I personally have a knack for watercolor painting. I have never received any formal training in watercolor, but I feel it is in my blood. (Probably from all the times I accidentally drank my paint water or rinsed my brushes in my tea.)
I enjoy watercolor portraits because the translucent nature of the paints allow me to glaze with all the colors and tones that I see in skin. I feel that I can make someone’s personality glow with the right colors. Give me a thick sheet of cotton paper and a number 8 brush, and I am as happy as a piggie in mud.
How did you build your creative habit?
Sktchy has really helped me build my personal art habit. I have to create art a lot for work, but joining the community on Sktchy really helped me create art for myself.
Once I gained the experience and confidence from being an active part of the Sktchy community, I started branching out with commissions and even managed to land a solo portrait show.
Sometimes when I feel that I am in a creative funk, I will listen to some crazy music, take a walk, browse the social media of inspiring artists, whine to my creative friends or practice some technical art exercises.
Doing some silly 30-day doodle challenges helps, too, or even drawing with my non dominant hand.
When you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get out of it?
Committing to challenges definitely is a huge help. When I am given an external prompt, I think of it as a puzzle that I need to solve. How can I put my personal style and creative twist on this challenge? Sometimes my students will make doodle challenges for me. It’s as if we are building a visual conversation together.
Which of your recent Sktchy artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?
My recent watercolor portrait of Suzan Colon really sums up where I am as an artist. I really enjoy making and posting completed works with the process journaled along the way. I really utilized the community during the process, and the critiques I received helped me so much. Being able to stand back, take in other artists' words of advice and apply those changes is humbling.
My painting depicts a woman in full bloom with the driving force of nature behind her. Yet her stern gaze holds grace and dignity. This is a portrait of what I strive to be.