Artist Lauren Martin About Making Art Together With Indonesian School Kids

Artist Lauren Martin About Making Art Together With Indonesian School Kids

Hear, hear: our brand new collab is created by New York based artist Lauren Martin! Together with the Indonesian school kids of the Duduk Atas school she created a drop which is bright, bold and beautiful. We talked with the artist whose work was published in The New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post and New York Magazine. And in the past she has worked with amazing brands like Nike, Uniqlo and Gap. How did she experience working with Face This and Indonesian school kids? Read on to find out more…

Besides making art as an illustrator, Lauren is also part of the band Frankie Cosmos where she plays synth and guitar. It’s an interesting combination of arts, which makes our collab with her even more interesting. What’s also interesting about her work is that at some point she decided to do what she wanted to do and that this decision led her to the point where she’s right now: a highly sought after artist. Lauren explains in a previous interview by Papier: “I think it wasn’t until I stopped caring about whether or not my art was ‘cool’ that I started making work that I really liked. My art now is more similar to the art I made as a kid! Really fun and silly and just drawing what flows out naturally.”   

Face This: Can you tell us something about your cultural background? Where did you grow up? Did you always like to draw? 

Lauren Martin: I grew up in New York City on the Upper West Side. I was always very creative and loved to draw and paint. When I was 4 my cousin moved in with my family while she attended SVA and I would watch her do her drawing assignments and draw along. She realized I had a natural ability and told my parents they should sign me up for art classes. So I started taking classes on the weekends at the Art Students League and have been drawing all the time ever since!

Face This: Is there one drawing that you can recall from your childhood? What was it about? 

Lauren Martin: Yes! There is a drawing I made in one of my classes at the Art Students League that stands out. It’s a self-portrait where I am underwater in a swimming pool with goggles on. My mom actually just got it framed recently!

Michelle, Margot and Eva, who work for the Amsterdam based Hotel The Exchange, are wearing Lauren Martin’s tees and sweater. Pic by: Anila Kramer

Face This: Are there specific moments in your life that made you decide to become an artist?

Lauren Martin: There wasn’t a specific moment but it never seemed like anything else was an option! Art has always been my calling.

Face This: What do you like most about being an artist?

Lauren Martin: Well, firstly, I love that I get to be an artist at all! It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. And I love that I get to express myself every day.

Face This: What is the biggest challenge for you, being an artist?

Lauren Martin: I think finding the balance between my creative side and my business side. I’m not a naturally organized person so I have to work extra hard to tap into that side of myself. Having an agent has significantly helped with that aspect!

Face This: As an artist, do you have any dreams? Are there some goals you would like to achieve? Is there something you’re building up for?

Lauren Martin: I don’t really think I have any concrete goals for the future. I just love doing what I’m doing! But something I’d like to do more of is creating art for myself. I used to oil paint and sculpt and I’d love to make more art like that – even if I don’t show it to anyone or sell it.

Lauren Martin’s artwork is available on front and back printed tees. Pic by: Anila Kramer

Face This: Pablo Picasso once said: ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up’. How do you remain an artist? And do you have tips for non-artists to cultivate their inner child?

Lauren Martin: I feel that a lot of what holds us back from being our full selves is the fear of judgment. So creating a safe space for yourself to explore your creativity is so important! Just create without worrying if your art is good or bad. Try your best to have fun! 

Face This: You designed an artwork by using some of our Indonesian kids’ drawings. With the proceeds of your artwork, we will be able to provide the kids you’ve collabed with a playground. How important is playfulness for you as an artist? 

Lauren Martin: Playfulness is so important to me! I don’t really like to take myself seriously and most of my art is just playing around and trying to make myself laugh. I’ve always had a sense of humor with my artwork.

Face This: When we reached out to you, what made you want to join?

Lauren Martin: I really loved the cause and I was so excited about the opportunity to collaborate with a kid! 

Michelle and Margot, who work for the Amsterdam based Hotel The Exchange, are wearing Lauren Martin’s tee and sweater. Pic by: Anila Kramer

Face This: When you received the drawings, what was your first reaction? What did you see in them? Can you describe them a bit for us?

Lauren Martin: I was really impressed! All the kids are so talented and creative! A lot of the drawing seemed to depict their family or friends, flowers, and animals. It seemed like the kids are all really observant of the world around them.

Face This: Which drawings did you use to create your artwork with? And why did you pick these?

Lauren Martin: I picked a drawing by Zulhandi because I loved the mountains and palm trees in the artwork – I felt like I could see a narrative emerging.

Michelle and Margot, who work for the Amsterdam based Hotel The Exchange, are wearing Lauren Martin’s tee and sweater. Pic by: Anila Kramer

Face This: Can you tell us something about how you have experienced this collaboration?

Lauren Martin: Well I had never collaborated like this before so it has really opened me up to the idea of more collaboration in the future!

Face This: To conclude, is there something you would like to say to the kids who made the drawings you’ve worked with?

Lauren Martin: Keep making art!

Lauren Martin’s artwork is available on tees, sweaters and tote bags. Go grab one as the proceeds support the Indonesian school from the kids who made the drawings.


We are thrilled to team up with TOPIA, a new culture magazine that explores the power of human creativity. For a more in-depth interview with the artist about creating a joyful cosmos by animating the mundane, read: Lauren Martin gives us life: NYC illustrator creates joyful cosmos by animating the mundane

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