Youth committed to using art, faith to inspire others
Homer youth Lauren Jones has been painting and drawing since she was very young. She graduated from Homer High School earlier this year and is busy expanding her creativity from a hobby to a business. This year will be her first time as a vendor at the local Nutcracker Faire.
"I'm very excited to get my art into the community and to show others how I see the world," she said.
Jones works in a variety of mediums, including watercolor, acrylic, ink and polychromos colored pencil, with themes that include Alaska wildlife and wilderness, as well as her faith.
For the past year, she has been selling her work to friends and family primarily through Facebook, at K Bay Caffe, at the Homer Shores store on the Spit in the summer and the newly opened store, "Off Shore, on Pioneer Avenue. Eager to make her art more of an official business, she recently created her business name, "Composing in Color" specifically for the faire, where she will be showcasing her fine art prints, cards and card sets.
In addition to being eager to share her artwork with the community and expand her art as a business, Jones is excited to participate in the Nutcracker Faire as a way to raise funds for her upcoming mission trip. Homer born and raised, Jones has long been nurturing her musical side, as well as her talent for visual arts. She took piano lessons for two years, was in band for nine years, the high school swing choir for two years and has played trumpet throughout elementary, middle school and high school. She is also an active member of her church's worship team, playing piano and singing.
In January, she and other youth from her church will spend three months at a Discipleship Training School in Hawaii, where she will focus on ministry through music. After her time in Kona, she will spend three months ministering in a foreign country, where she will continue to develop her skills as a worship leader. She shared that it will allow her to pursue her dream of being a worship leader at her church.
"My goals during this trip include becoming comfortable as a songwriter, growing in my identity as a prophetic artist, and learning how to speak into other's lives in a valuable and loving way, no matter what stage of their faith they are at," she said.
Her second time on a mission trip, Jones is eager to be of service to others through ministry.
"I will be helping the impoverished through prayer and physical service, and sharing the knowledge of the gospel, displaying it through my actions," she said.
She shared that it has not always been easy to be a person of faith.
"It doesn't bother me that people don't agree or if they have something to say," she said. "It's not my place to judge or convince them; it's my job to love them and to be an example. There will always be opposition, but most of it is just perpetuated by how I think. If I don't make them my enemy, then they're not."
Jones chose her upcoming mission's trip over going to college.
"I don't want to go to college just for the sake of going to college," she said. "I want to be intentional with my education and make sure that it lines up with God's purposes for my life."
Coming from one of Homer's homesteading families, Jones said she grew up hunting, fishing, riding horses and enjoying the wilderness.
"My lifestyle has influenced my being to the core," she said. "I have a quiet strength and confidence born from my time in nature and my time with my dad and my heritage definitely inspired and fueled my artistic eye for wildlife and the landscape."
Jones divides her time between working at K Bay Caffe and focusing on her art. She currently has her work printed through a printer in Texas, and one of her short-term goals is to take advantage of the online gallery option they can provide.
"My dream is to be able to send people directly to the printer to order a print that can be Drop-shipped right there," she said. "Then I don't have to deal with packaging and shipping; I can just make art."
Jones' work can be viewed on her Facebook page, Lauren Jones Composing in Color. Visit her booth at the Nutcracker Faire, Dec. 2 and 3 at Homer High School and help her raise funds for her upcoming mission trip.
"I want people to know that I'm a Christian even before I tell them, so that they feel love, joy, peace and acceptance from me. I want to be able to accurately display that without any fear or doubt on my end," she said. "It can be awkward at times, to be so sure of my identity. I'm hoping that this mission trip will help in that way, so I can really be a light in Homer, to help my community to be a positive place."