We recently had the privilege of meeting with Lana Gibson, at a local creative's event, and were instantly drawn to her kind soul and gentle spirit. We've been long admirers of her beautiful watercolors and even have a few hanging on the walls of our offices. And we Have a feeling you'll become just as much of a fan of Lana and her work, as we are!
Tell us a little about yourself!
Well let me start by saying hello! My name is Lana, and I am a watercolor artist and the owner of Lana Gibson Art. There, I create wall art prints and jewelry from my original nature inspired paintings. I create art in an attempt to bring a bit more beauty and joy into the world while helping others see the beauty in their own simple moments. I have been married to my wonderful husband for six years and we welcomed our sweet baby boy into the family this past January. We also have a German shorthaired pointer named Sammy and he is currently adjusting to having a new tiny human in the house.
Now tell us something that most people don’t know.
I’m really into shows where people are taking a big step to following their dreams. I love to binge watch The Voice and America’s Got Talent and Shark Tank and cooking competitions on Food Network. It is so inspiring to me when someone has a big dream and puts themselves out there in a big way. And it doesn’t hurt that there are some pretty funny moments mixed in. Another thing most people don’t know is that when I’m working on a painting or creating patterns, I am usually singing along to my favorite stations on Pandora simultaneously. It helps me loosen up and get into the creative mindset. I’ve often heard that those who sing can’t help but be happy, and I believe it.
I CREATE ART IN AN ATTEMPT TO BRING A BIT MORE BEAUTY & JOY INTO THE WORLD WHILE HELPING OTHERS SEE THE BEAUTY IN THEIR OWN LIFE.
If you had to describe yourself in three words what would they be?
First, I would say I’m an optimist. I truly believe that good is always around the corner. And that if it’s not better yet, then it’s not over yet. The second word would be peacemaker. I would really love it if everyone would get along and I really try to make people feel more relaxed and comfortable in group settings. And finally, I would definitely describe myself as a dreamer. I’ve always looked to the future and had big dreams for myself and those that I love.
Has this life taken you very far from your family of origin?
Definitely. I was born and raised in Utah as the second oldest in a family with five kids (hey, family!) and out of all my siblings, I am the only one who has left the state. I moved to North Carolina to be with my husband about two weeks after we were married and it has become home. It is hard being away from the family we love so much though.
When does a house become a home to you?
We bought our house in 2011 and as soon as I walked through the front door in I knew it was the one for us. It just felt right. Our house is a constant work in progress but it started becoming our home when we changed the wall color, moved our treasures in, and began making our own memories here. I know we won’t be here permanently so when we do end up moving, I will be sad to leave this home behind. Since it is our first home and the place where we began our marriage and started our family, this little brown beauty will forever hold a special place in my heart.
What brings joy in your home?
For me, it’s really the small things that bring joy into our home. Our baby boy’s sweet dimple-filled smiles, our pup’s funny head tilts when we talk to him, the inside jokes my husband and I share – all these sweet little moments add to the joy in our home. We also try to make our home a sanctuary from the world and focus on the things that are truly important. Faith, family, and friends are at the top of my list.
We would love to know more about how you and your husband found one another!
My husband Brian and I grew up in the same town. We even went to the same elementary school for a year. We never met until much later though. One of Brian’s best friends married one of my best friends and a few years later the two of them set us up on a blind date. He was stationed in North Carolina at the time and was only back for a few weeks to visit his family for the holidays. No one saw it coming but we had so much fun together and hit it off instantly. Had any little detail been different along the way we would have missed each other completely, it’s so crazy to think about. We had a long-distance engagement and were married in December, about nine months after our first date.
Would you agree that opposites attract, or are you and your husband fairly similar!?
We are very similar in a lot of ways, actually. He is very creative as well as thoughtful and kind. We both try not to sweat the small things and love to find the humor in life. Of course we have our differences too, but we really do get along well and he is my biggest supporter and my best friend.
