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Craft With Conscience: Laura Agustí

Craft With Conscience

'Craft With Conscience' began in early 2016 as a weekly Instagram series dedicated to sharing the work of other creatives and as a platform to openly discuss certain aspects of ethical art-making and consuming in the age of the internet and social media.  

This series arose out of my own frustrations related to seeing my work constantly copied stitch-for-stitch, sold without permission, and credited to other people.  Rather than wallowing in unproductive negative emotions, I wanted to find a way to bring this common issue to light in a positive way.  My solution was to share the work of artists, crafters, designers, and makers who I greatly admire for their originality and dedication. Initially, I shared work similar in materials or subject matter to my own, having heard the argument, "There are only so many ways to stitch plants, I'm not copying you..." one too many times.  The truth is, no matter what the medium or subject, every artist from hobby crafter to professional painter has their own perspective and voice. It takes effort to develop one's visual vocabulary and it can be disheartening when your's is taken and misused by other individuals and sometimes larger companies.

All that being said, now is an incredible time for working artists because of the vast resources of the internet including sources of inspiration, the ability to reach a large and global audience, and as a community building tool. As you may know, I love sharing my work on Instagram and following other makers. It's a wonderful way to connect with other artists, be inspired, and feel supported, but we all need to be aware of how we use these resources and what effect it may have on others.

Since the start of 2016, 'Craft With Conscience' has grown and evolved just like any other creative pursuit and has recently expanded to include short interviews with featured artists. I've asked participating artists a series of questions about their studio process, sources of inspiration, and how image-sharing sites like Instagram and Pinterest influence and affect them. I hope you read on to see what they have to say!

Craft With Conscience: Laura Agustí

Sarah Benning

Laura Agustí // Illustrator // Barcelona, Spain


Laura is an illustrator living in the Sant Antoni neighborhood of Barcelona. She studied fine art, specializing in painting as well as interior and graphic design. After 4 years of working in an architectural study program, she decided to leave it all to draw. Her romantic lines evoke past times as her nostalgic imagery speaks towards the present. She is passionate about plants and animals, and it’s reflected in her house and her work.

Check out more of her beautiful work on her instagram, or facebook.

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1. I began my #CraftWithConscience series as a way to simultaneously promote the work of other makers and to discuss the complicated issues surrounding creative inspiration and developing ones’ own visual vocabulary. The internet is an ever growing fixture in many artist’s lives and businesses, could you talk about the role the internet plays in your artistic and professional life?

The Internet and social networks were key in my decision to leave my job as an interior designer to devote myself completely to drawing. I started to draw because I was very stressed with my work and needed to create something to distract the mind. The response that my drawings had on social networks was so good and a push to take a chance.

I have met wonderful people who have helped me a lot, and I have real friends that I have met through  instagram, so I am very grateful.  I receive many requests through facebook and instagram for custom commissions and drawings for tattoos but also larger projects for corporate brands.

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2. Where do you find inspiration for your work?  In what ways has the internet and/or social media impacted your design process?

When I do commissions for people, many times I’m working from the photos they provide me. Many times they are of their own pets or themselves. If I have to draw animals I use images from the internet, sometimes I use my own pets as models. I love buying plants and flowers and drawing them. It is always much more exciting to draw things out of reality than working from internet images, although I also love using the old illustrations by Pierre-Joseph Redouté as references.

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3. Sites like Pinterest and Instagram are popular places for artists’ to share their own work. They also act as public visual archives, often leading to creative work by others that walks the line between ‘inspiration’ and ‘infringement.’ Have you encountered copies of your work online and how does it affect you? What are your strategies for dealing with it?

The line between inspiration and infringement is separated with respect and humility, as easy as naming the source of inspiration makes you look at that work in one way or another. I found copies of my work on T-shirts in other countries and it made me very angry because it's so complicated to do anything about it. When people are inspired by my work I find it very nice and I publish their version, I think that if people copy you it’s because you are on the right track, but there are times when it is done without giving credit. This really used to upset me, but now I try not to let it get to me. An illustrator friend recommended that I save all the images based on my work, and that's what I do.

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4. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or creative business people?

My advice for aspiring artists is to try to find your own style, you need to move your personality to what you are doing and be consistent. It is very important to meet people and make collaborations, it is very enriching and you learn a lot. Be very humble and honest with yourself and with people.

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5. Do you have any favorite blogs, artists, or Instagram accounts that you’d like to share?

I'm in love with Freunde Von Freunden and Design Sponge.  And of course here’s mine.

On instragram I love the account of my partner, I admire his illustrations (@jerjesllopis), also friends like @paulabonet, @mariahesse and my favorites are the plants from  @urbanjungleblog or @pistilsnursery. I am a big fan of the decoration and the nice houses of @finelittleday.

Photos by Sandra Rojo