The Joy of Swimming: Off to Print!



Some of you who follow my work will remember that early last year I began working on a book about swimming. I’m so excited to let you know that book (published by Chronicle Books), titled The Joy of Swimming: A Celebration of Our Love for Getting in the Water, is off to print and available for pre-sale on Amazon! The actual book will be coming out April 19, and we’re beginning to plan a book tour that will take place during May, 2016. If you are interested in hosting an event for the tour in your city (or would like me to do a special event with your swim team or swimming group or at your bookstore), I’d love to hear from you! My budget for travel is small, but I’m hoping to get to as many places that month as possible.


{Some shots from the making of The Joy of Swimming}

The Joy of Swimming is a 144 page book chock full beautiful colorful drawings and photographs of some of the history, nostalgia, stories, and fascinating facts about one of our favorite past times: swimming! I also profile over 30 regular people between the ages of 11 and 92 for whom swimming is a daily ritual. Their stories are really amazing!

And what would a book about swimming be without dogs? Other images from the book, below.





Have a great Monday, friends! And don’t forget you can pre-order the book here!


New Notebook from Denik!



Friends, I am so happy to share with you the release of a new notebook from Denik.  What’s special about Denik is their mission and vision: For every product they sell, a portion of the proceeds goes directly to building schools.

This particular cover came from a design I drew in my own sketchbook earlier this year:


You can purchase the notebook here and visit my artist page on Denik here.

Have a great week!


Be You Tee is Back! In Kids Sizes Too!


Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 8.04.24 AM

Friends, I’m so happy to let you know that my Be You design for Cotton Bureau is back! And this time we’ve got kids sizes, including onesies for babies! You can view all kids sizes & colors here to purchase.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 8.04.14 AM

And you can view and purchase all the adult tees and sweatshirts here. This is the last time these guys will be on sale before the holidays so grab your gifts now!

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 8.04.49 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 8.04.54 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 8.05.00 AM

Have a great Monday, friends!



New Products in the Shop!




Hello friends! I am so happy to release today my next batch of products in my shop! Start your holiday shopping early because we expect these products to sell quickly, especially the limited edition poster. Today here’s what I’ve got:



This is my 2nd release of this 12×18 inch hand-pulled screenprinted limited edition poster, and this time we’re offering it in a sweet grey/brown color. There are only 50 of this edition in stock. Metallic gold ink on grey/brown archival quality French Paper Company stock. Once these metallic gold on grey/brown posters are sold, they will not be available again, so get yours today! Each poster is signed and numbered by Lisa. Each poster was printed by hand in a small print shop in Portland, Oregon, USA.

Print reads: “YOU WILL LEAVE A TRAIL OF STARS IN YOUR WAKE” and is the perfect gift for the super star in your life, including graduates, newlyweds and newborn babies.

These posters are shipped FLAT in a sturdy envelope protected by chipboard.

Get yours here.




I am also offering a set of three specially-designed blank Scout Books! Scout Books are offset printed with vegetable-based inks on 100% recycled papers. They are hand-crafted by a talented team of expert printers at their in-house print shop in Portland, Oregon.

These sharp pocket-sized notebooks have a kraft cover, white staples. The imagery on the patterned notebooks wraps completely around to the backs! They contain blank pages – perfect for sketches, notes, and bucket lists! They are 3.5″ x 5″ each and contain 32 pages per book.

Get your notebook set here.




Share with the world your passion by carrying this bold I AM AN ARTIST tote bag! This bag is made from 100% certified organic sturdy 10 oz. cotton canvas made in the USA. The bag is 18 inches wide by 15 inches high with a five inch gusset (bottom). One inch wide strap is long enough to easily throw over your shoulder.

This bag makes the perfect gift for yourself or someone you love.

Get yours here.


TOMORROW: Registration opens for my new online class called I AM AN ARTIST: TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR PATH TO A THRIVING CAREER (which will run from January 8-10, 2016). Stay tuned for an early morning announcement & links to register!!


My 2016 Calendar is Now Available!



My 2016 Wall Calendar is here!

Note: this is a pre-order and will ship on November 5th.

This is a limited edition of 300 calendars! When they sell out, they are gone. Please limit your order to no more than THREE calendars.

This monthly calendar is 7×14 inches, printed on 100 pound opaque bright white paper and spiral bound with a wire-o hanger for easy display.

These calendars were digitally printed in the USA in beautiful Portland, Oregon by a family owned print shop. All artwork was created by Lisa Congdon, especially for the calendar.

