Laura Evans is the founder of OUTRA a home textile studio based in Asheville, North Carolina. Laura established the company back in 2013, after making the move from Brooklyn, New York. Her brand focuses on creating durable pieces, that are on a fine line between weird and beautiful. Each piece in her collection is constructed using organic cotton grown in the United States. She previously worked as a landscape designer for six years, so OUTRA is a continuation of her design career. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Laura Evans.
Image Credit: 1) Cold Picnic 2) Recreation Center Shop 3) Made by the Morgans 4) Patrick Schols 5) Saskia Pomeroy
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
I have a real need for novelty so my style is continually changing though tends towards a clean, edited and slightly strange aesthetic.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
I gather up images I am inspired by and translate the details I like most into small sketches, drawing and redrawing until the result feels new, exciting and no longer resembles what I started with.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
The office of architects and landscape architects I worked with prior to beginning OUTRA taught me incredible lessons about retaining design integrity while being responsive to the environment you are working within and the people you are working for. This experience cemented in my mind that beyond any other quality, design must function well.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
I do best to take photos or make sketches when I see something bizarre, usually either online on Instagram or Pinterest or in real life at museums, galleries, and flipping through art and design books and magazines.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
I would not have started OUTRA had I not given myself the space to sit with uncertainty until an obvious path presented itself. I had quit my work in landscape architecture and instead of immediately jumping into another profession, I took on part-time work unrelated to design and used my spare time to work on projects that excited me most. It can be difficult to find that space, but worth the sacrifice if you can manage it. You can never go wrong by listening to yourself.