Photo courtesy of Lauren Manning.
Lauren Manning is a maker. More formally she might call herself a multi-disciplinary designer, but in essence, that’s what she does. She makes things, lots of things.
“I’m not very good at doing the same thing for a very long time. I’m like the queen of side projects,” she said.
Lauren studied architecture as an undergrad at Clemson University in South Carolina. She later got her master’s in communication design at Pratt Institute which is what brought her to New York City.
Compilation photo courtesy of Lauren Manning.
One of her recent side projects was creating The Feast logo for our stage at the conference. She made it out of chipboard, cardboard, paint and wood, and she invested somewhere around 75 hours completing it.
After the conference we were eager to hear what other things she’s got going on.
The Feast: What are your side projects?
Lauren: A lot of my other side projects involve—they’re all over the map. I have an Instagram feed and Tumblr of broken umbrellas. I do another called Earth Patterns with cool fields and mountains in the middle of no where. I do Christmas cards. I make earrings. My current project with Veronica is called Flaneur’s Pocket. We started an Etsy store with ornaments and planters –which really just makes me sound like a crazy person because I have like 9,000 projects I’m always working on.
The Feast: What’s your favorite project to date?
Lauren: I’m such a ‘whatever I’m working on now is what I love best.’
So my current favorite thing is the ornaments.
The Feast: What’s your creative process like?
Lauren: I actually have a separate email where I email myself ideas because it’s so constant. I get a lot inspiration in just going to events. My life motto for living in New York is ‘get on the mailing list.’ I’m on 100 mailing lists…
I constantly have new ideas popping into my head through taking in everything that I possibly can. Combinatorial creativity is essentially that —-taking in everything and when you have a problem to solve you have so many ideas that you’ve never connected before. On a grown up scale that’s the process I use at work.
The Feast: Is there anything that goes into making your pieces that people wouldn’t normally think about?
Lauren: I have glitter all over my—my everything. I have painter’s tape and glitter all over everything in my room because it’s my working space. And I found a paint brush in my bed the other day. So I’ve reached a new level of pathetic.
The Feast: What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Lauren: I love making things and creating things that are interesting to me. And to have something that you love and have someone respond back positively is really great.
The Feast: What do you enjoy least about what you do?
Lauren: There’s not much because they’re all side projects so if it’s not something I like, I don’t do it. You can kind of get burnt out sometimes. My job can be mentally exhausting, but it’s so fulfilling. Then I come home and literally paint things gold. That makes me so happy.
When Lauren isn’t painting things gold or accidentally covering her apartment in glitter, she works at Code and Theory on creative strategy. You can check out more of her work on her site laurenmanningdesign.com. To see more of her specific projects check out the links below.