Purchase the calendar here.



NOTE: This calendar will ship on Thursday November 5th. Depending on where you live, it can take 2-12 days to arrive (if you are in the US). International orders always take a 1-4 weeks.

All work copyrighted © by Lisa Congdon.


Anna Joyce // Stamp Stencil Paint



This past Friday I was so incredibly excited to have my talented friend & fellow Portlander & artist Anna Joyce over to my home. For weeks now we’ve been planning to spend the day together experimenting with one of the techniques from Anna’s brand new book (out TODAY!!) called Stamp Stencil Paint: Making Extraordinary Patterned Projects by Hand. The day finally arrived and Anna came over with baskets of supplies, including two linen table runners and all the supplies to adorn them with simple, modern stencil designs. Stenciling is just one of many, many techniques in Anna’s gorgeous new book (see the beautiful bag and pillow below for more examples of the beauty inside the book).

_ StampStencilPaint_p066

Anna Joyce’s approach to design is super relaxed and, as she says, “rooted in the belief that we should live with color and pattern every day.” Anna is inspired by vintage fabric, folk art, shapes in nature, and exciting new color combinations.  The book covers project on ready-made surfaces like fabric, ceramics, paper, leather, furniture, walls, and more. Easy clear directions make this book even more amazing.

The entire process (and list of supplies) for the stenciling project from the book that Anna and I played with are all outlined in Stamp Stencil Paint. This blog post is not meant to be a tutorial! I highly recommend purchasing the book for clear directions on this and many other stamping stenciling and painting projects.


I had never stenciled on fabric before, and I had no idea that products exist just for stenciling, including sticky stenciling paper, which is like a clear contact paper.


I decided to create a simple, clean, repeatable vine design on my linen table runner (which Anna sewed and brought over). I drew the center of the vine as a four inch “line” which I repeated down the center of the table runner. Then I drew a leaf design which I repeated down each side (I created two, one each going a different direction).


The sticky stenciling paper is magic! You can use it over and over by lifting it from the fabric and re-applying it gently. I used blue Jacquard fabric paint (of course!) which dried quickly and wasn’t a horrible mess. You use a little foam “stamper” (and not a brush) to apply the paint to the fabric inside the stencil.

That’s beautiful Anna below on the left. There was a lot of laughing and story telling as we stenciled. It’s a great project to do with kids or friends! It was low-stress and made for a really relaxing way to spend several hours. I don’t say that about all craft projects!


Anna made a beautiful table runner too, pictured below on the left.


After I finished applying my design to the runner, I ironed it to heat set the fabric paint and then placed it on my dining room table. And voilà!


You can purchase a signed copy Anna’s new book here in her Etsy Shop, here on Amazon or in your local bookstore. Would you like to meet Anna? She is going on a short book tour (which will include activities and tutorials from the book) in Portland and New York. If you live near or in either of those areas, you can find out more information on dates, locations and times here.

Have a happy Tuesday, friends! And thank you to Anna for teaching me something new!

CATEGORIES For Sale | Inspiration

New Wallpaper with Chasing Paper


Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 9.21.46 AM

Friends, I am so excited today to be released three new wallpaper patterns with Chasing Paper. Chasing Paper is different than traditional wallpaper: it’s well-designed removable wallpaper that will stick to nearly any surface! Genius! I hope you will be inspired by the patterns I’ve created and I am sure some of you will think of some very creative ways to use these! Oh, and I’ve also got a discount code for you today too (scroll to the bottom of the post for that).

First up: Little Village. Drawing old architecture in a stylized playful way has always been a beloved part of my repertoire, so creating this pattern was so much fun for me. For the pattern Little Village, I drew a montage of old medieval styled buildings stacked on and behind each other with clean lines and modern, stark colorways. I love the interplay between old and new & traditional and modern in this pattern!


{Little Village in black}


{Little Village in black and gold}


{Little Village in grey}

Next up: Poppy! love drawing all-over floral motifs! This pattern is a hand drawn pattern of my favorite flower: the poppy. I grew up in California, so the poppy holds a special place in my heart. There are so many varieties of poppies, and the pattern includes poppies from all over the world. My favorite colorway is the vermillion red, which is the most ubiquitous poppy color.


