Artist Spotlight: Catching Up With Local Painter-Designer Lauren Roth
We catch up with the budding talent to talk florals, new paintings and the scoop on her soon-to-launch homewares collection.
Photos: Harold Julian
Forget couture. Rainbow-hued paint splatters are what Lauren Roth is rocking most days—from watercolor and acrylic to paint be exact, which the Kailua artist employs to bring her whimsical illustrations to life on the canvas, as show-stopping murals and lively fabric patterns. At 33, she’s one to watch for her vibrant, joyous depictions of Hawai‘i’s nature elements, celebrations of her adopted Island home.
A New Jersey native, Roth relocated to O‘ahu for a gig with Whole Foods Market and credits the move for her kaleidoscopic palette. “We’re surrounded with beauty,” she says. “The colors of the ocean, the breeze, the endless tropical plants, flowers and trees. Just looking at the mountains inspires me.” Collabs with Ari South, Fighting Eel and Nordstrom followed, along with a handbag line and Colors of Hawai‘i, Roth’s adult coloring book.
Recently we caught up with Roth to learn a little more about her studio life, her favorite local fashion brands and her new home line, launching this summer.
What first sparked your interest in art?
It has really been a part of me for as long as I can remember. Some of my oldest memories involve drawing and painting as a kid. My interest has continued to grow and develop as I have grown older.
What is a typical work day for you?
Since I’m a freelancer/business owner/painter, every day is different, but they’re all jam-packed! Its nonstop work, connecting, creating. Typically, I wake up early, make coffee, get started on my emails, update my website or social media, create any invoices that are needed and do anything computer-related. Then, I try to go to the gym or go for a run with my husband—I like to get it out of the way early and it helps me get ready for the day ahead. Once back from that, if I don't have meetings, deliveries or errands to run, I get started on whatever job or project I am working on. Some days I can focus completely on one thing, but that’s rare. A few lucky days throughout the year I can work a normal eight hours and feel Ok stopping. But for the most part, there is always a lot to do, and things that I want to do, like work on new paintings and create new products for my own line. Since getting a dog, I definitely take more breaks throughout the day, which has been great!
What is your go-to everyday outfit?
Well, since I work from home, typically boxers, a paint-covered T-shirt and an apron. Haha. Otherwise, my go-to is usually jeans and a tee, with either my Converse or slippers.
Photos: Courtesy of Lauren Roth
Do you have any favorite local fashion brands/designers?
I am a big fan of Ari South. And not just because we work together! I like that she is so diverse—she’s able to make men’s and women’s clothing, swim, accessories and jewelry. It must take an insane amount of creativity and drive to be able to think up and design all of that. It’s so inspiring and impressive. My other favorite is Ava Sky. Any time I see her (Lan Chun’s) line I instantly want to buy it. Her use of color and pattern, plus the silhouettes she creates—it’s all very fun and wearable. I just love it.
What have your enjoyed most about your fashion collaborations?
Art is my passion, but working and meeting so many amazing people is what makes me happiest. I love meeting with a fashion designer or a brand and being able to bring to life what they are imagining. It truly makes me so happy seeing people find joy in something they love and the happiness that it brings to other people who can see, buy, experience and own it.
What should we keep an eye out for next from you?
Right now, I’m working on three new bag designs, two cross-body and one fanny pack, which should be out in the spring. I’m very excited for the fanny pack! I also have an entire home décor line coming out. There are two sets—one is of the ocean and the other is [themed around] florals/leaves. For each there are pillows, wall art, an entire set of tableware, bowls and platters.
On top of that I’m painting four new paintings. Since I work in so many different areas, it’s hard to keep up on creating originals. I usually try and make four to five in the beginning of the year and another two to three before the holidays.
I also have a huge, very exciting and secret collaboration that will be announced around May. I can’t say what but I’ve been posting sneak peeks and hints. I cannot wait to release it and share it with everyone. It was something I always hoped to get hired for, so it’s really been a dream come true!
Check out more of Roth’s artwork, shop her designs and find a full list of her stockists at mynameislauren.com.