In the summer of 2016, before she hit age 30, Lauren Friedman ’09 published her second book, 50 Ways to Wear Denim, which presents hand-drawn outfits with a denim motif. Tidbits about the history of denim accent pages filled with color-ful “how-to” drawings that offer ideas for wearing anything from bell-bottoms to jean jackets. Though no one who knows her is surprised by the career she’s carved for herself, her path to being a full-time artist and author was filled with what she affectionately calls “fits and starts.”
How did you land your first book deal?
After graduating from Wellesley as a political science major, I moved to D.C. and worked a series of regular 9-to-5 jobs. The best part of my day was getting dressed for work. I was fatigued from constantly looking at a computer screen, so I started an illustrated personal-style blog called My Closet in Sketches. I drew whenever I got home from work, creating outfits from my wardrobe and giving them names such as “Dead Poets on the Green” and “Drag Queen Brunch.” Within a year of starting the blog, I was able to become a full-time freelance artist. A friend encouraged me to write down my one-year, five-year, and 10-year goals. Under my one-year goals, I said I wanted to publish a book with Chronicle Books. A year later, during Hurricane Sandy, I was at a friend’s house watching nature documentaries and drinking wine, and I got an email from an editor at Chronicle Books who had seen a post about scarves from my blog and asked if I wanted to write a book for them. This became 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf. If there’s one ability I feel really confident about, it’s telling people what to wear!