{Poppy in vermillion}


{Poppy in black}


{Poppy in grey}

Finally there is Folk, the boldest pattern of the bunch. For the past ten years I have been really interested in traditional folk pattern and folk art, and much of the imagery in my work reflects that passion. About a year ago, I began drawing patterns in my sketchbook that included traditional folk symbols, like the heart, the hand and fruit shapes. To create this wallpaper pattern, I used many traditional folk motifs and then added some of my own favorite imagery to the mix, like scissors, teacups, trees and a few animals to create this pattern. I love taking traditional imagery and making them modern. I think Folk is a great example of the perfect mix of traditional and modern. Best of all? It comes in four colorways!


{Folk in blue}


{Folk in black}


{Folk in green}


{Folk in grey}


For this weekend ONLY, Chasing Paper is offering a discount code just for you. Enter LOVELISA at checkout for 15% off your order. You can learn more about the wallpaper here in the FAQ and watch a how-to video here.

Have a great weekend, friends!


Fortune Favors the Brave Book Release Day!



Friends, I am so happy to announce that my latest book, Fortune Favors the Brave: 100 Courageous Quotations Hand Lettered by Lisa Congdon, is officially released for sale! You can get your copy at your local bookstore, here on Amazon, get a signed copy in my Etsy Shop, or purchase wherever books are sold. Fortune Favors the Brave is the sequel to my first book of hand-lettered quotes, Whatever You Are, Be a Good One (which, at last count, is nearing almost 100,000 copies sold!). Out today also are an ancillary notebook set and notecard set, also published by Chronicle Books.

If you are interested in attending one of my book tour & book signing stops for Fortune Favors the Brave in Hudson NY, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland or Seattle, you can get more information here.

I’m also so excited to share my latest podcast, this one my second with Tiffany Han, all about passion projects (of which I’ve done a few!). Fortune Favors the Brave is the direct result of a daily project I started in 2012, and I talk more about that project and all my daily/yearly projects in the podcast. You can listen to this latest podcast with Tiffany here.

To celebrate the release of my book, I’m sharing here the introductory essay for the book, which describes how it came to be, starting with my own personal journey to become a more courageous person 16 years ago.

This book is dedicated to every young girl in the world: may you be brave.


“Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you!

Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching

for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.”

—Oscar Wilde

When I was thirty-one years old I got two words tattooed on my right arm. Those two words—truth and courage—lettered inside of banners blowing from the beaks of two barn swallows represented a conscious shift to live my life more authentically. Until that time, throughout my teens and twenties, I spent a lot of time attempting to fit into the mold of who I thought I should be and what I thought I should do with my life. By the time I was thirty I was bored, uninspired, clinically depressed, and quite truly stuck. And so, in an attempt to be happier, in the few years that followed and until this day (I turned forty-seven this year), it has been my life’s work to live every day in ways that feel true and good for me. At the core of this work is the assumption that I cannot be happy or achieve any level of satisfaction in life unless I am living in ways that are aligned with my core values, passions, and temperament—in other words, what I believe in, what makes me feel inspired, and what feels good to me.

Sounds easy enough, right? But it isn’t. It takes enormous bravery and determination to be totally yourself, to pursue life dreams that others might not understand, to risk judgment, or to break out of unhealthy relationships, addictions, and habits. It also takes courage to forgive yourself when you falter along the way and to move on after you do or say things you later regret. Let’s face it—none of us has a “perfect” path. In fact, accepting, even embracing, our missteps and imperfections (including the big ones) is part of the journey. And understanding that we all falter, that we are all beautifully imperfect, and that we are all in some way trying to live authentically connects us as humans.

Over the years, as I have attempted to live a happier, more authentic life, I have relied heavily on the words of other people—writers, thinkers, artists, philosophers, and yes, even regular people—to guide and support my path. Indeed, sometimes reading an inspiring quote in a moment of self-doubt can change my entire outlook and remind me that despite my weaknesses or shortcomings, despite what others might think of me, I can do this.

Because I have grown not only to love but also to rely on the wise words of smart people, I have been hand lettering inspirational quotes for several years. I have also found that many people love to read inspiring quotes too, and so I began sharing them on my blog and then in my first book of hand-lettered quotes, Whatever You Are, Be a Good One. It felt like the most logical and important step to focus my next book of quotes (the one you are holding in your hands) on bravery—the bravery required to live authentically, to be our best selves, to accept our mistakes and shortcomings, and to live, really live, a good and happy life.

