Recent Press & Podcast Round-Up!

10/18/17

Here’s a round-up for you of recent press (mostly for my new book A Glorious Freedom) and podcasts I’ve recorded! Enjoy!

The Creativity Habit Podcast – I talk to host 20Daphne about my story of exhaustion to burnout. We also talk about social media anxiety, the importance of having a clear vision and goals, the role of art and activism, and why it’s never too late to start your thing.

Forbes Magazine Article: A Few Wrinkes: The Price of Privilege

Interview on The Fold Magazine

Feature on The Jealous Curator

Excerpt from A Glorious Freedom on The Reset / Punchbowl

A Glorious Freedom reviewed in both BOOKLIST and Kirkus Reviews

Below is a review in Red Magazine from the U.K (Fun fact: I’m also one of the 200 Women in the book 200 Women, but more on that later this month!)

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CATEGORIES: My Books | Podcasts | Press
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A Glorious Freedom is Released Today!

10/03/17

Today my book A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives is released! You can purchase a signed copy of the book here in my Etsy Shop or here on Amazon or wherever books are sold. I am going on a short book tour to Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Richmond CA (more cities to come later this year and next year). You can get more information on the book tour here.

Below is the introduction to the book that I wrote last year. Enjoy. And thank you for supporting my work.

“Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life—it has given me me. It has provided time and experience and failures and triumphs and time-tested friends who have helped me step into the shape that was waiting for me. I fit into me now. I have an organic life, finally, not necessarily the one people imagined for me, or tried to get me to have. I have the life I longed for. I have become the woman I hardly dared imagine I would be.” – Anne Lamott

The book you are holding in your hands is a book about women. It is a book about women over the age of 40 who are thriving.

You might ask, Why make this book? Why are the lives of older women worth celebrating?

My own life’s path is what piqued my interest in the topic. I am a self-described late bloomer. The year this book is published, I will be 49 years old. By profession, I am an artist, an illustrator, and a writer. I did not begin drawing or painting until I was 31 years old. I did not begin my art career until I was 40. I did not begin writing regularly until I was 42. I did not publish my first book until I was 44. I did not get married until I was 45. At 49, I have just published my seventh book. My eighth comes out next year.

Every year that passes, I become braver, stronger, and freer. Getting older has, for me, been an enormously gratifying and liberating process. I am a kinder person to others than I have ever been, and I also care far less than I ever have about what other people think of me. I am both more determined and harder working than I was when I was younger, but I also value experiencing joy in my life over my work ethic more than I ever have. I am both more secure and more vulnerable. Out of years of living with intense insecurity and trepidation, the wisdom of age has taught me the importance of courage and that my own unique path is just that—my own unique path. Aging, as Anne Lamott so eloquently put it, has led me to myself.

In an effort to express my feelings on the topic, I wrote a short essay on getting older in 2014 and published it on my blog. That essay was quickly shared by thousands on the Internet, both through my blog and through social media channels. Although I have a decent social media following and a devoted audience of blog readers, I am not a celebrity or a full-time blogger, so the attention this essay garnered was rather phenomenal. I realized that if the topic of getting older and thriving was reso­nating so strongly with so many women, then I needed to explore it further.

And that is, of course, where the germ of this book sprouted. I had long admired some well-known late-blooming women and seen them as role models since I was in my 30s. I already had ideas of the women I wanted to include in this book. But I also used the power of social media to gather even more names and con­tacts. I began the process of making this book by reaching out to my Internet community (my social media followers and blog readers) with one basic request: help me find the women you know or admire who exemplify bold and adventurous aging—artists, writers, athletes, scientists, activists, thinkers, designers, and feminists over 40 who are embracing the positive aspects of getting older: the wisdom, emotional resilience, work ethic and play ethic, insight, and sense of humor that come with age. I asked my followers to help me identify women who were late bloomers, women who hit the apex of their careers later in life or who made some bold move to live in interesting ways after the age of 40.

The response was astounding. I received emails from scores of men and women around the world with all flavor of submissions: long lists of women I should profile or interview, along with essay submissions from women about the process of aging, their relationship to aging, the struggles, the joys. The response to my call was, in fact, so astounding that I was literally overwhelmed with how to contain the potential for the book. I’d contracted with my publisher, Chronicle Books, to make a book that was 155 pages, and I was absolutely sure I’d have enough material to make a book five times that length!

I set out to cull together the best of everything I received—to research and write about women I admire, to contact real-life female heroines for interviews, and to sift through the endless essay submissions for the book to fit it into the format you are holding in your hands.

Historically and across cultural divides, women have been told to remain silent, to sit still, to hold back, not to shine. In addition, women have traditionally regarded their ability to please others—over following their own dreams and desires—as one of their greatest strengths. Furthermore, for countless generations, women have been told that once they hit middle age, their opportunity for greatness has passed.

