Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Interviewing Pyrography Artist Lorry | Creative Youth Archive

When I first started this blog years ago, I was always passionate about finding teenagers and young adults to write about in my Creative Youth Archive. I've since interviewed 11 unique individuals from all over the world and today I'm interviewing one more, a pyrography and mandala artist, Lauren 'Lorry' Jones, from Australia. When Lorry first posted about her art, I was amazed by her talent as I had never seen anything like it, so of course, I had to interview her. 

Hello, Lorry. Can you tell us about you, what you create and why are you passionate about it?
My name is Lauren Jones. I am a 26-year-old artist, creator and mother from Perth, Western Australia. I am the owner of a business called The Wandering Jones. I dabble in lots of art mediums but Pyrography and Mandala art are my specialties. Art is what makes me the happiest; I am constantly either doing art, thinking about art or watching other people do art. I have always been drawn to art since I was a kid! I studied art extension in high school and visual art after school. Once I became a mother, I didn’t create art for a while and there was a side of me that felt lost and unhappy, until I realized I was missing a big part of myself by giving up art. I found pyrography, started drawing mandalas again and The Wandering Jones was born. 
What is the story behind your username @thewanderingjones? 
So, my close family friend actually came up with this name years ago! We had taken a family day trip to a nature reserve. We were sitting on some rocks, my brother was playing guitar and we were all having lunch when my mum's best friend snapped a picture of us. She uploaded it onto Facebook and captioned it “The Wandering Jones”. I loved it so much and I knew I wanted to use it as a business name. 

How did you get into pyrography?
I got into pyrography after my partner, Matt, became really interested in wood cutting. He came home with some big wood rounds and initially I was just painting on them. I don’t remember ever seeing pictures or videos of wood burning/pyrography before. I think it was just a random idea one day and I went to my local hardware store and bought a $30 soldering iron. I immediately fell in love with the process. I taught myself everything and I rarely watched any tutorials. I just learnt from my mistakes and practiced every day. My partner bought me a proper pyrography burner for Christmas that same year and so I retired the soldering iron and continued on that.

What is your creative process and where do you draw inspiration from? 
I get inspired by the wood that I am burning on. I look at each piece and pick the one I’m drawn to the most and just envision what would look good on it. Then I just start it and hope for the best! I generally do mandala art, which is something that I have been drawing for years. I never really plan my mandalas. I just come up with it as I go, though Instagram is a huge inspiration to me! Not necessarily for designs, but if I’m feeling demotivated to create, I go to my business explore page and watch art videos and it takes me about ten minutes to want to create myself. Pyrography is a very slow process. 

It takes hours to complete one piece. I love to show real-time videos on my Instagram which reminds people of the dedication and patience that pyrography takes. In saying that, time really does get away from me when I am burning. I can easily sit there for hours and burn because I love it so much. It’s really quite therapeutic and a form of meditation for me. I think I absolutely do stick to a certain boho aesthetic. It’s how I decorate my own house, so that is the kind of decor I want to make for like-minded people. I love boho witchy vibes and most of my pieces definitely give off that rustic feel. 

What kind of home decor do you make?  
I make a lot of wall hangings/wall art. I have always made my own house decor - from macrame to paintings, framed art, flower art and now wood burned art. It’s still crazy to me that people are decorating their own houses with things that I have made. I find decorating to be very important and it’s a huge reflection of who you are, so to be apart of that with my customers is very special. I also offer homewares - serving boards, utensils, bowls etc. I really love the bigger scale pieces that I’ve done. I think it’s really rewarding to spend hours/days on something that big and to finish and step back and see what you have created from scratch. I think it’s the most rewarding creatively and I am really looking forward to doing some more big-scale pieces in the future.

How do you decide which piece to make next?
I get drawn to each piece of wood at different times. I have a notebook where I write a lot of my ideas and I’ll just look through my pieces of wood and pick the one that excites me most and then see if any of my past ideas will look good on that particular piece. Otherwise, I just start a mandala and see where I end up. A new piece usually starts with a bare piece of wood and me tapping my pencil on it for five minutes while I brainstorm and then I just go for it.  


