Each month, our Maker Profile blogposts will introduce you to an artist that we carry at Shop Asterluxe. We are deeply inspired by the makers we carry, their process, how they stay inspired and the rituals they incorporate into their day. We hope that these interviews help spark your fire and bring a little inspiration into your creative process as well. Read on to learn about Lauren Hernandez, the magic maker behind Artumie Candle.
Asterluxe: Do you have any daily rituals or habits that help you feel grounded?
Lauren Hernandez: This is something that's always a work in progress for me. Most recently, I have found that starting or ending my day with some exercise really helps me feel grounded. It can be a 10-minute workout as I listen to NPR or a speed walk around my neighborhood. Also, starting my morning off with some tea, away from my computer or phone, helps me visualize and mentally prepare myself for the day ahead.
AL: What is your favorite thing about your studio/workspace?
LH: The creativity. My space is filled with the best smells, plants galore, and inspirational materials that I've gathered on trips across the US. I literally have mason jars filled with items from nature that I've picked on hikes, from California, to Arizona and Illinois. We use them to remember the aroma of nature and inspire new scent development.
AL: What is your biggest challenge in being an artist/maker?
LH: Time management. Being a mostly one-person business, managing time can be a real issue. I've continued to work 9-5 jobs in order to fund the operation and business as it grows. Finding the time to work on each stage of the Artumie business can be a challenge. But, a rewarding one! It's important to allocate time for creative brainstorming, working on product development, making large amounts of products in a short period of time, and more.
AL: What is your favorite part of your creative process? Least favorite?
LH: Artumie is all about bringing the smells of nature into your home. With that said, my favorite part of the creative process is actually being outside and exploring! I try to remember the small moments that in return, translate into a scent that evokes a memory of being an adventurer.
AL: What motivates and inspires you to be an artist/maker?
LH: Ultimately, it's my loyal customers. At first, I really liked the idea of having something of my own. However, as Artumie grows, there is nothing more inspiring or rewarding than hearing from happy customers. Whether it's at events or markets, social media, or beyond. I check Instagram everyday and, simply seeing a customer's picture with their newly purchased candle, puts a smile on my face :)
AL: What do you do when you hit the inevitable creative rut?
LH: Hitting a rut is hard! Whether it's creatively or from simply being tired due to a lack of time. When I hit any type of rut, I find it helpful to take a break and reset by doing something I love, for myself. Whether it's going for a run, taking a day off, seeing a movie, or doing some yoga. Taking a break helps me refocus on what to prioritize. It can be easy to lose perspective and it's important to be able to reset, however you do it!
AL: What are you doing to recharge and energize when not in the studio working?
LH: Cooking or exploring. I find cooking to be very relaxing and see it as another creative outlet. I also just love to explore. Whether it's vintage shops or local music around our home base in Chicago, or traveling and experiencing new things.
AL: If you weren’t an artist/maker, what would would you be doing?
LH: Hearing from loyal customers is the most rewarding aspect of Artumie. Some may say I am a little customer obsessed, even. That's why I am also a marketer at heart. When I am not working on developing the Artumie brand, I am in advertising and marketing for start-ups or non-for-profits.
AL: Where do you get inspired: people, books, blogs, etc?
LH: I am mostly inspired by other small businesses and local makers. I love seeing all the unique talents that a person can bring to their own business, in a way that reflects passion.
Does any part of Lauren's story resonate with you? Do you have some of your own rituals and creative processes you'd like to share? Join the conversation in the comments below!
xoxo, Erin & Nicole