New Original Paintings at Uprise Art!

05/22/15

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I am excited to let you know that I have four brand new original abstract paintings for sale through Uprise Art, my gallery in New York City. They can be purchased online via their website, and free framing (by me!) is available for any painting once you purchase. Shipping is also included.

You can see the entire selection of my work here on their site (note: all paintings in the selection except the four above are already sold). Note also that sizes vary, but all pieces are made with acrylic paints on hard “cradled” panels which are easy to hang and look striking in any room.

Thanks for looking and have a great weekend, friends!

CATEGORIES: For Sale | Paintings
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New TRAIL OF STARS Poster Release!

05/21/15

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Friends, I am so excited to release a new limited edition poster! This new piece is 12.5×19 inches, hand screen-printed in metallic gold ink on high quality blue French Paper Company stock.

This is an edition of 50 only. Once they are sold, these gold on blue posters are gone forever, so grab yours now!

All posters are signed and numbered and are $35 each.

This poster makes a great gift for the super stars in your life, including graduates, newlyweds and newborn babies!

You can grab one here in my Etsy Shop.

UPDATE: SOLD OUT! I’ll release the poster in a new color soon. Stay tuned!

Enjoy!

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Jessica Roux

05/18/15

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I first met Jessica Roux sitting outside PNCA this past summer on the first night of ICON8. My friend Tuesday (who I interviewed here last week) introduced me to Jessica as we stood around waiting to go to dinner. Tuesday raved about Jessica’s talent, and so when I got back to where I was staying that night, I Googled Jessica’s name and found her website. I was instantly blown away by her work, and have since become a super-fan. I am over and over again amazed by her technical drawing skill and attention to detail. I sat down with Jessica to ask her about how she got started, her inspiration and her process. Without further ado, illustrator Jessica Roux!

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Lisa: Tell us about your childhood. Where did you grow up and what was it like? When did you start drawing and painting?

Jessica: My childhood has so much influence on my work today! I grew up in North Carolina surrounded by nature – there’s the beach on one side and the mountains on the other, and lots of pine trees in between, so it’s a beautiful place to explore. I have lots of great memories of picking cicada shells of off trees with my sister and gardening with my mom and dad. My parents set up an easel in the backyard for my sister and I to paint when we were really young. Ever since then, I’ve loved drawing outside and drawing the things I find outside!

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Lisa: Your drawings and paintings are incredibly detailed and meticulous. Did you study art? If so, where? Have you always drawn in the style you are now known for? If not, how did that style evolve?

Jessica: Thank you! I studied illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where I graduated from in 2013. The development of my style was really difficult for me when I first arrived in college because it was my first opportunity to explore so many different mediums. I remember calling my parents crying because I couldn’t figure out my style, and it seemed to be coming really easily to my peers. When I started working in watercolors, I found a color palette that really resonated with me, but I didn’t like the lack of control. I always thought my pencil drawings would look so much better than the final product, so I started layering pencil on top of watercolors. That still didn’t really give me a lot of details or control, so I eventually abandoned watercolors for making a detailed graphite drawing and coloring it digitally. I don’t think I was really working in my current style until late in my senior year, but I produced a lot of work during that time period to make up for it. My work has gotten more detailed and stylized since then, too!

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Lisa: Your work has a timelessness about it, and so I imagine that you are influenced by history and historical imagery. Say more about your influences and where you go for inspiration for your work.

Jessica: One of my favorite parts of starting an illustration is doing (an insane amount of) research. I can’t get enough of history – old lithographs and studies by early naturalists are some of my favorite things. I love medieval bestiaries and the early Northern Renaissance. I’m also really inspired by nature. There are just so many strange plants and animals out there that I want to know more about! Sitting down to draw, it’s kind of like I’m trying to pack everything I researched into my work – maybe that’s why my work is so meticulously detailed!

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Lisa: What materials do you use primarily in your work and what is your process (in a few steps) from start to finish of a piece? How long do your pieces take (I know this depends, but I am sure people will be curious since your work is so detailed so any insight on this would be great).

