We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Yandell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lauren, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
As a creative individual I wanted to spend my time and energy doing something I enjoyed and valued. When I was younger and trying to figure out my path after college I knew I wanted a career in the arts. Originally, I focused on graphic design, but my love for drawing and painting pulled me in a different direction. I’m now a Senior Lecturer at the University of Houston – Clear Lake where I teach drawing and painting courses. I’m glad I followed my intuition and not a day goes by where I’m not happy to wake up and get to work.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Right now I am working on two separate bodies of work. One is a series of mixed media drawings that focus on representing my concerns and experiences just getting through daily life. I use fabric, sticks, leaves and a few other repetitive motifs to create visual representations for these ideas. The drawings take quite a while to complete and this can be tiresome, so a few years ago I started a series of collages that explore natural elements and environments. I use large sheets of painted paper along with spray paint to experiment with color, texture and composition. The collages are a ‘shoot-from-the-hip’ approach and I find that the improvisational aspect is a nice counter balance to the methodical practice of the drawing series. I also have a four-year-old son who has now become part of the process. I’ll put large sheets of paper on the floor in the studio and let him go wild with the paint. I love the color combinations and textures he creates. His paintings make their way into my collages and much of the work has become a collaboration with my son.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d wake up and see what we felt like doing that day…but a short list of possibilities could include:

Killen’s burgers
The Menil
Smither Park
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Seco’s Latin Cuisine
Walks in any of the parks in my area
Negronis and BBQ in my backyard
Wine (everyday)

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A pivotal moment in my life which lead me down the path to where I am now, took place when I was an undergraduate student at Texas State University. I was majoring in Communication Design at the time. I was in a painting course and my instructor, Jill Pankey, noticed how much I enjoyed the medium. She encouraged me to double major and add studio art with a concentration in painting to my degree plan. I did so and while it was a great deal of work, I graduated with a BFA in Communication Design and a BFA in Studio Art. When I decided that my next step would be graduate school to pursue an MFA, Jill also suggested that I look at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. This would ultimately be the program where I later earned my graduate degree. So my shoutout goes to Jill Pankey, for her encouragement. I would probably be in a very different place without her presence during those pivotal moments.

Website: https://laurenyandell.com/

Instagram: @lauren.yandell

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.