To honor life experiences and meaningful
moments through visual storytelling.



where it all started

“From a family of Raconteurs”

It was August 12th 1994, my 11th birthday, I opened my very first set of oil paints. I was so eager to create my first painting and pretty ambitious too. I chose a horse painting by Picasso. I have to say I am still pretty impressed how well it turned out. My love of creating had finally found direction.

I call Des Moines, Iowa home but I was born in La Mesa, California where I lived until I was 7 years old. My first big experience with adventure was Easter morning 1991 when my parents, older sister and I, packed snuggly in a Uhaul, headed East to start our a new chapter in Iowa.

I discovered my love of travel and adventure on that trip. This part of my life was also where I started my story telling. Everyone I met I would tell my story too. From warm Southern California to the corn fields of midwestern Iowa and how I got there.

I come from a family of storytellers. I remember being so excited when my Uncle Tom would come to visit. He had tons of stories and always had new ones to share. Still to this day I couldn’t tell you what were real stories and what were his stories he had created but I liked it that way.

My Dad grew up in a huge family. He would share stories about growing up in Ohio and how it was growing up in the same house and town his whole life. My mom, born in Hawaii, the youngest of 4 knew adventure from a very young age. Her stories of world traveling as a little girl with her Mom and Dad. Living all over the world and sharing her memories with me was inspiring. Hearing these stories of her as a kid when I was a kid seemed so out of this world to me. When I was about 13 I saw my Mom’s passport picture from when she was about 10, she looked so unhappy. I have always been drawn to that image, it has a sense of wonder. What was she thinking? What is her story? And that is where my inspiration started, creating visual stories for people to look at and create a story of what they see.

building something new

“Understanding the value of a moment”

Being a Mom is being a co author, writing the first few chapters in how their story will go and then passing the pen to them to write the rest. I have been a Mom for 13 years now to an old soul named Roland. Being a single Mom to an only child we have become best friends and value all the time we have together to create memories of stories we can share. We really love continuing our family tradition of storytelling and creating connections in our adventures.

being an artist

“Self portrait”

My purpose of being an artist it to tell stories and entice a sense of wonder. Art has always been an important part of my life but was never clear where it would take me. It wasn’t until I attended the fine art program at Grandview University a few years ago that I realized my direction.

Using travel, adventure, connection, family, history and memories to honor interesting stories. Through mixed media, my work is multi layered and full of symbolism. I want the viewer to see a story or a memory and create their own dialogue of what the art is saying to them. In a way I want to teach others to be storytellers and create lasting connections.

My art is mostly black, white and gray giving a feeling of history like a black and white photo does. I use cut paper to layer throughout my work symbolizing the layers of our lives, like chapters in a book. Being an artist is an adventure into an unknown place that only I can see and explore.

My hope as an artist is to be able to communicate through my work where I have been so you can feel the same inward significance as I do. It is so crazy beautiful!


“Drafting the next chapters”

I have so many goals, ideas and directions I want to go as an artist. A few years ago I couldn’t find the direction that felt right until realizing I had to create art that speaks to me. With winter right around the corner I plan to get lost in my home studio in research and creating.

Once January hits applications will open for Spring and Summer art festivals and I can’t wait to apply. I will apply for festivals just in the Midwest area for now but my goal is to travel all summer long attending art festivals all over the country.

I have a lot of experience painting residential murals and want to paint an outdoor mural in Des Moines. I have always wanted to create a large scale mural to share with my community and I will continue searching for opportunities to make that happen!

I want to work with businesses and clients to create custom work for their home and office. We all have stories to tell and I want to help bring that to life through my artwork.

Finding an artist in residency program overseas and applying for grants to travel is on the top of my list. Both are a ton of work and research so it will be slow going but I’m going to make it happen!


Peace, Love and Art

Thank you,

Lauren Pesta