Jessica: I make a detailed graphite drawing using a really sharp pencil on a cotton rag printmaking paper. Then I scan that in and color it in Photoshop, and a new illustration is born! The graphite drawing is what takes the longest – I can spend anywhere from five to twenty hours on that part. By the end of it I’m pretty much covered in pencil dust. Coloring goes by really quickly, but I enjoy it a lot more; it usually takes about two to five hours. So, a finished illustration is anywhere from five to twenty-five hours, but I usually take a lot of email-answering, dog walking, eating and sleeping breaks.

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Lisa: What do you like most about being an illustrator and do you have a favorite project that you have done for a client?

Jessica: I think the best part about being an illustrator is all the other amazing illustrators and art directors I’ve gotten to meet, or at least talk to online. It’s a really welcoming community of people lifting each other up, and I think that’s such a special thing. And, at the end of the day, I draw pretty things I like, so that is a pretty amazing job! Earlier this year I got to do a full page illustration for Smithsonian Magazine’s Collectors Edition of the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. As a history fan, I was thrilled to illustrate for them, and I’m so happy with how the illustration came out.

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Lisa: What are you working on right now?

Jessica: I’m working on some food illustrations, custom wedding invitations for a really sweet couple, and an illustration for a friend’s zine. I’m also working on more stationery cards and a few personal projects that I’m excited to share soon.

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Lisa: You live in Brooklyn, yes? What other hobbies do you have besides drawing and painting? How do you spend some of your time outside of work?

Jessica: I currently live in Brooklyn, but I’m looking to move in the near future – hopefully somewhere really naturey! I like going hiking and exploring upstate, taking my dog for walks in the park, and watching lots of tv with my husband.

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Lisa: Where can people buy your work or find your work out in the world?

Jessica: I sell prints and illustrated goodies here.

I also have a line of cards with Postable and wall decor with Walls Need Love.

Lisa: Where can people find you on the internets & social media?

Jessica: My website here. I’m on Instagram (my favorite!) and Twitter: @jessicasroux. And my blog and Facebook.

Lisa: Thank you, Jessica!

Have a great Monday, friends!

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Words for the Day // No. 66

05/14/15

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Another favorite: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Hope everyone is having a fearless Thursday!

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SURTEX & Stationery Show // NYC

05/13/15

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Friends! I’m so excited to announce that I am speaking at Surtex this year.

My session is called Art Business Boot Camp Review: One on One with Art Inc. author and artist, Lisa Congdon, and it’s being held Tuesday, May 19, 11:30- 1:00pm. If you are attending Surtex this year, you are welcome to attend my session and ask any questions you have about making a living as an artist.

Each year Clay and I attend Surtex and the Stationery Show, which happen simultaneously at the Javits Center in Manhattan. This year I am not exhibiting at either, but I will be walking both shows for inspiration and to meet people at companies we are interested in building working relationships with. Walking Surtex and/or the Stationery Show is a great way to get to know the licensing and stationery industries & to meet contacts. I highly recommend attending! Here is more about registering. To boot, a pass to Surtex gets you into Stationery Show and vice versa. You also have access to ICFF, which is a fantastic show of contemporary furniture. These shows happen every year, so if this year doesn’t work for you, there is always next year!

Here I am with my dear friend Claudia Pearson last year at her booth at the Stationery Show. Can’t wait to see all my friends at this year’s show!

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Have a great Wednesday, friends! And hope to see you this coming week in New York!

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PRINT Magazine // 75th Anniversary

05/12/15

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{Piece I designed for the 75th Anniversary Edition of Print Magazine}

Every now and again I have to pinch myself, and this past week was one of those times. I finally got my hands on the 75th Anniversary Edition of PRINT Magazine (a bimonthly American magazine about visual culture and design). A few months back, design luminary Debbie Millman, on behalf of PRINT Magazine, asked 75 “of the best creatives working today” (their words) to design the word “print.” All of the pieces were exhibited at the recent HOW Conference and just 34 were chosen to appear in the magazine. Mine was one of the pieces chosen. To boot, I’m sitting on a spread with two friends (Jessica Hische and Kate Bingaman-Burt) and two design heroines Maira Kalman and Jennifer Morla.

