San Francisco Speaking and Book Event Tuesday!


April 26th marks the start of my launch tour for my latest book, The Joy of Swimming: A Celebration of Our Love for Getting in the Water, and to kick it off, I’m starting in my hometown of San Francisco! Join me for a talk at California College of the Arts, all about my motivation and process — both the joys and the challenges — as I created this book. I’ll also welcome Kimberley Chambers to the stage for a short conversation about her life-changing experience with swimming. I profiled her unbelievable story in the book, and can’t wait to chat with her in person. Afterwards, I’ll be signing copies of the book (they’ll also be for sale) and giving high fives.
Seating is limited, so get there early to grab one! The event, generously sponsored by Adobe & @creativecloud, begins at 7pm and will include a talk by me, an interview with Kimberley Chambers, a Q&A, book sale & signing, and reception. Hope to see you there! All the info here

Professional Practice Class on Skillshare



Back in September, I launched a class with online learning platform Skillshare: Professional Practice in Illustration: Following a Creative Brief and Executing an Assignment. After seeing all of the fantastic work and interaction from my students, Skillshare is extending a special offer to my community:

If you’re not currently a member of Skillshare and you register for my class, you’ll have access to the class (and everything on Skillshare) for free for a three whole months!

This offer is valid starting today, April 21st, 2016, through July 21, 2016.

Here’s a clip from the class to give you a preview:

An Online Skillshare Class by Lisa Congdon

What the class is about:

When I was first starting out as an artist, I wanted to become an illustrator, but the world of illustration seemed very mysterious to me. The first few assignments I took felt a bit confusing. I wondered: What was I supposed to do exactly? What were the steps? What was expected of me?

I faked my way through for awhile, but after I had a handful under my belt, I realized there was a certain rhythm to most illustration jobs that, regardless of the type of illustration I was doing, followed an ordered flow. After almost 10 years as an illustrator and over 60 clients later, the phases remain essentially the same. This class teaches the basic flow of an illustration assignment (working with a client) so you know what to expect. You learn the flow by participating in a  mock illustration assignment (including making a mock book cover).

This is a professional practice class, not an art technique class:

It’s important to remember that this is a professional practice class, not an art technique class. That’s right: I won’t be teaching art technique. The focus is on learning the steps in the illustration process more than it is coming up with a clever cover for The Story of the Three Little Pigs (though, if you do both, you are golden). Practicing making the sketches and final artwork is an important part of the class, however. It’s really important to dig in and practice the process, including practicing writing a good email. That way, you’ll be much more prepared the first time you get a real assignment.

Who this class is for:

This 40 minute class is designed to introduce aspiring or burgeoning illustrators to the rhythm and steps of a typical illustration assignment – what they look like and what the expectations are. The assignments will take you anywhere from 2 hours to 8 hours, depending on your medium and level of experience.

You can take this class at your own pace, whenever you like. There is no specific time frame and the class will be available in perpetuity.

My interaction:

I log in every week to check the questions and comments in the class forum.

Hope to see you over at Skillshare! Sign up for Skillshare (and the class) here. Register before July 21st for 3-months free! Once you arrive at the site, you’ll see this the blue bar below — just click to redeem!



New Coloring Book Challenge Class with Creativebug!



Join Creativebug instructor Courtney Cerruti for a class on coloring book coloring techniques! The class is called 30 Coloring Pages (that’s how many coloring pages you have access to in the class). Instructors & artists Courtney Cerruti, Pam Garrison and I have all created coloring book pages for the course and Courtney will show you some techniques for coloring them in.

Each week, you’ll get a new batch of downloadable pages from all three artists plus creative ways to color in the pages. Courtney’s lessons go way beyond the classic crayon, covering everything from colored pencils and markers to glitter pens and watercolors, with lots of tips for blending and adding dimension.

Week one starts today and it’s all about using colored pencils! Begin the class (or sign up for a Creativebug subscription) here (see “start your free trial” button on the top left if you are new to Creativebug.


Happy Friday and happy coloring!


Joy of Swimming Book Tour




I am so excited because just last week, I interviewed the amazing Dara Torres for my upcoming book about badass women over 40 (comes out in 2017). It was an absolute treat to interview her (her story is incredible). I was also lucky enough to get permission for this beautiful quote from Tara for my latest book (which comes out April 17) — The Joy of Swimming.

Speaking of The Joy of Swimming, you can pre-order the book here. Do you live in or near San Francisco, New York City, Minneapolis, Portland or Seattle? I’ll be in each of these cities speaking and signing copies of The Joy of Swimming.

April 26, 7-9 pm – California College of the Arts (San Francisco) (I’m giving a talk & signing books)
May 8, 2-4 pm 
– Strand Books (NYC) (signing books)
May 11, 7-9 pm – Powerhouse Arena (Brooklyn, NY) (I’m giving a talk & signing books)
May 13, 9-10:30 am  – Creative Mornings (Minneapolis) (I’m giving a talk & signing books)
May 17, 7-9 pm – Broadway Books (Portland) (signing books)
May 24 7-9 pm – University Bookstore (Seattle) (I’m giving a reading & signing books)

Mark your calendars and hope to see you there!


Recent Sketchbook Roundup



As many of you know, drawing in my sketchbook is how I spend a lot of my time outside of my job as an illustrator. Recently, I’ve begun working in THREE different sketchbooks, all of which have different purposes and different paper — something for every mood! I’ve got my regular square format sketchbook with regular paper, I’ve got my moleskine watercolor sketchbook (which is fairly large) and I’ve now also got my “messy” sketchbook, which is actually just a vintage book about Germany that I’m purposefully painting and collaging in as a way to practice being messier in my art-making. Today I wanted to share some of the sketchbooks I’ve made since December.

You can follow along with all of my sketchbook escapades by following me on Instagram and you can also view past sketchbooks here on my website.

Do you want ideas for drawing in your own sketchbook? I teach two different classes on Creativebug to get you started. The first is simply called Sketchbook Explorations. And the other is called More Sketchbook Explorations. I recommend taking the first and then diving into the second.

Drawing and a book in a book can be a very liberating experience because you are not focusing on making a “finished” piece of art for framing or display. When your book is filled, it’s a wonderful experience to flip through the pages!

Happy drawing. Have a great Friday!