We first had the pleasure of featuring this Philly artist in 2017 for a super fun First Friday event. That quickly lead to commissioning a most excellent mural in one of our shops, and after that we were like damn, do you want to refresh our branding too? After a decade in business and the opening of a second Philadelphia location, we were hungry to switch things up.
We're into Lauren's style for a variety of reasons – copious cat imagery, excellent smiley faces on random items, and occasional stoner humor – all executed in a friendly color palette that reminds us of plastic bags, construction zone signage, and the best Fisher-Price toys of our childhood.
While Lauren's work with us is largely relegated to the print & branding realm, one is bound to come across one of her eye-catching large scale building murals while shopping and traveling through the city. You can probably do a thorough tour of downtown just by trekking to all the places she's graced with her paintbrush.
We obviously can't get enough of Lauren's work in our store, and that's why we asked if she wanted to collaborate on a custom shop BAGGU to celebrate the reopening of our Old City location. For the occasion, please enjoy this brief and deliberately random interview with the artist.
1) So where are you right now as you're responding to these interview questions?
In my backyard garden (mostly concrete, cuz you know, Philly) surrounded by plants and my two cats who are sunbathing.
2) What was something you were totally entranced by as a kid?
Tiny worlds inside of a puddle, my Michael Jackson Thriller tape and crayons.
3) Is there anything you think a lot about drawing but never do?
Oh wow yes. I have so many things I need to make time for. But I'd probably say I think about drawing characters of people a lot. I used to, but it's been a while and that's definitely something that requires repeated practice sessions.
4) What's your ideal dessert and why?
Pretty much anything that includes fruit or a slightly earthy flavor. I'm not a huge chocolate or sweets lover to begin with, but absolutely looooovvve a fruity treat to end a meal. Also, herb-flavored gelato. My god. Like a good rosemary, or lavender flavor. Mmmhmm. Perfect.
5) Has anyone ever had your artwork tattooed on them?
I think so? I can't remember. I definitely have a lot of stuff of my friends tattooed on me. I'd be super stoked if someone did have one of my pieces tattooed on them!
6) What is something you wish...
7) What's the worst pothole in the city?
I hit one on my bike the other day, seems to be turning into a sink hole actually, around 9th and Tasker that (1) could have been a small koi pond (2) nearly launched me over a building (3) totally destroyed the car behind me.
8) And finally, if any objects from your illustrations could be turned into real live products or living creatures, which ones would they be and why?
I draw cats usually larger than life. There definitely needs to be a moment in cat history where they're bigger than Clifford. Also, would love to be hiking through a giant oversized forest and be greeted by a floating smiley face. But who wouldn't.
Follow @laurencatwest on Instagram.
And get our collab BAGGU!