HOW SURRENDER TURNED INTO ART FOR LAUREN WILLIAMS
Words by Shelly Brown
Photos by Carley Page Summers
For artist Lauren Williams, a do-it-yourself approach to life has always come naturally.
Growing up south of Dallas in DeSoto, this Texas native was born into creativity. Her father’s career in architecture always kept Lauren and her siblings close to build sites and design, and the family’s land provided a retreat in nature for them all. “My dad was always building and creating. He built us a sand volleyball court and a tree house. We were always outside building and making and creating.”
With creative inspiration coming from so many directions, Lauren kept right up with the family tradition from an early age. “The artist in me was always there.” Her first memory of experiencing the artist within came from problem solving. “I wanted to paint but couldn’t find a brush. I thought to myself, I could get a stick and trim this feather to make the perfect paintbrush,” Lauren says with reminiscent laughter. “I’m sure there was a paintbrush in our house somewhere.” “I just had to create, and making its eemed like the right thing to do.”
When it came time to leave the small town of DeSoto, Lauren went on to study public relations and Spanish at The University of Oklahoma. While the PR degree wasn’t a burning desire for Lauren at the time, it would later come in handy for building her brand as an artist.
Toward the end of her program, Lauren lifted her head from her books to the great beyond. Convincing her parents to allow her to study abroad, she boarded a plane for Europe. After various jobs in numerous countries and a semester in Seville, Spain, Lauren had experienced the influence of fashion, architecture, food, and culture that would benefit her as inspiration throughout her adult life. “Traveling in any capacity, for any person, can open up your eyes to the world,” she says.
With a public relations degree and the bold outlook of a true Texan, Lauren headed to California after college. The ocean, culture, and creativity of the West Coast drew Lauren in for a season of life in the sunshine state.After testing out various jobs, Lauren landed one in event production.Red carpet arrivals, fashion shows, and awards shows filled the next few years—and led her to the brink of exhaustion. Lauren recalls, “It felt like
you either had to work until you die, or they will find someone younger and cheaper.” Three a.m. bedtimes and 5 a.m. wake-up calls mixed with Type 1 Diabetes soon developed into poor health and quality of life for the hard working artist-to-be. Just as life so often does, this breaking point for Lauren landed her right where she needed to be: working the front desk of a Yoga studio where she met the man who would soon become her husband.
James Williams was an art history major, fellow hard-working entrepreneur, yogi, and burnt out Californian. After a successful career in production, James took a break and purchased a yoga franchise that included the studio Lauren was managing. The pair purchased an auto bodyshop in Los Angeles and converted it into their own yoga and spin haven. Teaching yoga and running their own studio was a dream come true for the young couple.
As life moved forward, James and Lauren were married, and soon a baby was on the way. “Juggling a new baby and managing the studio just
wasn’t sustainable anymore.” she says. The couple sold the studio they had built together and headed back to Texas to build a family.
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