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Daily Inspiration: Meet Lauren Zavala

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Zavala.

Hi Lauren, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Zavala Bespoke started first and foremost as a passion project. While pursuing my MA in Decorative Arts in London, I discovered leather paints. I began painting for family and friends and loved doing it.

Once I got my degree, I moved back to Colorado and started the dreaded job search. On the side, I was painting anything I could get my hands on. I painted a jacket for my boyfriend and he suggested I make a business card because he got so many inquiries on where he got his jacket.

I made a quick business card and (lucky for me) it blew up from there! I always say that this is my favorite job I never thought I’d get to do it.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I don’t think any small business owner would say it’s been a totally smooth road. Especially through Covid-19. But overall, Zavala Bespoke has been a pleasure to create. For me personally, the toughest part has been learning to truly market myself along with my business.

I have learned the ins and outs of social media, photography, media, etc. and it’s hard! Every aspect is a completely new skill and it’s a ton of research. But when you do the work, it really pays off in a lot of different ways.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My medium is painting, but I try and do it on unique canvases. I paint on a lot of designer clothing and handbags, and sometimes other fun and different materials. The craziest thing I’ve ever been asked to paint on was a Lamborghini steering wheel. So I never say I do one specific thing as I’m always up for any new challenges. I will say my sweet spot is with designer handbags, and it’s a beautiful way of making fine art and making it more accessible to the masses. Instead of only being able to see art in a museum, I love that my paintings are able to go to the grocery store, or the park, or the beach. The limit does not exist with where my bags and paintings can go!

I am most proud of my pieces that include fine art aspects too. I just recently finished a bag where the client requested that I include some inspiration from Gustav Klimt, their favorite artist. I incorporated different elements of his style into the wings of a butterfly, which I thought was a beautiful tribute, and really fit the canvas that I was painting on. I love that I was able to integrate my love of fine art with my love of more contemporary pieces and styles. It was a definite show-stopper.

I think what sets me apart from other artists that do something similar to me is that I do try and incorporate my love of art history into my pieces. I love the juxtaposition of elements of art history into fashion, be that with color, style, motif, etc.

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
What was I like growing up? I would say a little old lady trapped in a kid’s body. I’ve always been told I was older than my years. My biggest hobbies now are art, film, musical theatre, and antiquing… and my love of that hasn’t really changed much since I was younger.

When the Phantom of the Opera movie came out when I was in middle school, I realized I had a flair for the dramatic. I watched that movie 50 times with the girls that lived down the street from me. None of this has changed since I was a kid. I’ve seen Phantom seven times in Live so far and can’t wait for live theatre to be back so I can see it again. I can’t help myself with live theatre. It’s the best!

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