Interview: Honouring the Desire to Create with Lauren O’Meara

Lauren O’Meara is a 21 year old abstract painter and mixed media artist from Melbourne, Australia.

When did you first start painting?

I first started painting in August of 2016 and since then I have been completely immersed in it and it feels like it’s been lifetimes. When I was younger I loved art and drawing but never experimented with painting.

What motivates your art?

I never expected that my life would be that of a creative and when it happened I fell completely in love with my life. My art process is motivated by a new found sense of freedom. Everyday I am motivated and determined to develop forms of self expression that can then be shared with a community of people.

For me, art is a tangible expression of concepts yet to be understood through cognition and learnt behaviours.

The encouragement and love I receive from people all over the world has taught me how powerful a place art and beauty have in this very complex and often struggling world.

Where does the desire to create come from?

I live and breathe my art, it is what I fill my days with and I can never get enough of it. The desire is a product of self development, aspiration and hard work. I never thought I would be in a position where my happiness would be so integrally linked to my work. The more I create, the happier I am and the more desire I build.

Have you always honoured this desire?

Art was what taught me about honour and respect for the life you build for yourself. If I am not honouring my own creative desire that is when I develop doubt and creative blocks. Without honour and respect I find myself moving away from my own truth as a painter.

Are you ever nervous about sharing your art?

Always. Even though my work is highly abstract and it’s almost impossible for anyone but myself to understand the personal expression in it, it is still a piece of work that is a translation of a personal truth. For me, my body of work is a diary that I share with anyone who is willing to look. However, the nerves are tamed by the interaction that I get from people about it.

In a society understood through language, science, tradition and rules this abstract expression is my escape from all these learned behaviours.

The sharing of artistic expression is a very complex system in that the observation of art is incredibly subjective so therefore the often overpowering fear of people not liking my work is something that needs to be ignored. Whether I share a piece that I am completely in love with or I share something that I really dislike there are always going to be people on either end of the spectrum. As the months and years progress I hope to completely distance myself from other people’s opinions and commit to this process as an individual to free myself of judgement.

Do you consider yourself an artist?

The term ‘artist’ was always something I highly revered so now I am dealing with the challenge of transposing this word into my own identity. I am still struggling with this title and would identify myself as a creative rather than an artist because I feel like I have a lot work to do around of self respect and belief before I can truly call myself an artist.

Is creating a spiritual experience for you?

The most spiritual. Not in a religious way but in a way that my art is the only space where I am completely authentic. My art process relies on me being the most present and raw version of myself, completely free of expectations and social norms.

With an energetic movement of paint across a canvas that moves, flows and surprises, my art is a reminder to myself that this world is all just energy.

The more I work within myself, the more I love what I create so being able to cherish this process is being able to love and respect my own person. It’s a sort of hybrid between self-exploration and spirituality.

What is your advice to anyone suffering from a creative block?

Recognise that it is an incredibly valuable experience. I am a very big believer in the power of contrast and through analysing a creative block with this mindset I find comfort in knowing that it will definitely pass. The scale of frustration or fear (or however people feel during this process) will be the same strength of the opposite emotion whether it is creativity, motivation or happiness; you just have to wait for it. And whilst you wait remember to be easy on yourself, let yourself take a break, whether it be a couple of hours or a whole month, you are the only person who can feel the block lifting.

My art is a creative outlet that does not need to adhere to humanistic interpretation or meaning. It is my escape from purpose, from goals and end points.

My go to creative block medicine is nature, I live in a very built up area so escaping to a river, or the beach or finding a good walking track really grounds me. I just strongly advise that you put yourself in as many situations that ground you and bring you back to what is important.