It is no coincidence that the year I got the words truth and courage tattooed on my arm was also the same year I started drawing and painting. Living an authentic life meant finding a way to express my deepest fears and my most intense longings. I experi­mented with all kinds of things during that time—cooking, sewing, writing, new athletic endeavors—all of which I still enjoy today, but making art made me feel thoroughly happy in a way I had never felt before. Many years later, making art has become my entire world, including my livelihood. I am so grateful for every person, every book I have read, and every word that gave me the strength to take risks and fight each wave of self-doubt I encountered.

I hope the brilliant words in this book provide encouragement and motivation for you as you tread the path of your own magnificent journey. May you live bravely and fully.





Friends, I am writing today to let you know about the #YESALLWOMEN fundraiser. Proceeds benefit the East Los Angeles Women’s Center, which aides survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse. The event includes both a ticketed event (see poster above) plus an opportunity to donate online.

For the online fundraiser, I have donated a package that includes a framed 11×14 inch original piece of art from The Reconstructionists series pictured below (of Frida Kahlo!) along with a signed copy each of my books Whatever You Are, Be a Good One and my latest book of quotes, Fortune Favors the Brave. Here’s how it works: if you donate $450 to the fundraiser, you get this original piece of art plus the two books!

If you are able to donate any amount to make this venture possible, organizers would be so grateful!


If you live in the greater Los Angeles area and are interested in purchasing tickets to the #YesAllWomen fundraiser (check out that list of artists!), you can get them here.

Have a great Monday, friends!

CATEGORIES Exhibitions | For Sale

Fortune Favors the Brave Pre-Orders & Poster!



Last week I was at my publisher Chronicle Books to sign a huge stack of posters. That’s because Chronicle is hosting a giveaway of limited edition signed posters (see image below) to those of you who pre-order my book Fortune Favors the Brave (while supplies last)! All you have to do is go here, purchase the book from one of the retailers listed, and fill out & submit the form. If you’ve already pre-ordered you are still eligible!


The posters are beautiful quality printing on fantastic textured paper and are 11×11 inches.

Happy Friday and thank you as always for supporting my work!


Last Day to Get a BE YOU tee!



Are you the pink sheep of your family? If so, my BE YOU tee might be just the tee shirt for you! The sale of BE YOU tee shirts ends tomorrow, Jul 7, 2015 at 5:00 PM PST (8:00 Eastern time)! So get yours quick and spread the word! This shirt comes in both men’s and women’s styles and in two tones of grey (below) and light blue (pictured above). You can read more about the tee shirt here or skip directly to purchase here.



Have a great Monday!


Art Inc. Lives Among Us // Installment 5



Hello! I am so excited to share with you my FIFTH Art Inc Lives Among Us Installment! Thank you to everyone who submitted photos of your copy of Art Inc with the hashtag #artinc on Instagram. It was again very hard to choose just 25!

You can see all of the Art Inc Lives Among Us Installments here.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of my book, Art Inc: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist, you can get yours here on Amazon, in my Etsy shop (signed copies available there) and anywhere books are sold.

Want to be included in a future installment of Art Inc Lives Among Us? Tag your photo of Art Inc #artinc (creatively shot & well lit images are best) for a chance to be included in the next 25!

Have a great Monday, friends!

CATEGORIES Art Inc | For Sale | My Books




I’ve written a lot about marriage over the past few years on this blog. And today Love Conquered All with the United States Supreme Court’s Decision to support marriage equality in the entire nation. I never thought I would see this day, and I am so thrilled. You can get my LOVE CONQUERS ALL print (pictured above) here in my shop.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!


New Tee Shirt Release with Cotton Bureau!



Are you the pink sheep of your family? Get my brand spanking new, limited edition (they only print what they sell and are only on sale for two weeks) BE YOU tee shirt from Cotton Bureau today!

More info on the shirt here (there are three color options and all come in both men’s and women’s styles).



Have a great Tuesday, friends!



New Phone Cases & Pillow Covers!



Friends, I’ve got a new phone case design in my Nuvango shop! It’s called Grey Garden, and it’s for those of you who are a fan of my floral motifs but like a subtle monotone colorway. You can get yours here (comes in most phone model sizes). I’ve also got a bunch of other designs to choose from here.

Wait, there’s more! You can now order pillows through Nuvango, and I’m offering Grey Garden as a throw pillow.


As always, you can order my Nuvango designs as laptop skins too.


Have a great Thursday, friends! I’m moving to my new house tomorrow, so I’ll be back Monday with my new fabric collection! Stay tuned.