Lauren Price

Studio Art Major at Southern Methodist University

My Elevator Pitch

Hello, I am Lauren Price, and I am fascinated with the human body, scientifically and artistically speaking. I am currently pursuing a degree in both Biology as well as Studio Art, hoping to direct my two loves to a Master’s degree in medical illustration. I am skilled at taking people’s ideas and creating visual images for others to understand. This is where illustrating the perfection, mystery and beauty of the human body and its functions come in. It will allow me to work with doctors and surgeons and make a difference by taking ideas for new innovative surgeries and creating visual images and games to teach up and coming doctors how to preform them and save lives. If you are interested in the unique perspective I have to offer, here is my card.

I Cannot Dance.

I have never been able to dance before, but for some odd reason I thought it would be a fun idea to join the ballroom dance team. I am uncoordinated, and not graceful in any way, shape, or form, and yet here I am trying to learn the waltz. 

Upon entering the class, and still now, I had no intention of winning anything or achieving any awards at competitions. All I wanted, and still want, is to learn to dance because I think it is a beautiful thing to know how to do, and it fascinates me. That is what motivates me. Dancing is frustrating and difficult on an intellectual and physical level and I’m putting my body through this pressure not for some external award, but for my own internal gratification that I can do it! I CAN DANCE! Well I will be…not right now anyway. 

So what does dancing have to do with my artwork? Well…my motivation to do well at dancing is the easiest way for me to describe my motivation for my artwork. Dancing motivation makes for a good parallel to my art motivation. I am indeed working towards an external goal in my artwork-good grades, graduate school, a job…blah blah blah*, but there is something more. Something beneath the surface. It’s difficult for me to describe it, that is why I described dancing, to give you somewhat of an idea of how I feel. Last night, I started drawing a portrait of my friend. My roomate asked when the picture was “due” and I looked at her puzzled. Finally I realized what she meant and I was like “oh no no! I’m doing this for fun! Kind of like my happy place…I drawing like this on my own because I learn about my mistakes and how I can improve them from piece to piece.” She seemed shocked I’d want to do this on my own. For FUN! 

I cannot dance, but one day I will be able too just because I want to.

Why am I doing what I’m doing?

           Every time someone asks me what I study and what I want to do with my life, I answer them quite confidently with “Studio art and Biology” and “Medical Illustration,” respectively. Their response is usually “oh thats interesting!” But it’s never “huh, why?” Maybe it is because they either assume I’ll give up on that endeavor, there is a possibility they don’t care, or maybe they already have a haunch why. (As a side note I will NOT be giving up on this endeavor, you’ll probably be convinced by this if you keep reading). So now that I’ve spent months explaining what I want to do, I now have a moment to sit back and think why on earth I want to do it…?

          Oh! I know why! Its because I love both art and science to much to give up one or the other! Yeah sure I can use this as a simple excuse but even I know I am kidding myself with this transparent answer. I do not think I fully know why I chose the path I am going on…I want to teach people. I want to be the best in my profession, I do want to get good grades so I can achieve that title of being the best, the best at making a difference by way of my talents. I’m not necessarily looking for money or fame, but I do want to be the best. This means I want to push my limits. Everyone always tells me that you change in college but this is a lie. You become a more enriched, talented, smarter, and awesome version of yourself, and if you don’t try when the opportunity strikes, then you cannot reap the benefits of it. This is what I mean by the best. I want to be the “best” version of me there is, and that means I have to get good grades and work harder and expand my thinking and talent to get where I want to be. Of course this is only a fraction of WHY I want to do what I plan on doing, but for now, this is all I can put in words. 

          Signing off! :)

Working hard or hardly working?

I was talking to a friend one day about a book we were reading in class, and I asked her if she ever tries to guess the outcome of the novel. Guessing the outcome is almost a second thought for me while I am reading and I found it interesting that she, along with several other friends, replied “no.” It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that this technique that came so naturally to me is part of the reason why I am so good at English and analyzing literature.

