Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Morgan.
Lauren, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Since I was a young girl, I have always been creative. It all started when I was roughly six years old and on a family vacation to New York City. I carried around a small disposable camera and would take photos of everything in sight. At first, it was just an activity that kept me occupied, but I, as well as my family, quickly realized that I had an eye for photography. Throughout middle school, high school, and college, photography was my passion and what I thought I wanted to do for the rest of my life until I took my first graphic design class. I instantly fell in love with creating things digitally, manipulating photography, using typography, illustration, and much more to bring a story to life. In addition to my creative background, I have also been heavily involved with fundraising, advocating, and speaking out about topics I’m passionate about. Many of these topics included how cancer has impacted my background and my story growing up. Because of this, I am interested in the human connection, how humans interact, and how art and design can influence the way we see challenging situations.
Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
From an early age, I was exposed to the detrimental effects cancer can have on individuals and their families. One after another, I experienced the passing of family and friends. Art & Design has become my way of healing and moving passed these experiences throughout my childhood and early adult life. The heartbreak I endured during these times inspired me to push for more advocacy and change in the cancer world.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
As a designer looking to make the world a better place, I specialize in bringing light to important topics that are often overlooked.
My latest project, Advocate, is an awareness campaign that combines my graphic design education and skills with my passion for advocacy and awareness for cancer research. Through Design, I educate viewers about Advocate – a campaign that focuses on the discrepancies in stage 4 breast cancer treatment and funding. Stage 4, or metastatic breast cancer, is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and is incurable and deadly. Breast Cancer has the highest percentage of received funding over all other cancer types, yet only 2-5% of this funding is allotted to stage 4 research.
Advocate reaches multiple constituents. The patient, caregiver, and fundraiser all have a role in making up what the Advocate promotes. These three channels work together through awareness, support, and assistance. Advocate is made up of elements of branding and poster design, advertising, digital marketing, and research. It combines shades of blue and green, representing knowledge and growth. The focal point of my show is four posters that glance at the reality of metastatic breast cancer. In these posters, statistics on the disease are spread across most of the pages, highlighting the broad range of patients it affects. The posters aren’t meant to give the viewer the complete answer, but to want to learn more about the subject – as advanced cancers can be complex and easily overlooked. Much of the inspiration for my work stems from both Corita Kent and Massimo Vignelli. Through Kent and Vignelli’s use of active designs with color, lettering, leading lines, and more – I was inspired to create digital and moving graphics for Advocate. Each highlight the work Advocate brings to the table and the people that help support them.
By viewing my work, I hope you are also impacted by connections made through interactions with one another and inspired to make a difference in your community. The Advocate project aims to educate the viewer about terminal cancer diagnoses’ complexities. To help those better understand the discrepancies in awareness and research of those going through a journey much overlooked. To encourage advocacy for not only their own health, but others. And to know that with great courage and perseverance, there is always hope for the future.
What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned throughout my journey is always to be open to learning a new perspective. Often we are in things for the “me” mentality. We rarely consider others’ journeys, backgrounds, struggles, and more. Being kind to one another, being a part of something bigger than yourself, and actively working to make the world a better place is a rewarding experience that can change your outlook on life.