• Matt Towe

STUDIO LAWRENCE: the artist and ex-fashion buyer on a mission to make original art affordable

Updated: Aug 3

London-based George Lawrence is arguably the most influential artist on Instagram right now. His genuinely affordable paintings fuse sustainable materials with unique designs and are popping up all over the gram, adorned on the walls of the insta-famous. This week we chat to the former fashion buyer about how social media turned him into a full-time artist.

London artist George Lawrence beside his own painting | The Modern Broker | Matt Towe
London based artist George Lawrence @ Studio Lawrence

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in Essex in a small, busy household with two older brothers. After failing at college and then not going to University, I had a couple of years out before going to Fashion College to get into a career in Buying. I worked for several leading high street menswear brands (Topman, ASOS) for seven years, but in 2020 when the pandemic hit and my little boy was born, it signalled a time for a change.

Over Lockdown I started creating and selling art on Instagram. I didn't have a website, just an Instagram page and a small personal brand which seemed to have connected with people, and clients trusted me to create something for their homes, which I think is impressive.

I launched the brand in January 2021, and by March I had handed in my notice at work and left three months later. A year on, and I've created art for over 100 clients; I am now building a home studio and working with some incredible people, businesses and brands with stunning homes and projects.

Studio Lawrence artwork in the home of Justin @DesignatNineteen

Describe your work in a single word:

Can I have two? Clean and Considered.

How did you develop a passion for painting?

I've always been creative and worked in a creative industry. But when you're a working-class kid from Essex, it's a million miles away from your radar- it's always super expensive, exclusive to a particular group of people and not obtainable to 'normal' people.

I started painting during lockdown and posting it on my Instagram (back then, having about 800 followers), and interest in my art kept growing. Leaning heavily on my career as a Buyer, alongside nature and architecture, I started to work with fabrics and cloths that are different to those that are traditionally used to paint on such as cotton canvas and linen canvas. My first few clients trusted me enough to take a punt, and then I quickly managed to carve out a niche for myself for affordable contemporary art.

Studio Lawrence painting hanging in home of interior designer Sophia Fanciulli | The Modern Broker | Matt Towe
Studio Lawrence 'Grounded' in the home of interior designer Sophia Fanciulli

What central message do you hope to impart to your paintings?

I want to make art accessible to the everyday person. The art world is pretentious but shouldn't be confined to an elitist club of wealthy individuals. People often joke and say, 'oooh, you're cultured' if you go to an art gallery, but anyone can like art. Ordinary people like you and me.

When you're a working-class kid from Essex, art is a million miles away from your radar- it's always super expensive, exclusive to a specific group of people and not obtainable to 'normal' people.
Studio Lawrence painting in the attic of @TheHouseThatBlackBuilt | The Modern Broker | Matt Towe
'Balance' by Studio Lawrence in the home of @TheHouseThatBlackBuilt

You describe your art as sustainable - how do you make that happen?

By its very nature, original artwork is a sustainable practice as it's created by hand rather than manufactured in bulk and thus intended to last. I try to go one step further to ensure every decision I make, from design to delivery, has sustainability at the forefront. Whether it be mainly biodegradable and fully recyclable packaging or sourcing and researching new fabrics to work with, made using recycled and organic fibres and milled in ethical factories. I also use wood for our frames that are PEFC and FSC-certified, ensuring the wood is sustainable. Plus, we use carbon-neutral delivery services only.

Studio Lawrence painting on wall of Charlotte Emily Sanders | The Modern Broker | Matt Towe
Sundarbay Founder Charlotte Emily Sanders pictured with her Studio Lawrence painting.

Artist you'd most like to meet?

Jack Kabangu- he's cool AF!

Your proudest achievement?

Creating a business and a brand from nothing in a crowded social media world. Also featuring in LivingEtc, The Sunday Times Style Magazine and The Telegraph.

Studio Lawrence painting on wall in front of a chair in the home of @debeauvoirhome | The Modern Broker | Matt Towe
Studio Lawrence 'Skimmed' in the home of @debeauvoirhome

Well-known Instagram faces that own a piece of your art?

@GraceBeverley (Founder and CEO of Activewear brand TALA and Fitness App Shreddy)

@Roxienafousi (Self Development Coach and Best-Selling author of 'MANIFEST')

@CharlotteEmilySanders (Founder of fashion label Sunderbay)

Justin of @design_at_nineteen

Sarah Louise & Christopher of @No.17House

Nic Fanciulli (World famous music producer and DJ) and SophiaFanciulliDesign (Interior Designer)

Ben Davies (Footballer for Tottenham and Wales) and Emily Caplan (Interior Designer)

And last but not least, Chelsea of @thehousethatblackbuilt

Favourite painting to date? (of your own)

Ooo, that's a tough one! Probably a piece that I did for Kibre Interiors as part of a project for a penthouse in Kings Cross. 'Balance in Black and Grey'.

'Balance' in Black and Grey commissioned by Kibre Interiors

Instagram accounts that inspire you?

There are so many I don't even know where to start?! If I were to pick one, it would be the Manchester-based streetwear brand Represent. With 11 years of hard work and dedication, they always had one clear vision, were never afraid to take risks, and admitted when those risks didn't pay off. They have a clear identity, a loyal customer base and ultimately, a brand that resonates so strongly with its people through its integrity and focus on improvement.

Painting by Studio Lawrence in the hallway of Tala @gracebeverley | The Modern Broker | Matt Towe
'Grounded' by Studio Lawrence in the home of Tala Founder @gracebeverley

Any upcoming projects that will excite us?

I have created two pieces for the fantastic guys at @no.17house, which they will be showcasing very soon. I am also working on plans to expand the brand, curate other products, and create art, which I will share more details about when I can.

Painting by Studio Lawrence on wall in Manifest author home @Roxienafousi | The Modern Broker | Matt Towe
'Balance' by Studio Lawrence in the home of 'Manifest' author @Roxienafousi

Where can we buy your art?

Currently, all of my work is made-to-order/commission-based, and you can get in contact via my Instagram @studio.lawrence. My website is coming very soon! I have enlisted the help of the incredibly talented, Japan-based Studio Miyabi.

Studio Lawrence is an innovative contemporary art and design brand. Artist, George Lawrence, consciously creates a collection of hand painted, unique designs using carefully selected materials and brands to ensure he makes as little environmental impact as he possibly can. In a space where exclusivity often prevails, George aims at challenging the status quo to create genuinely affordable original artwork, aiming to democratise the world of art and make it obtainable and inclusive to all.


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