We had the good fortune of connecting with Laure Braconnier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laure, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I am from a rural area in Belgium which I believe is one of the reason I developed such a creative side as well as a strong need to connect with nature and my inner self. From the youngest age, I remember leaving the house with a drawing pad and a pencil in the hope to find the perfect little corner where I would feel relaxed, peaceful and ready to let my imagination run wild. Whether it was on top of the pergola in the backyard, in an open field or deeper into the woods, I would feel that the fresh air and open views without a soul around were truly helping me to breath in and disconnect from the rest of the world. Although, after moving to San Diego, the green sceneries were replaced by ocean views and majestic desert landscapes, this “ritual” which almost became a need is still something that keeps me grounded 25 years later. Another reason must be my father’s genes. He was a pretty talented painter in his spare time and I most likely inherited some of his gift. A childhood infused with nature and combined with the full support of family and friends created a natural path to an artistic career. I first studied interior architecture as it balanced art and financial stability. It is a practice that I love and still exercise occasionally, but after a few years into it, I realized that I was missing painting. I then decided to commit to both for a while until the art side took over and transformed my hobby into a beautiful career.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started painting what was making me happy and connected. Another passion of mine is yoga, so it is naturally that I started creating about that subject. It turned out that many people share the passion and appreciate being able to relate to representations and interpretations of it. My work, then, tends to specialize on peoples’ hobbies which may explain why they are able to connect so much with it. It is a niche and it is very personal. Yogis, aerialists, climbers or athletes are all brought to life with contrasting and harmonious colors. Although there were challenges, the process of starting my own painting business was pretty smooth and gradual . I was blessed to encounter amazing opportunities which helped me move forward and believe in myself. As I mentioned earlier, acceptance and support has been a big part of my life so I never felt like I wasn’t making it. I knew, time and patience were key and I learned to be satisfied with what is in my life in the present moment without waiting for future hopes. The hardest factor of being a solo artist is probably the fact that you work alone and you don’t interact much during the day but I am adapting and I am sure I will find ways to compensate. Moreover, I sometimes partner with other artists, book writers, editors,… which is a great way to maintain some social contact related to the field. My last collaboration was the illustration of the book “Everything I need to know, I learned from my yoga teacher” published by Laughing Elephant Books which was a fantastic experience.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would visit the classics: Balboa park, La Jolla village, Coronado, La Jolla shores,… But we would also bicycle around the bay, hike in some canyons, “isolated” a bit in La Jolla bike path and in a few other hidden spots I know of. We would also spend the weekend camping in Idyllwild or Joshua Tree/Yucca Valley as those places are so incredible. In terms of food, we would do Oscars seafood, Tajima ramen, Cantina Mayahuel, PB poke house, the Fig tree cafe or the Truck stop, Babycakes, Tribute Pizza, Amardeen Lebanese, and probably Buena Forchetta and Liberty Station Market. We would hang out at Polite Provisions, Raised by Wolves, Kate Session Park and Windansea beach.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Family members have always been my best supporters and advocates and their appreciation has been key to my journey. Later on my husband joined the team. Of course, my customers are also amazing in the sense that they are my biggest source of inspiration.
Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LaureBPaintings https://www.etsy.com/shop/LaureBWearableArt https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Need-Know-Learned-Teacher/dp/1514913445