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Dreams do sometimes come true. Have a happy Tuesday, friends!

 

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Maker Mentors Online Conference

05/11/15

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Calling all creative entrepreneurs! I’m super excited to let you know that I am participating this week as a speaker at this year’s Maker Mentors Online Conference. The organizers of this new conference for creative entreprenuers have brought together some of the smartest business experts and best creative business owners together to create a totally unique experience.

The conference is happening this week: May 14th-May 16th. Everyone who signs up gets access to 20+ live sessions with creative business experts, an interactive forum and tons of new resources to help you grow your business. Don’t worry if you can’t make it live—all of the content is recorded so you can access it anytime. Register now with discount code “LISAVIP” and get $50 off of your registration fee.

At this conference, you will learn from creative business mentors and have access to:

  • 20 live-streamed sessions with an amazing lineup of speakers
  • Access to interactive community forums
  • One-on-one access to the mentors
  • Tons of resources to help you grow your creative business

My talk is a Q&A style format with Maker Mentors founder Cassie Boorn and will air on Thursday May 14th at 1pmPT/4pmET.

I hope you will join the event!

Register here with the promo code “LISAVIP” and see you at Maker Mentors!

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Tuesday Bassen

05/08/15

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Friends, I am so excited to share with you my most recent Interview with People I Admire: the amazing Tuesday Bassen. Tuesday is an extremely talented & prolific illustrator, zine maker, ceramics artist and comic maker. She’s also one of my favorite people: earnest, kind and always sporting the best eye shadow and glasses. Tuesday’s clients include such big names as Playboy, The New Yorker, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Snapple, Fiat, Target and American Greetings. I first met Tuesday several years ago on Twitter, and then, as often happens, we became friends IRL (in real life). I sat down with Tuesday last week and got the skinny on her life & work. I really do love her, and I think you will too.

Lisa: TUESDAY BASSEN, I LOVE YOU! Tell my readers about where you grew up and what that was like.

Tuesday: LISA CONGDON, I LOVE YOU TOO! I grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, which is a small middle-class college town. I have very young, entrepreneurial parents—one owns a pottery shop and one is a dog trainer. I definitely lucked out in the early life lottery, because Lincoln Public Schools has an arts focus program that set me on the path to becoming an illustrator. It changed my life.

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Lisa: When did you begin drawing? Did you always imagine that you would grow up to be an artist? Or did you have other plans for yourself at one point? Where did you study art?

Tuesday: Art was always my favorite recreational activity, but I didn’t realize it could be a career before attending the aforementioned high school program. Before that, I wanted to pursue foreign policy and had already studied abroad in Russia at age 13! I ended up at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where I got my BFA in 2011.

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Lisa: Ah, yes, I remember you telling me about your time in Russia as an adolescent. I still think you should write and illustrate a book about that experience. Anyhow, you do so many things: illustration, comics, zines, ceramics, Ugly Girl Gang, etc, etc! Your work is in demand, and you have lots of client work, but I notice you are always doing your own thing — your own personal projects and collaborations. What drives your decisions about how you spend your time? Obviously you have to pay the rent (we all do), but what else matters to you?

Tuesday: I’ve always been of the mindset that you should create the opportunities you want to have, I’m not interested in waiting around for other people to give them to me. Client work is (of course) integral to my practice, but my personal work dictates what kind of people hire me and for what. Lately, I’ve been pushing the boundaries of what I imagined to be commercially successful in favor of what I find personally appealing and it’s been awesome to see that other people are into it too.

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Lisa: Tell us about your new puppy.

Tuesday: GUS! Gus is a dachshund that was rescued by Lauren, a wonderful friend of mine that cares for lots of rescued dachshunds and a brood of other animals. His age is anyone’s guess, but he looks like an adorable combination of a puppy and an old man.

