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Laguna Beach, California

Known as an artist's colony for more than 100 years Laguna Beach is a magical beach town bursting with inspiration and was my hardest Wander Scarf illustration to create yet.

Hi friends! Madeline here again, illustrator & founder of Wander Scarf. I am originally from and currently live in Laguna Beach, California. I am in love with my city so I knew this Wander Scarf had to be extra special.

One of the biggest struggles of the Laguna Beach Wander Scarf was what to include in the illustration. With the Bologna, Morocco and London scarves I approached the illustrations as a wanderer. I captured the essence of each city as I experienced it for the first time without any super specific ideas or references I wanted to include. I had the luxury of starting each project with an unbiased eye. I could not do the same for Laguna. I was born, raised and still live here so of course I had a million places I wanted to include with the most biased viewpoint possibly ever!

Baby me making a doggie crown of bougainvillea on the beach

A few absolutely iconic places immediately came to mind I knew would defiantly be prominently featured. The Lifeguard Tower, Peppertree Lane, Sawdust Festival and Victoria Pirate Tower were all easy choices.

After that I was totally lost. What about all of my favorite coffee shops, countless stunning beaches, fabulously funky stores, best spots to grab drinks with friends and inspiring art galleries where I've made so many memories? How am I supposed to include everything!?! The answer is that I couldn't. However I did come up with a work around ;)

Most of the buildings in this scarf are a combination of two or more places in Laguna. This gave me a chance to be creative with my choices and color options. Ultimately I tried to make the best composition instead of recreating a specific spot exactly. For example a surf shop may be inside of what in real life is a restaurant!

Ways to Wear- the Laguna Beach Wander Scarf as a bag strap

The next struggle I had was the color pallet. I started by trying to use limited color pallet like in my other Wander Scarf Illustrations but it just didn't work. Laguna Beach is home of the artists after all so I decided why not make this the most colorful Wander Scarf Yet!

I started by painting flowers in my backyard- sea lavender, bougainvillea, white poppy, princess flower and imperial blue plumbago. This ultimately became the boarder of the Laguna Beach Wander Scarf and spoiler alert the full floral Laguna Mini Wander Scarf coming soon!

Recently I had the opportunity to wander around Laguna while wearing my Laguna Beach Wander Scarf. My darling little sister Bella was very generous with her time and TikTok knowledge and we made this Wander With Us video together.

As I was in the process of drawing Laguna I became more aware of my surroundings. I noticed details I'd never seen before in the city where I've spent most of my life. Like the way our bricks curve nontraditionally, a bright yellow door nestled between two stores, how the palms on top our hills permeate the sky, an intricate mermaid tile on a street of the same name and how the trees that line our streets look out of a Dr.Seuss illustration covered in year round twinkle lights.

This felt like a gift that made me more present in the city that I live in and love. I hope that love permeates through my illustration and you can make your own memories in your own Laguna Beach, Wander Scarf.

Keep Wandering.

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