Oh, hello! I'm the creator of this site and the work within, as well as a designer, a developer, an artist, and a maker of many things—though I'll usually just call myself Laura. I've been hanging around this planet for close to three decades, the last of which I've spent in Richmond, VA soaking up the sun, biking around town, getting inked, and making art. I'm a big fan of stripes and bright colors, I'm a plant lover and a dog owner, and I'm always looking for a new fantasy book to read or a reason to bake some goodies.
Coming from an art background, I have a trained eye for color and composition paired with a deep appreciation for how the two playing together can evoke emotion and communicate an idea. The role of art in design is often overlooked or underplayed, but I think it's integral for truly connecting and engaging with a visual work. I value the process of design and the journey of discovery from pen and paper to finished digital or physical work. I believe in making anything as originally as you can without reinventing what already exists, and I enjoy the challenges of learning new technology, creating something by hand, or finding new uses for old tools. There's always a project I'm itching to work on or a new idea taking shape in the back of my mind. If you've got an idea in mind for me, I'd love to hear about any collaborative, contract, or freelance work opportunities.
I've been called bubbly before, but maybe not enitrely to this degree. I'm an avid fermenter, coaxing bubbles out of fruits and veggies to give up their deeper flavors for kombucha, ginger beer, and hot sauce. I've even taken up the tradition of creating a new hot sauce each year for holiday gift giving; the video above documents the process of 2020's Peachfire Habanero Sauce.
To me, there's nothing quite like hunting for hidden treasure among storefuls of discarded items from other lives—something so mesmerizing about holding an object with a story all its own. Stepping into a thrift or antique store is the best time travel I've experienced thus far. The colors, the textures, the styles... there's inspiration everywhere!
My computer keyboard is a tool I use everyday, so why shouldn't it be an absolute joy to use? Mechanical keyboards give a satisfying tactile feedback and nearly infinite options for customization, plus the ability to use your own hands to build a working device yourself—it's the perfect Laura recipe. While I've finally built my dream keyboard (above) and waylaid my keyboard related purchases, I'm always avidly following updates in the community, looking at new case and board concepts, browsing keycap sets, keeping up with switch releases, and admiring so many amazing artisan keycaps.
Not just my freelancing name or the address of this site, LCD Studio refers to the actual space I work in. I believe that you can produce your best work when you're in the best environment for it. For me, that means having all my tools and supplies organized and in reach, plenty of paper to take notes and doodle on, open work space on my desk, computer monitors specified for coding and design work, easy access to another cup of tea, and all the right kinds of distractions, from artwork and photographs to color swatches and research books to lighting and background music (which coincidentally does include some LCD Soundsystem—big fan, but no relation). It's like drawing with your favorite pen, but it's not just the pen, it's everything else around you too. I aim not only to remove obstacles and bottlenecks in my making process, but to introduce inspiration and spontaneity into the process as well; the inspiration around me spark new thoughts and ideas whenever I lose steam or trail off or take a break on a project.
Here I am pictured in my natural environment, the studio space, filled with art, color, plants, projects, books, tools, notes, memories, ideas.
Just as valuable as the environment to create work, is the environment in which the work lives. In this case, it's showcasing that work in my portfolio, which is more important still. So much so, that since the templates or customizers on any website builder I found weren't up to par, I decided to learn how to code so I could build a website to show off my work in just the way I wanted. After months of teaching myself the basics of HTML, CSS, and a little bit of jQuery, I began to build the first iteration of my portfolio site. Click here to see a live archive of that website. This design included a lot of color, a stacked block menu style, a parallax image gallery home page, and a layout of split-screen scrolling sections to display project process and final images.
I started as I do any new project, by dumping my thoughts onto paper, making lists and sketches on note pads, then refining those notes by organizing ideas, rewriting for clarity and priority, and drawing new references. I had many pages of wireframes, some listing content to include, some mapping layout and navigation, and others noting what HTML tags or CSS structure to use.
New goals for the site were creating an easier to use navigation, simplifying the HTML structure to make updating and adding projects easier, refining the sizing and spacing, limiting color palettes while still maintaining a bold use of color, and adding more breathing space for better readability.