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Lisa: What are the major influences on your work? Are there artists you look up to? Or movements?

Tuesday: I’ve always been really into underground comics and artists like Julie Doucet, Daniel Clowes, and Dame Darcy have influenced my use of medium. There are lots of current artists that I find inspiring and relatable, but I’ve been getting the most inspiration lately from 70’s magazines like Easy Rider. I’m not into the misogynistic overtones, but I am interested in the explicit sexual freedom and under-done raw aesthetic of women at motorcycle festivals. Easy Rider culture reminds me of my childhood and therefor find it pleasantly nostalgic, but I draw, in part, to subvert the messages I’m not interested in perpetuating. I create my own reality, and I think to a degree, I shape other people’s reality by putting it out into the world.

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Lisa: You draw this world where girls are tough, smoking, tattooed, take-no-prisoner bad ass types. They are members of the Ugly Girl Gang. And while I know you, too, are a bad ass, I also know you as a very tender-hearted person, and I’ve never seen you with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth. Talk about that.

Tuesday: Though I feel conscious about how other people perceive me, I try not to let it dictate my content in art or social media presentation. We’ve talked about this before, but one thing I love about you, Lisa, is that you are warm, but firm. I also strive to achieve that balance with everything I do and hope that comes across in my work, in my conversations, and in my actions. I think that’s a very powerful and nuanced message to send to the world: I am kind, but I know what I want and you will not deter me, regardless of how you may perceive my appearance, gender, class, race, anything.

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Lisa: You just moved from NYC to LA last year. Tell us about that & how it’s going.

Tuesday: I landed solidly in LA at the beginning of 2015, which seems arbitrary, but was a conscious shift for me. I felt depressed for a good portion of 2014, so moving to me was taking control and making a decision to pursue happiness. I sold anything that wouldn’t fit in my tiny car and moved in with my friends/collaborators, Tiny Splendor Press, to a little craftsman style home in the middle of LA. It’s perfect.

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Lisa: Where can people find your work out in the world?

Tuesday: Products can be found at lots of places, including Palace in PDX, Pygmy Hippo in LA, MOCA Gift Shop in LA, Hello Holiday in Omaha, soon in Aeropostale, and in Urban Outfitters for limited edition collaborations.

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Lisa: Where can people find you on the internets and social media?

Tuesday: TuesdayBassen.com and @tuesdaybassen on Instagram.

Lisa: Thank you, Tuesday!

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Pattern Camp with Jessica Swift is Back!

05/06/15

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Have you ever wanted to learn to create gorgeous repeat patterns with your artwork or drawings, either just for fun or for illustration and licensing opportunities? If the answer is yes, then Jessica Swift’s Pattern Camp is for you!

Pattern Camp is an intensive, 2-day online workshop that will teach you how to create your own repeat patterns in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop in just 2 days. Live participation is not required — all the lessons are video-based and written, so you can work through the material at your own pace. Access to the course and all the lessons will be available for one month after the end of the weekend. A private Facebook group is a fun and important community component of the course, and participation in that is encouraged.

Jessica Swift is an experienced and successful pattern designer and a wonderful teacher (I’ve taken her class myself & loved it).

When: Saturday and Sunday June 6-7, 2015  //  8am – 4pm PST each day

(note: participants can also work through the course at their own pace; participation in the intensive weekend portion is not mandatory)

Where: the course takes place online in a private classroom area of the Pattern Camp website

Price: $239 USD // Register here.

Have a great Wednesday, friends!

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New Podcast: Brand New Ways

05/05/15

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I had a really great time chatting with the esteemed Jen Leonard on her podcast Brand New Ways. You can listen to me rattle on as she asks me about life as an artist, my work, how I play and one of my weird musical obsessions (among many other things).

More about the amazing Jen Leonard: for the past eight years, Jen has been a Design Lead at global innovation consultancy IDEO, where her projects have run the gamut from service and brand to products and spaces, and her clients have included big-hitters like Nike, Marriott, Visa, Equinox, and Renault. Jen is passionate about seizing (and helping others see) the magic of life as we’re living it. To boot, she’s a great interviewer.