And so the resilience and courage demon­strated by women, and, in particular, the ever-growing population of older women, to challenge and redefine these notions is one of the most exciting things to observe in the world today. We live in a time where more and more women are beginning to live out loud, to follow their own desires and dreams, to be who they are, to live fully, to live a second life after their children leave home, or their husbands are no longer with them, or their previous careers have faded.

This book profiles many women who paved the way for us—women like Katherine Johnson, Louise Bourgeois, Julia Child, and others who were challenging notions of what it meant to be an “over-the-hill” woman long before today. Many of these women discovered hidden passions and talents much later in life or hit the most exciting and fruitful time of their careers as older women. They are undeniably role models for reimagining what our lives can be. The book also tells the stories of extraor­dinary women today who are reinventing what it means to be an older woman—women who are breaking through barriers, successfully completing athletic feats, and doing their best work in their 60s, 70s, and 80s.

When I first put out a call for suggestions for the book, I got a handful of emails and Internet and comments from older women for whom aging was actually not enjoyable or interesting—the onset of health issues was no fun at all, and the death of loved ones was a regular part of their lives. These perspectives are real. And so my point here isn’t to establish some sort of Pollyannaish portrayal of female aging. Things like bodily changes, shifts in the brain, and the experience of losing loved ones are very real (and often very painful) parts of growing older, and no one escapes them. However, I hope what we can see inside the stories in this book is the enormous potential for courage, perspective, spiritual growth, and humanity that often grow out of these struggles. My aim here is to provide hope to women who are aging (or fear aging) that while the likelihood of ugly side effects grows ever larger, so too does our capacity for love, for compassion, for brave acts, for vulnerability, for creativity, and for joy.

And so here I go—here we all go—leaning toward our 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, hair graying, wrinkles gathering, experiences accruing, insights accumulating, joy abounding.

No matter what your age or gender, may each of you find inspiration in this book to live bravely and fully, and to use your experience as your most powerful tool in living your best life.

-Lisa Congdon

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CATEGORIES: Inspiration | My Books
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A Glorious Freedom: Pre-order and Get a Print!

09/04/17

On October 3 my latest book, A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives, is released! Today we are launching my pre-order campaign: purchase a book and get a free signed limited edition poster (pictured top left)! This offer is available to 100 people only, so get yours today!

Here’s how it works…

Between today and 10/2/2017 11:59 pm PST:

  1. Purchase a book from any online retailer: Amazon | Barnes & NobleIndiebound | Chronicle Books. If you’ve already purchased, just find your receipt number or purchase number to add to the form (see #2).
  2. Fill out this form here.
  3. Chronicle Books will send you the poster pictured above, which is on of the illustrations for my book. It’ll be signed, numbered and dated, just for you!

That’s it!

Thank you for supporting my work. Stay tuned tomorrow for book tour locations and dates!

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CATEGORIES: For Sale | My Books
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New Book! Broad Strokes

03/07/17

I’m so excited to let you know about a book that I had the great fortune to illustrate has been released today! It’s called Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (In That Order). It’s a wonderful informative book about 15 female artists you should know (and might not). Here’s a little interview I did about the illustrations in Huffington Post last week! I’ve got a handful of signed copies in my Etsy Shop.

Here’s a little slideshow of the portraits I made for the book!

And a bit more about the book from the publisher, Chronicle Books:

“Historically, major women artists have been excluded from the mainstream art canon. Aligned with the resurgence of feminism in pop culture, Broad Strokes offers an entertaining corrective to that omission. Art historian Bridget Quinn delves into the lives and careers of 15 brilliant female artists in text that’s smart, feisty, educational, and an enjoyable read. Replete with beautiful reproductions of the artists’ works and contemporary portraits of each artist by renowned illustrator Lisa Congdon, this is art history from 1600 to the present day for the modern art lover, reader, and feminist.”

Enjoy!

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My Next Book!

08/11/16

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Friends, I am so happy to announce my next book! It’s my first children’s book (at least the first I’ve written and illustrated myself), and it’s a book all about First Ladies. It will be geared toward 9-14 year olds and be published by Chronicle Books in 2018. My goal is to make a book that is written for kids but filled with rich and interesting facts and stories about the lives and contributions of each First Lady (even if some of their stories have unsavory aspects)! I’m a history buff (I wrote my senior thesis on Eleanor Roosevelt), so I’m very excited to get started on this book.

Are you related to a First Lady? Do you have any book or resource recommendations (besides the books above) that I should use for research? Any interesting facts you think I should include? If so, email me at hello@lisacongdon.com! (PS: I’m not looking for writers or contributors — this is a book I’ll write entirely myself).

In a time when a former First Lady could become president, this book feels very timely.

Have a great Thursday, friends!

 

CATEGORIES: My Books
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