Lauren Dickinson Clarke is an English artist and designer who creates beautiful and whimsical homewares. Here she gives us an insight into her work, the importance of creativity in her life, and why she has chosen to support Create with a monthly Create the Difference gift.
Tell us about you and your work. How and when did you start making your pieces?
All of our designs start with an ink illustration, I try to design objects that elevate everyday interactions into fun and artistic experiences. I have been drawing and designing all my life but I launched the ‘LDC’ brand about four years ago and I have to say, I have loved every minute of it!
Which design did you come up with first?
My first design was ‘The Creation of Madam’ (pictured) and it’s still one of my personal favourites. I drew it after a holiday to Rome when I was totally awestruck by Michelangelo’s ‘Creation of Adam’. I drew a version for fun which replaced God’s and Adam’s hands with the hands of elegant women. But I fell in love with the concept so much that I ended up applying the design to everything from plates and mugs to wall coverings!
Did it always start out as a business idea?
I’m an artist at heart but I knew that I wanted to build a brand which allowed me to share my values and passions with others. I suppose in a way, the emphasis for me was always more on wanting to build a community with those who love art, craftsmanship and are seeking new ways to express themselves.
Which is the most popular item that you sell?
Definitely ‘The Provocateur’ scented candle (pictured). We regularly have around 100 people on the waiting list for her and she just never seems to hang around long enough!
How important is creativity and art to you on a personal level?
I would say it’s as fundamental to living for me as eating is. The act of creating is therapeutic, soul soothing, challenging and encourages you to find creative solutions to problems, which can also be incredibly useful in everyday life.
How does being creative affect your sense of wellbeing?
I know that when I stop being creative for any period of time, it sends me off kilter. I think that drawing, painting and sculpting can almost be forms of meditation. It forces you to be entirely in the moment and focused but also very free in your mind and open to new ideas.
Has it always been part of your life?
Yes it has. At a very young age I was drawing, painting or making little clothes for my teddies. After school it momentarily became less present in my life because I went on to study biology and chemistry at college rather than art. But after a few months, I realised that I had made the wrong decision so I swiftly changed direction!
When and how did you first hear about Create?
I heard about Create through a friend who told me about the amazing and creative work that they do with vulnerable and isolated people. This is a matter which is close to my heart and so I immediately did some digging to find out more.
Why do you think Create’s work is important?
Engaging in a creative activity not only provides a mental and emotional escape but it can also give a voice to those who feel as though they aren’t heard. Young carers, for example, who possibly feel as though their choices in life are limited, are able to develop new passions and skills, which build their confidence and hopefully allow them to seek new opportunities.
Why have you chosen to partner with us?
Having attended Create’s creative workshops, I have seen first-hand just how uplifting and meaningful they are for those who take part. The recent pandemic has further highlighted the importance of supporting those who are isolated. It’s very possible that more people are struggling with loneliness and isolation than ever before and I think everybody has a duty to help and support those who need it.
What would you say to someone who was considering donating to Create or partnering with us?
Please do it! Create offers a much-needed lifeline to many in the form of community, creativity and support. Create is run by creative, compassionate and caring people who are incredibly driven to improve the lives of young carers, isolated individuals and many others who truly need a helping hand.
Follow Lauren’s example and give Create a monthly gift.
Visit Lauren Dickinson Clarke’s website.