Take a listen here.

 

CATEGORIES: Podcasts
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Art Inc for College Grads!

05/04/15

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Do you know someone graduating from art school or an art program at a university? Art Inc. is the perfect gift for art, illustration, design or photography graduates. Transitioning from making art for school to making art for a living isn’t easy. Artists who dream of turning their passion into a career need guidance. In Art Inc., I discuss the multiplicity of ways people can make a living from art—including illustration, licensing, fine art sales, print sales, and teaching— and I offer practical advice on cultivating a business mindset, selling and promoting work, and more. Trade secrets from art world pros including such luminaries as Paula Scher, Nikki McClure, and Mark Hearld make Art, Inc. the ultimate resource for aspiring artists ready for success.

You can purchase copies on Amazon or signed copies here in my Etsy shop!

 

CATEGORIES: Art Inc | For Sale | My Books
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Just Add Color Botanicals on the Meredith Vieira Show!

05/01/15

Super excited that my coloring book Just Add Color: Botanicals was on the Meredith Vieira show yesterday! You can watch the clip above and see Botanicals front and center! It’s sold out everywhere but back in stock this month and you can order on Amazon and they’ll ship when it’s available again (should be soon).

This just in, too: I’ve just signed on to create three more coloring books for the Just Add Color series, out next year!

Have a great Friday, friends!

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Have Some Fun with Sketchbook Explorations!

04/30/15

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Do you enjoy drawing in your sketchbook or doodling your way through the day?  Last year I launched Basic Line Drawing (which you can take or re-take at any time) and this year my newest class is called Sketchbook Explorations. Both classes are great for avid or aspiring drawers or doodlers.

You can watch the preview of Sketchbook Explorations below:

The class is divided into four parts. You can make your sketchbooks looks like mine (I’ll teach you some techniques) or use the inspiration to create your own totally unique spread. That part is up to you.

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In addition to drawing, we’ll also do some mixed media collage with paper in our sketchbooks too! Throughout the course I share  my process and you have the opportunity to learn alongside me. I cover the materials you’ll need, composition and technique. You take the course at your own pace — it lives on the internet forever, so there is no rush!

Head over here to learn more, watch preview videos, sign up for my class or get a Creativebug’s subscription if you don’t have one already. It’s a steal at $4.95 a month (and you can take as many classes as you like and can cancel any time).

In the past students from my course have posted images of what they’re making on Instagram. If you do take the course, be sure to follow me @lisacongdon and tag me & use the hashtag #cbugsketchbook in your images so that I can see what you’re making!

Hope to see you in class & have a great Thursday!

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For the Love of Mom

04/29/15

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner! If you are still looking for something to give your mom on May 10th, I’ve got loads of mom-friendly gifts in my shop. And to celebrate all the awesome moms out there, I’m offering 15% off for Mother’s Day with coupon code ILOVEMOM. This code is valid through Mother’s Day. Go take a look!

Have a happy Wednesday, friends!

 

CATEGORIES: For Sale
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For the Love of San Francisco

04/28/15

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SF Print // Now available in my Etsy Shop

As many of you know, I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Portland, Oregon one month ago today. I am happy too report that I am absolutely loving my new city. But one thing I know for sure is that San Francisco will live forever in my heart. I’ve written here before about the significance of this great city in my development as a human being. No place will ever be part of me as much as San Francisco.

To celebrate San Francisco, I’m offering two new pieces in my Etsy shop starting today. First, the SF Print pictured above, which is a collection of many of the things I love about the city. Second, I’m also offering copies of the SF Wildsam Field Guide (pictured below) which I illustrated in 2013 (you can see more images of the book here). This guide is a little book packed with local lore, interviews, memoir, hand-drawn maps, personal essays and more. Equal parts travel guide and tribute, the field guides suit both weekender and native.

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Have a great Tuesday, friends!

 

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