We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Runge and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Laura, what are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about inspiring, encouraging and celebrating others. It is my life goal to make a positive difference in the world both personally and professionally. Long before I started my art business, I created my own mission statement: “To passionately inspire, encourage and uplift others through each and every creative endeavor, thereby striving to make the world just a little more extraordinary.” Little did I know when I wrote out that statement that I would take the leap from the corporate world to become a full-time artist. But what I did know then and what still resonates with me today is that I am always searching for ways to combine my creativity with my passion to make a positive difference. One example of this is an initiative I have just launched to help promote joy and hope during these unprecedented times. I had two of my original paintings – an abstract American flag and a pair of angel wings – printed on postcards and am offering them through my website at deeply discounted “pandemic” pricing in hopes that customers will use them to spread encouragement to others. For instance, leaving a postcard on a first responder’s car windshield, handing one to a grocery store clerk, giving one to a healthcare worker who is taking care of a loved one, setting one out for the delivery person who is bringing you a package, putting one in a neighbor’s mailbox to thank them for dropping off a warm dinner, or writing a friend to offer them your love and support. There are endless opportunities to show your appreciation or let someone know you are thinking of them. I have always said that my absolute dream job would be to become a Random Acts of Kindness Ambassador. I would spend my days seeking out opportunities to encourage others, give them hope, briefly lighten their load and simply let them know they matter. In these current pandemic times, I believe small acts of kindness are more important than ever as we all lean on each other and work together to emerge stronger and better than ever before.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In the seven years that I have been a full-time artist, my business has constantly been evolving. My story continues to unfold in ways I could have never imagined. The most exciting and unexpected development in my journey happened last year when I won the 2019 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Label Competition. It was an absolute dream come true as my “Joyous Crush’ painting was featured on over one million bottles of the world-famous festive wine. The other thing that was so incredible about this accomplishment was what it symbolized to me personally. Two of my greatest passions – celebrating life and celebrating the holiday season – converged when the wines were released the third Thursday of November. You see, the Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau is known for kicking off the holiday season to celebrate with friends and family. My own love of the holiday season stems from my belief that the wonderment and joy of the season epitomizes the best in all of us. This coupled with the gift of spending time celebrating with those we hold dear made this the perfect wine at the perfect time for me. It was the honor of a lifetime to play a small role in the story of this iconic wine that represents what I value most. And this particular holiday season was an extra-special for me as I was only weeks away from celebrating my 20th cancer-free anniversary – a blessing and a milestone that I was extremely grateful to be celebrating. And now in 2020 as we all forge a new course in the midst of this global pandemic, certainly more detours and unexpected twists and turns will change each of our journeys. My own art business is pivoting as I seek new online avenues to replace cancelled upcoming shows and events. But I am excited for new possibilities as I look to combine my other great love, writing, with my art. This is something I have dreamed about for a very long time. So, while this challenging time is certainly a chapter in my career that I could not have anticipated, I know new opportunities will arise. I am excited to share some new and exciting developments in the coming months. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my story holds.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I believe behind every success story there is a village of people who have contributed to that success. For me, it has been my “balcony people” – those people cheering me on – who have made such a positive difference in my life. Just as I was starting my new art business, I lost both of my parents within a short time. Everything in my life changed all at once – going from a career in the corporate world to launching a solo art business, losing my incredible parents, moving back to Dallas with my parents’ two dogs in tow – simply starting over. I could not have made it these past seven years without the help of my two amazing siblings and my host of supportive friends who have believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, encouraged me to keep going when I didn’t think I could and cheered for me each and every step of the way. They are the reason I continue on my artist journey and for that I am forever grateful.

Other: web: laurarunge.com Instagram and twitter: @laurarungeart Facebook: Laura Runge Art Linkedin: Laura Runge

Image Credits
Adrian Faubel Photography

Nominate someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.