photo by Sarah Deragon, 2014

The artist

Lisa comes from a family of creative people and has been making things with her hands since she was very small, but she did not begin painting or drawing until she was in her early 30’s. Once she started, she was hooked, and for the past 15 years she has been drawing, painting and cutting paper nearly every day. She has no formal artistic training and is mostly self-taught. Congdon’s vast catalog of work is most often themed around her passion for nature, geometrics and folk pattern. In 2011, she had her first major solo show at Gallery Hijinks in San Francisco and was in her first museum show at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

The illustrator

In 2007 Lisa expanded her scope of work to include illustration. Her first three clients were Pottery Barn Teen, Chronicle Books and Poketo. Her client list now includes The Museum of Modern Art, Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Hewlett Packard, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Land of Nod, Urban Outfitters and The Obama Campaign among many others. Lisa is fast becoming known for her pattern and surface design and in 2012 released her first line of wallpaper for Hygge and West and now has two lines of fabric with Cloud9. She is also a passionate hand letterer, and in 2014 she published her first book of hand lettered quotes. You can view her entire client list here.

The author

Lisa is currently the author of four books, including A Collection a Day, 20 Ways to Draw a Tulip, Whatever You Are Be a Good One, and Art Inc: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist. She is currently writing two more books, one due out in 2015 and one in 2016.

The collector

An avid collector since the age of five, Lisa is the author of A Collection a Day. A Collection a Day started on January 1, 2010 as a personal blog project on which Lisa posted a photograph of one of her collections every day for 365 days. Numerous print and online publications wrote about the project over the course of the year (including The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle and the Canadian National Post). In early 2011 the blog was transformed into a book published by Uppercase in Canada.

The athlete

Lisa is an avid swimmer and cyclist. She’s been swimming her whole life, and  for 11 years, she swam and coached on a team in San Francisco. She retired in 2006 to pursue her art career. Lisa still swims several times a week. Since then, she’s also taken up distance road cycling and has committed herself to climbing some of the steepest hills in the Bay Area of California as often as she can. When she can’t get on her bike, you can find her on a spin bike at the spin studio down the street from her house.

The homebody

Lisa lives in Oakland, California with her partner Clay Lauren Walsh, their adorable Chihuahua Wilfredo, and their silly cat, Barry. When she’s not making art, perusing flea markets for cool stuff or riding her bike, Lisa enjoys cooking delicious meals for her partner and friends, watching films, listening to music and drawing in her sketchbook.

Learn more

Videos of Lisa:
Lisa on CreativeLive (2014)
Lisa’s Embrace the Abyss Talk (TYPO International Design Conference, 2014)
Like Knows Like Documentary (2013)
The Good Life Project (2012)
Creative Mornings (2011)

Podcasts with Lisa:
After the Jump with Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge (2014)
Raise Your Hand. Say Yes. with Tiffany Han (2014)
Accidental Creative with Todd Henry (2014)
Converge with Dane Sanders (2014)
While She Naps with Abby Glassenberg (2014)
What’s Your Story with Meighan O’Toole (2014)
Creative Living with Jamie Ridler (2014)
CraftyPod with Diane Gilleland (2011)
My Love for You with Meighan O’Toole (2011)

Written Interviews with Lisa:
Little Farm Media (2014)
Mohawk Paper (2014)
Art & Lemons (2014)
sfgirlbybay Studio Tour (2014)
Marion & Rose’s Workshop (2014)
All the Things (2014)
Illume (2014)
Design*Sponge (2013)
Hello Lucky (2013)
Woodnote Photography (2013)
The Great Discontent (2012)