The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration. ~ Frida Kahlo
Learning how to bring her imagination to a canvas, Lauren Luna began taking art classes at the tender age of five. By the time she reached the fourth grade, she knew that art would be her life. “I can’t really remember the actual event that was the catalyst, but I had always been into art. My earliest memory was when my mother would work in our garden and would dig up clumps of clay, and I would make sculptures from them.” Luna remembers.
With her creativity not only did she make sculptures from the clay, she also explored other forms of art around the house. “Everything was something to be “arted” on,” she says. “I painted on my walls in my home; drew on the sidewalks; painted things for people, and copied comic characters. I was always creating.”
When old enough to vote, Lauren left her hometown of Columbus, Ohio and attended Kent State University to major in Fine Arts with a focus in painting. She was trained in sculpture, drawing, painting, printmaking, jewelry making, and ceramics. “I pretty much stay in my lane with painting, because it’s my bread and butter, but I am capable to stray.” Luna tells us.
In a rush to share her talent with the world, after she graduated from Kent State University, she moved to the Big Apple, New York City, to show off her art talents to the world. Lauren found a love for the big city life and began teaching Special Education in the New York City schools. The irony of her move was that in the four years she lived there, she never painted. She had to put her passion aside so that she could care for her young son.
While in the city that never sleeps, she continued her education receiving a master’s at Manhattan College.
Unfortunately, circumstances made it necessary for Lauren to moved back to her hometown with her young son who was four-year-old at the time. “After living in New York, it was very difficult to move back to my small hometown,” Luna explains.
The passion for painting continued to run through her veins and she later applied to the Academy of Art University after attending a local art festival in Columbus, Ohio which reignited her creativity and passion for art. She graduated the University with a master’s degree.
In 2010, Lauren Luna was recognized by the “Who’s Who of Black Columbus” and featured in multiple publications. In 2011, Lauren relocated to Houston, Texas where she thought there would be more opportunity for her as a professional artist, “After seven years, I finally made up my mind that it was time to go. I want to find a large city that was affordable because I had planned on just doing art full time,” Lauren mentions. “I did a lot of research and found that not only was Houston the most affordable large metropolitan city, but it also had a thriving economy and was immensely supportive of the arts.”
Not one to only use a flat canvas for her art, Lauren Luna, began painting on shoes. Her collection of shoes gained her much popularity and was very successful but unfortunately the shoe line was discontinued. “Fashion is a tough business, the adage, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, is truth,” Lauren discloses. “When I relocated to Houston, I thought it would be a smooth transition. What I didn’t realize was that I would be starting over reputation wise, and everything that I had built in Ohio, was now null and void. So it was difficult to be solo trying to push my shoes into boutiques as an unknown. I was also trying to do art festivals to sell my paintings. I was having more success there, so eventually the shoes were fazed out.” Luna confesses.
What we did learn was that Lauren’s shoes did receive plenty of attention. In 2011, she became a member of the Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFANY).
In 2013, Lauren Luna was named a Top 50 Entrepreneur by Scion Car Company; participated in Austin and Houston Fashion Week, and was featured in British Vogue and Glamour Magazines. She also had a shoe design in an exhibit at the Grassi Museum in Germany.
In 2014, she was honored to receive the Margot Siegel Award for Design by the Goldstein Museum of which two pairs of her hand painted shoes are a part of the museum’s permanent collection.
Today, Lauren’s work can be found in the office of Mayor Sylvester Turner, in Houston’s City Hall.
Luna continues to work actively as an artist, showing her paintings nationwide, and spreading her knowledge while inspiring future generations as a junior high art teacher and adjunct art professor at Alvin Community College.
When we asked her what we can expect from her in the future she told us that she’s working on “elevating to eminence.”
We look forward to her giving us life through her art.
To learn more about Lauren Luna and her to see her awesome paintings, visit her instagram @laurenlunaltd