Artist Spotlight // Morgan Lael

Tell us about your art, your background and what inspires you?

I am a self-taught maker from Southern California. I am a wife to an amazing husband and mother to the sweetest little boy.  I have always had interests in many creative areas such as, drawing, painting, sewing, ceramics, crochet, photography and even woodwork. 

As a child, I spent time with my mom doing little “do it yourself” home decor projects. I spent summers at my grandparents desert farmhouse that my grandpa built himself in Acton, CA. Being that I was considered a “city girl” growing up in San Diego, the time I spent on their farm with their goats, chickens, peacocks and many other animals and gardens created a love of the farm life and a respect for the hard work it takes to maintain it. Once I got a little older, I spent a lot of summers traveling all around the west coast with my dad since he was a truck driver at the time. I got to witness some of the most beautiful coastlines, mountains, forests, lakes and deserts. Those experiences definitely deepened my love for nature and wildlife. 

All throughout my schooling I frequently had teachers choose my art work to be showcased at the Del Mar Fair and school libraries. In high school I took some art and photography classes. Eventually, I ended up going to a local community college and in that time joined their art club and took some drawing classes. Although I appreciate and definitely valued the art principles I was taught, pursuing art in college ended up making me highly insecure and self critical in that environment. After I left community college, I put creative projects on the back burner and didn’t really express myself too much creatively for some time. 

I finally realized how much I truly missed creating and how I let my own self criticism stop me from doing something I love. Now in my free time I create as much as possible. I mostly love to draw, paint, and take pictures of nature. My hope is that my work can add joy and beauty to this world. I’ve learned to focus on projects that bring me happiness and that the joy will shine through. 

Which is your favorite or most inspirational place?

I am torn between Kauai, Hawaii and The Sequoia National Forest. Both places are astoundingly beautiful, bring me peace, and they hold a special place in my heart. 

What projects are you working on?

I am currently working on a few projects, a cats series, endangered animals series, and a mixed media floral series. Also, alongside my VIDA projects, I am working on illustrating a book called  ‘Activating Joy’ by Dwanna Jones-Lynch.

Do you collect anything?

I have been collecting crystals and minerals since I was nine years old. I find them fascinating. Not only are they beautiful, but the process of which they are formed within the earth is just so interesting. 

What do you enjoy about being a part of VIDA?

I enjoy so many things about partnering with VIDA. Mainly, that it is so empowering to be able to have a space to share your work while knowing you are contributing to sustainable and ethical production standards. I love that every piece is made to order and VIDA factory employees are treated with dignity, respect, and support. It’s great knowing some of the proceeds not only help support my family, but they also support education for factory employees. 

My hope is that my work can add joy and beauty to this world.

What is the best advice about being an artist you’ve ever been given?

Don’t compare your work, abilities, art style, strengths or weaknesses with someone else’s. Just make what you love and the rest will fall into place.

Explore Morgan’s Art World on VIDA