You are an artist and a creative. Is this something you always knew you wanted to pursue?
Creativity was a family affair from the beginning. My mom would take all of us to art museums and music concerts and to the library to load up on books. I learned at a young age to embrace my creativity and let it flourish. One day when I was about six years old, I spent hours in the little plastic playhouse in the backyard and wrote a story about the world and how big and beautiful it is. I took the time to illustrate each page with colorful drawings and then laminated each one with scotch tape and bound it together with staples. I was so proud of that creation. I brought it inside to show my family and they were all so encouraging. That moment was huge for me. I think it was then that I realized that I could create joy for others by sharing my own talents. I have received so much encouragement in the years since from teachers and friends and family members, and most especially my husband. They remind me that there is room for me in this world to do what I love.
We love your newest line of watercolors! Could you tell us a little bit more about the inspiration behind your Moroccan Spice collection?
Thank you so much! When I first started thinking about my summer collection, I didn’t have a clear plan but I knew I wanted to incorporate bold colors and a strong theme. It was during the research process that I landed on Morocco because I kept being drawn to photographs of the desert and of gorgeous tiled patterns. Then I spent weeks studying Morocco, the art, architecture and the nature. I wanted to capture the feel of a Moroccan adventure through small moments and details. The name Moroccan Spice came about half way through the process and I think it fits perfectly. Seeing a collection through from planning stages to the end products is my favorite part of my business. It keeps me excited and motivated to create new work. Being deep in the painting process is where I thrive.
Where do you go to find inspiration for work and for life?
I am most inspired by the natural world around me and the woods behind our house are a constant source of inspiration for me. I’ll spend hours on the back deck photographing and sketching the butterflies, birds, and trees. Some of my favorite places to visit are botanical gardens. I love to wander through their gorgeous walking paths and admire the flowers and trees. What could be better? I love the organic shapes that nature presents and the way that everything down the smallest blade of grass has interesting detail. I will never run out of inspiration in nature. There among the trees is where I feel the most at peace. If I’m not able to venture outside, I can find a ton of inspiration by scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest. There are so many creators in the world doing really fabulous work and it is so inspiring. As a very visual person I definitely enjoy feasting my eyes on as much beauty as I can find.
Do areas of your Personal, Professional, and Relational life overlap? If so in what ways?
There is so much that I want to accomplish personally, professionally, and with the relationships I have. At the end of the night I make a list of all the things I would like to accomplish the next day and I have two separate columns; business and home. But the truth is they do overlap, and most days only a few things get accomplished. Especially now that I’m a working mama. It can be challenging to get things done with so many important things tugging for my attention so the bulk of my business is done at night after everyone goes to sleep. I have always been a night owl though, and during the quiet hours when no one else is awake I can really get into the groove of things.
What advice would you give others in trying to balance the three?
I am definitely struggling with balance lately. As a new mom I’m still getting the hang of things, and it’s tough! But if I were to give some advice, I would say that we need to give ourselves a break. I know it’s cliché but nobody is perfect and balance isn’t going to happen in all things all the time. It’s okay if the dishes get skipped or if we miss out on an opportunity. We need to remember to give ourselves some grace and celebrate even the small successes. I think of balance as a journey not a destination, and we are all trekking along the path.
What do you look for in establishing friendships, whether personal or professional?
I have been so lucky in life to have been surrounded by the best of friends. Each and every friend I have had over the years has touched my life for the better and has helped me in my own journey to find happiness. I consider my friends to be friends for life and I love them all so much. In a friend, I look for someone to laugh with, someone to share the not so glamourous moments with, and someone who helps me be a better version of myself.
And finally, what is your favorite book or quote?
Oh that is so hard. I love Jane Austen books, Sense and Sensibility is probably my favorite. Though it is really hard to choose. And I have so many favorite quotes but here’s one I love from another of my favorite authors, J.R.R. Tolkien.
“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love.” -J.R.R. Tolkien