Laura Jane Illustrations
Q1) Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m Laura, the creator and voice behind @laurajaneillustrations on Instagram and hellohappee.com. I was born and raised in Tipperary in Ireland but currently live in North Italy, near the beautiful Lake Maggiore and work by day as a Kindergarten teacher in an English International School in Milan.
Q2) Tell us about what you do, and why you do it
I do a lot of different things, I run @laurajaneillustrations and @hellohappee on instagram, where I try to share positive and thought provoking content. Alongside that I have my blog, hellohappee.com, and my Etsy shop, The Happee Shop, where I sell prints of some of my work so people can bring the positivity into their homes.
I have been blogging since 2015, but in 2018 I rebranded my then lifestyle and beauty blog into hellohappee and started @laurajaneillustrations. I was frustrated with the state of the social media space, how so much content is just a copy and paste of each other and how so few creators were willing to create content that was real, inspiring, honest and raw. When I scrolled through my social feed it didn’t make me happy, I saw all these beautifully staged photos and that made me criticise my own life; when I reflected on it more I realised so much of this content was just an edited version of reality and I wanted to put something more meaningful back into the social space.
Q3) What makes you feel courageous?
I never really used to think of myself as a brave or courageous person; I suffered a lot with my anxiety in the past and it damaged myself self-esteem and confidence a lot. However I never stopped fighting. I guess what keeps me going in moments that I feel scared or vulnerable is remembering how strong I was able to be in my weakest moments up to this point. I try to live my life with an open mind and through this I find courage to try new things and take on new challenges; I guess what makes me feel courageous is my own trust in myself.
Q4) What is one thing you wish you could tell your 16-year-old self?
If I could go back and spend some time with my sixteen year old self, the only thing I would tell her is this: ‘I love you’. She will have to learn to love herself and be there for herself and I wouldn’t want to give her a cheat sheet on the challenges she is going to face because she will need them to make her strong and brave. All she needs to know is that I may not have loved her as much as I could have then, but I love her now and will continue to love her for many years more.
Q5) What is one piece of advice you can give a fellow lady who might be lacking courage?
I heard a quote once and live by it since, it goes: “being strong feels exactly the same as being weak, the only difference is you don’t stop”; being brave or courageous does not mean being fearless, it means being present with those feelings but choosing to keep going. Having courage is not always about being confident, it’s about knowing yourself and what you want and going after that in your own way.