To contact Lorry, you may use Instagram, Facebook or her website. She ships internationally (though this needs to be discussed prior to ordering online due to shipping costs) and custom pieces can be arranged via

Hope you enjoyed today's interview!
All my love,

Read the rest of the teens and young adults in the Creative Youth Archive section here

Sunday, 29 March 2020

7 Ways To Stay Positive During the COVID19 Lockdown


It almost feels like we're on a weird holiday but we don't know when it will end.  I've spent the past (almost) three weeks cooped up inside my dorm room in the Netherlands. The country has gone into lockdown mode, with citizens urged to stay indoors unless we have doctor's appointments or need to do grocery shopping. Classes have all moved online, with awkward video conferences and technical issues. We're all confused and uncertain, but it's a start as we all stay home and follow the rules. Being an introvert, I don't mind it too much however I have noticed I've been getting bored easily and even losing motivation to finish some tasks for the day. This is exactly why I decided to collab with fellow blogger Beth and create this list of tips to make quarantine a little more bearable.

1. Maintain a normal routine as much as you can
photo by @_gemmamae

Staying in bed longer than I should feels good on the days that I need it, but if you're working from home it's important to maintain a routine. Easy ways to do so include showering and getting ready to start your day off. Feeling clean can make you feel productive and awake and that's handy if you have things to do. I've also continuing to eat and sleep at the times I did before quarantine, just because it helps me stay productive and active at home. It can be tempting to feel like this is a huge holiday but it's important to remember that if you don't do these little steps every day, it's easy to feel lost, alone, claustrophobic or even depressed.

2. Check up on others - and yourself

Mental health is super important in a period where you're supposed to stay away from everyone. This is a great time to check up on a friend. Something I've tried out is mailing cute little postcards or letters with a positive message. I've also started decluttering my Instagram and following people whose content makes me feel happy. Personally, I've started gratitude journaling and I'd recommend it to everyone. Remember that being anxious or stressed has a huge impact on your immune system, so try to do things such as a quick walk (if you can), a yoga session or a hearty breakfast to fuel you for the day!

3. Connect digitally 

Just because we're practicing social distancing, doesn't mean you have to feel alone! I've been having Skype calls, using Netflix Party, texting friends and sharing a TON of memes. I've also been watching my favourite content creators host live streams and interacting with some of them. Now's the time to reconnect with an old friend, stop stalking your exes and work on relationships that you want to improve. 

4. Download a Mental Health App

There are so many wonderful mental health and self-care apps you can download. I'll be doing a full post on this soon but for now, the ones I recommend include Headspace, Grateful, Shine, MindShift and Relax and Sleep Well with Glenn Harold. 

5. Get creative

I recently went for a photo-shoot before the lockdown and have started getting back into photography while at home. However, creativity can be whatever you want it to be, whether that's reorganizing your room, starting a blog, painting your walls, or trying out a new recipe. Just put the scissors down and don't cut yourself a fringe. Trust me.

6.  Stay active 

I can't say this one enough! Going outside for a jog, walking around the block oreven following a Youtube workout tutorial can do wonders for your health. I enjoy Youtube channels like Kayla Itsines, Tone It Up and Blogilates to stay in shape. If you're a female living in Tilburg, the Netherlands, a community I created will be hosting a LIVE workout session on April 10th at 10am. Find out more info here.

7.  Do the things you previously didn't have time for
For me, this has been reading books I bought ages ago, scheduling blogging content and trying out Pinterest recipes. They barely come out the way I intended them to, but it's been fun regardless. I've used this time to start free online classes via Coursera where you can sign up for a course at any university in the world. I've signed up for marketing and wellbeing courses at Yale, Harvard and University of Michigan. The possibilities are endless and you can earn a certificate or purchase one after completion. 

Do you have some tips on how to stay positive during the lockdown? Let me know in the comments below. This post was a collaboration with BethLucyBlogs, so be sure to check out her post here. You can also explore Beth's Instagram here

Stay safe (and wash your hands)