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Lauren McHale Mills: Art and Authorship

Lauren McHale Mills sits behind an open laptop with stuffed bears in the foreground.
Lauren McHale Mills

Stamps student Lauren McHale Mills (BFA 23) is a multi-talented artist, author, and entrepreneur.

Mills started her business Artologi at 11. For over a decade, she has nurtured this business and worked with such clients as singer/​songwriter Jill Scott, the American Cancer Society, and Washtenaw County. As she approaches graduation from the University of Michigan, Mills has released her first coloring book and reading guide that honors Black Authors.

Multicolored gradient with the title ABC of Black Authors, and in interior spread of a black and white illustration of Toni Morrison with a bio.

The ABC’s of Black Authors was a labor of love for Mills, who wrote and illustrated the 26 images in the book. Every book spread contains an author’s illustration, a short biography, and a reading list. Mills hopes that through the book, people learn more about the contributions of the writers she is highlighting and that they create a keepsake piece of art in the process.

Lauren McHale Mills holds her book, "The ABC's of Black Authors."
Lauren McHale Mills

I loved creating this book which features both authors I have read and loved and authors I hadn’t previously heard of,” said Mills. I noticed no coloring books acknowledged and celebrated black authors this way. I want people to enjoy coloring and creating their unique artwork with these illustrations and hopefully go on to explore the work of these authors.”

The ABC’s of Black Authors is being distributed to bookstores across Michigan and around the country. It is also available online at www​.shopar​tologi​.com.

Lauren can also be found in her Senior Project IP Studio in the Art & Architecture Building. The space is filled with stuffed animals as Lauren explores an installation of work that shows how inanimate objects, such as toys, help people navigate the impact of childhood trauma. She also finds time to work at the Stamps Gallery as an assistant.

After she graduates, Lauren plans to continue growing Artologi and expanding her portfolio of work. For Mills, she is excited about what the future holds for her as an artist and businesswoman.

Story by Jen Hogan.