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  • Writer's pictureAlex Young

Stripped Back with Rust Studio's Lareese and Lauren

Meet Lareese and Lauren, Co-Founders of Rust Studio. The two best friends specialise in brand artistry, conscious design & storytelling. Their work is absolutely breathtaking.

Hear from Lareese on how they came to form the studio together, what advice they'd give to anyone looking to get into their line of work and how they protect their wellbeing as self-proclaimed workaholics.

It's a joy to be interviewing you, Lareese! Please tell us what you do and what you love about it?

Lauren and I run a Brighton-based creative studio, specialising in brand storytelling in its many art forms. From branding and photography to copywriting and content creation, our holistic approach to design ensures all our work is both creative and strategic, enabling output that marries the functional with the artistic.

There are so many reasons to love what we do at Rust but being able to work collaboratively with brands that resonate with our personal philosophy as a studio and leaving our creative footprint within each and every one of those projects never gets old.

How did you get into the position you're in?

Prior to Rust, Lauren was working as a freelance creative designer, whilst I was a copywriter and content creator. With our combined skillset, coupled with over 10 years’ experience in our respective industries, we thought it made sense to pool our talents together and form something of our own.

Rust Studio was born from living room reverie in the summer of 2019, fuelled by nothing but rosé wine, a smattering of Dutch courage and a passion for telling stories.

It’s taken a lot of determination, working 2-3 jobs, patience and more late nights than we can count to get here but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

What are the challenges you face in your line of work?

The one we struggle with the most is juggling all the moving parts of owning our own business.

As Founders, particularly as Rust is still in its infancy, we’re often spinning a lot of plates - and not all of them are the fancy kind you reserve for guests, ha.

There’s a lot of admin and day-to-day management that comes with owning your own business and no one can really prepare you for that. It can be frustrating when we want to focus all of our time and energy on making and producing art, alas whilst the endless timesheets may not be sexy, they are a necessary evil.

Being in a state of constant connectivity is another challenge we grapple with, not only with clients but with one another. As best friends and business partners, we’ve strangers to boundaries and are often guilty of sending midnight messages (or 6am if you’re an early bird like Lauren). Switching off takes some serious commitment and it’s something we’ve both yet to master. Frazzled is our favourite word to use, haha. Frazzled - but full of gratitude for all of it.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into this industry?

Be pro-active, annoyingly so. Build the foundations and keep on going. Send the emails even if you think you’re pestering an Editor or Head of Department, get all the experience you can during your free time, utilise your contacts, network and never be embarrassed to ask. People respect self-motivation and tenacity when they see it.

How do you prevent yourself from burning out - or getting too frazzled?

Great question, given that we both have workaholic tendencies.

Lauren and I adore walking - it’s like meditation for us. We go with our Dads over the weekend and it has become a sacred ritual we look forward to after a busy week in the studio. There’s nothing better than blowing the cobwebs away, reconnecting with nature and switching your phone off for a few hours. The mental clarity and sense of peace it provides is simply unmatched.

Personally, I also love to read, and it has to be a physical book with paper I can hold (and you know, smell). Screen-free time is so valuable to us as a creative duo, without it, we can’t function at our optimum. It’s impossible to be productive all the time as productivity demands focus and if you’re constantly ‘on’, no one is getting the best of you – we have to remind ourselves of that sometimes and implement some necessary downtime. Rest is productive, after all.

Thank you so much for time, Lareese. We are in awe of your creativity and determination but also hugely admire your honesty around how hard it can be to manage all aspects of a new venture. Your weekend walks sound so peaceful and we couldn't agree more that time away from screens is an essential part of self care in this busy world. We are excited to see where Rust Studio takes you both and will be avidly following your journey, appreciating the stunning scenery you create in the process.

Find out more about Rust Studio's services here and get in touch with Lareese and Lauren directly if you want to ask them for their advice on their respective areas of creative expertise.

This guide forms part of the Stripped Back series which have been designed to provide open, honest and encouraging information. They're a chance for you to understand the real ups and downs those being featured have experienced in their journeys to date. The aim is to demystify entry points to certain industries, as well as outline tangible advice for those looking to get into a new area of work. We hope you enjoyed this guide by Rust Studio.


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