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“Creativity can come from anything, even how you cook your food!”



Lauren Maria Hill is a Bristol-born artist whose works focus on portraiture and she will be showcasing her work at the YO Arts Fest this year. She will be live painting during the event onto a large canvas, exhibiting her creative talents in a vibrant environment. Lauren’s work is influenced by popular urban culture and exploring different definitions of beauty. Her art consists of a wide range of bright and beautiful pieces, from realist oil painting to bold and colourful watercolour sketches.


Lauren has also taken part in Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival, Upfest Festival, which is held in Bristol to celebrate alternative styles of art. More recently Lauren took part in a charity art auction for ‘Labour Behind The Label’ and sold her work to a mysterious online bidder. Whilst Lauren is currently preparing for her live painting event at YO Arts Fest, we asked her more about the festival and why it’s important for local artists and creatives to check out the event.




What does the word creative mean to you?

“What does it mean? I think it’s just [about] expression, isn’t it? Creativity can come in from anything, even how you cook your food! It’s just literally an expression of yourself and I think that if you didn’t have creativity in your life somehow, even if you’re not an artistic person, I think it’d be quite boring.



Do you think Bristol is a good environment for artists and why?

“Yeah, I think Bristol has a lot to offer to artists of all forms, but it is easy to become isolated if you’re not in with the crowd, so I think the YO Arts Fest is going to be good for that – to make people feel involved.”



How does it feel to be a young individual in the arts industry?

“I think it’s exciting, I think there’s a lot of opportunities for young people. Especially with social media, I hear about arts opportunities going on in all different cities [and] without [social media] I wouldn’t know about it. There’s a lot of opportunities but unfortunately for younger people in schools, it doesn’t seem to be that clear, it seems a more like you have to go out and get it for yourself, it’s not really brought to you as an opportunity. That’s where YO Arts comes in because they’re literally bringing it to the young people.”





How do you think the YO Arts Fest will benefit you and other creatives?

“It will benefit me in that I will be able to connect with more people, more creatives and to get a sense of what else I can get involved with rather than just painting, [I] don’t want to put myself in that box. Hopefully, other people will go there and get a feel for something else they didn’t really think they’d be interested in. The YO Arts Fest is going to be an exciting evening full of music, food, painting, workshops, talks and it’s just going to be a venue full of really interesting people you should know about.”



Finally, could you summarise YO Arts Fest in 3 words? 

“If I could use three words to describe YO Arts Fest it would be inclusive, independent and vibrant!”




If you want to catch this amazing event featuring Lauren painting live, check out YO Arts Fest on Thursday 15th November at Docklands Youth Centre St Paul’s Settlement, 74-80 City Rd, Bristol. The free arts event celebrates the creativity of vibrant youth, talent and community. This interactive event will include local youth talents, inspirational speakers, arts workshops, stalls, signposting, exhibitions, delicious food and arts opportunities!


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The future of paper arts

A Statement from the Board of Directors


Like many organisations, PAPER Arts has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, on appointment of a highly skilled CEO, we made the bold decision to review our business model and begin a process of research and development in order to shape a new service and to better support creatives in Bristol with professional development, networking and the opportunity to learn new skills.

Throughout the pandemic we have proudly supported creatives in Bristol, with a focus on young people from St Pauls, our Creative Employment programme hosted over 20 sessions and we welcomed 17 young people to feed into our research and development proposal. 

However, the last 18 months have been a huge challenge, while we’ve been able to successfully deliver a plethora of projects since our inception seven years ago, we have been unable to secure the funding necessary to realise our ambitious plans for the future and to provide our organisation with much needed financial stability.

As a result, it is with a heavy heart that the current PAPER Arts team, made up of Grace, Kate, Katy, Lau and Amie will no longer be able to continue in their roles. Our small team has delivered a substantial amount of value to the community we serve and the Board of Directors are endlessly grateful for the skills and professionalism they bring with them each and every day. We are proud to know and work alongside such talented individuals and believe that the arts sector is a better place with them in it. 

The ideas generated by this team are inspiring and hopeful and the Board of Directors wholeheartedly believe in the importance of supporting the creative community in Bristol.

As September ends and the seasons change PAPER Arts will be going into hibernation in order to survive this adversity. Our voluntary Board of Directors will spend the coming months considering the future of PAPER Arts, the role we can play in the arts sector in Bristol and how we can sustainably move forwards. We don’t know what that will look like yet, but as soon as we are able to share more with you we will. 

In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns or if you would like to speak to someone about the future of PAPER Arts please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] – Kirsten Cree, one of the Board of Directors will be monitoring this inbox. 

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