Painting to process his trauma, Ian’s love for the Arts grew as he began working within many creative fields including fine art and garden design, where he achieved a silver gilt for a garden he designed at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Flower Show in 2009. From 2001 – 2006 Ian held the title of ‘Artist-in-Residence’ with Southeastern, working with local schools and youth groups to broaden their appreciation for modern art. Over his five years of Residency, he also ran a series of Open Studios, turning mundane empty spaces into art studios. Ian’s giving attitude and art activism for the community has resulted in a permanent display of his tile installation located St. Leonards Warrior Square station.
During Ian’s early career as an artist he worked as a comic book illustrator, assisting his father Don Lawrence - creator of the 'Storm’ series. Though he saw great success as an illustrator it was the sense of freedom that came from working on large abstract canvases that truly captivated him as abstraction enabled his work to be entirely emotive.