This discovery got me thinking of other work habits that I have either attempted or want to try in hopes that they will improve whatever outcome I am looking for. Like reading ahead, another habit that seems to come naturally is exercise. No, I am DEFINITELY not saying that I am one of those people who loves to go run just for the sake of running (those people are a mystery to me…); however, I have noticed that a lot of ideas for artwork, or a thesis for an essay, or what-have-you, have come to me while on a run. (People most likely had to force me to go run…but that is beside the point). It seems to me to be a time when my head is clear, I am focusing on my breathing and the sound of my feet hitting the pavement, and for an instant I will think “oh, this is a good idea… *yadda yadda yadda*.” It is weird to explain, but somehow works for me? Hopefully I can learn to love this process more, considering its positive effects it has on my creative process. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not always “working hard.” There is one technique I admire in many accomplished people (including my brilliant roommate) that I hope to one day master. I am speaking of the art of studying over a period of time. You see, I fall into the wonderful category of: the crammer. Us crammers love our caffeine and all-nighters before the big test. We believe we are smart enough to learn the electron transport chain in one night and do successful on the test the next day. Sadly, part of that statement is true, otherwise I wouldn’t be typing this blog from my dorm room of a distinguished University. Though I am ashamed of my cramming status, I will not deny it did get me this far. NEVERTHELESS! I want to change my habits because I know that I am not living up to my true potential. Being able to study over time takes practice and discipline, the kind I admire in people like my father. I do see some of this discipline applied to my artwork (I mean lets face it, you can’t exactly “cram” a painting…well maybe? but that’s no fun). I want to learn how to take the “no fun” I see in art and apply that to my other study habits. I want to view studying over a period of time as something to look forward to, as an activity I find enjoyable. This is gonna take some practice…

What I have discovered so far

I do not know if I am supposed to talk as if speaking to myself or to someone else, but I will just go for it.

Sometimes I forget. My parents used to say when I was little that I was blessed with a gift to draw, but to me it just felt like a form of constant entertainment when I was bored or lonely. Now my perspective on my talent has shifted from entertainment to amazement in my own ability. I forget that I can accurately portray my thoughts to other people through drawings and paintings until I lay charcoal to paper or paint to a canvas. People will get excited over what I’ve done and I stand there dumbfounded that I actually made “that”, the piece is mine and only mine and for a little while I wonder how it even happened…

It seems like when I was little (when we are all little), adults would encourage me to follow my artistic talent, my passion, into adulthood. Of course, as we grow up, adults want us to be doctors and business men and women. My parents were no exception. I went through a period of my life where the only reason I was making art was to spite my parents because they wanted me to pursue something worth doing and drawing does NOT fall into this category. But what is “worth doing”? I started to think about this my senior year of high school. What is worth spending (or wasting) my whole life doing? I wanted to apply my artwork to something bigger than myself, so I’m not just creating for the sake of it, or to show someone up, or because I’m bored because that’s a waste of time and talent. Recently I’ve decided I’m going to combine two things I love, anatomy and art. I didn’t want to choose, and I thought that in today’s diverse world there has got to be a place for an artsy bio nerd that can put her interests to good use.

That’s where medical illustration comes in. Thinking about my career path at this point in my life makes me excited for the future. I can use my talent and apply it so I can help people?! To me this was one of the most amazing discoveries I had ever made. I want my art to have purpose, and that is what I’m working towards. I’m nowhere near where I need/want to be in my art, none of us are. We are all budding artists who want to improve. Mine begins with “adopting new approaches.” I have noticed a recurring theme in my artwork-charcoal portraiture or oil portraits. These are my two most favorite mediums (to my mother’s dismay hehe). I want to broaden my horizons, stretch my rubber band if you will. Right now my score on personal effectiveness sits at a solid 25 points, whether that is decent or not I guess is for me to decide. But, to be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever reach a point where I’m absolutely pleased and done with growth in my artwork. I hope that’s a good thing?