Words for the Day :: No. 35

08/18/14

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One of the questions I am asked most often is how – as a working artist – I deal with things like comparison, disappointment, self doubt & rejection. I have talked before about the idea of charting your own path & living your own life and even touched on it last week toward the end of this live interview. Recently, I found the quote above by Anton Chekhov, and thought it perfectly summed up what I less eloquently try to say.

Art making, while enormously rewarding, can also be rife with disappointment and feelings of vulnerability. The idea is to make friends with the struggle and continue (stubbornly) on your own path. I’ve written before about this idea of embracing difficulty and fear (and talked about it in this lecture). I think it’s enormously important.

I also think it’s important to remember that everyone struggles with self doubt and angst, even extremely successful & well known artists like Gerhard Richter — just watch this touching documentary about him and you will see how vulnerable he is about his work.

Have a good Monday, friends.

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New Class with Lisa Solomon!

08/18/14

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Are you an artist just starting out? Are you interested in preparing yourself to enter the fine art gallery world or apply for a grant, residency or an MFA program? My friend, artist Lisa Solomon (known best for her beautiful thread and crotchet installations) is offering a workshop at KALA Art Institute in Berkeley, CA about developing your artist packet.

The artist packet is the foundation for your application to grad school, grants, residencies, gallery exhibitions, and more. In this course Lisa will take you through the components you’ll need and how to put them together in a professional and compelling way. Lisa, featured also in my new book, Art Inc. is a fantastic teacher and a prolific, experienced and successful artist. You can register for her class here.

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More about Lisa She is best known for her work that questions and deconstructs the meaning of identity through the exploration of mediums traditionally associated with domestic crafts. She received her BA from UC Berkeley and her MFA from Mills College. Profoundly interested in the idea of hybridization, she is drawn to found objects and imagery altering them conceptually so that their meanings and original uses or intents are re-purposed. She uses embroidery and crochet in her work frequently. In 2012 she authored “Knot Thread Stitch: exploring creativity through embroidery and mixed media”. She has shown both nationally and internationally in venues such as the San Jose Museum of Art, the Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, Nicoletta Rusconi Gallery in Milan, Italy, the Koumi Machi Museum in the Nagano prefecture of Japan, and Garson Baker Gallery in NY. Born in Tuscon, AZ to a Japanese mother and a Caucasian father, she now lives and works in Oakland, California with her husband, daughter, a pit bull, a French bulldog, a 3-legged cat, a stumpy tail cat, and many, many spools of thread.

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CreativeLive Interview

08/15/14

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As part of my book launch for Art Inc, I recorded an hour long interview through CreativeLive. Last Tuesday Meg Ilasco interviewed me in front of a live studio audience about how I got started making art, managing my workload, my personal projects, and a range of other art-making & art-career related topics. You can watch the interview for free right here (scroll down to see the video link).

I’m also going to be teaching a business class with CreativeLive at the end of September. Stay tuned for more information on that next week!

Have a great weekend.

 

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New Podcast :: What’s Your Story

08/15/14

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Friends, it’s launch week for my latest book Art Inc, so I’m posting all of the different podcasts I’ve recorded recently (see category Podcasts for all of them). Last week I sat down with my friend Meighan O’Toole (who, by the way, is an amazing social media and digital strategist for creative brands) to record for her new podcast series What’s Your Story. We talked about the information I share in my new book and a lot about my own experience with social media, self doubt, and community.

Folks who have been following along with my work for awhile might remember this podcast I recorded with Meighan in 2011 where I talk more about how I got started as an artist.

You can listen to the new 30-ish minute podcast over here.

Happy listening and have an excellent Friday.

CATEGORIES: Art Inc | Podcasts
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Words for the Day :: No. 34

08/14/14

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I want to thank EVERYONE for all your kind words, tweets, Instagram photos, Facebook and blog posts, emails and messages about Art Inc. Book release day on Tuesday was a great success.

Hope everyone is having a good Thursday.

 

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New Podcast :: Converge on Fasttrack Creative

08/13/14

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I am so honored to be part of Dane Sanders’ podcast series Converge. Dane and I talked recently about the idea of making money and expressing yourself honestly as an artist — along with many of the other challenges and opportunities that are part of being a working artist.

Host Dane Sanders is the real deal. Like me, he fell into art-making later in life (he’s a photographer). An educator at heart, he spent the first part of his life in academia and has now dedicated his life to helping other photographers and artists find their voice & place in the market. He is a fantastic interviewer to boot. I hope you will give it a listen.

In the podcast Dane and I refer to my new book, Art Inc, which came out yesterday! You can listen to the podcast here.

Have a great Wednesday!

CATEGORIES: Art Inc | My Books | Podcasts
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Art Inc :: Out Today!

08/12/14

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{My beloved dog Wilfredo posing with Art Inc!}

Friends, I am so thrilled that today my new book ART INC: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist hits bookstore shelves and is widely available for sale online (you can even download the iBook on iTunes)! To celebrate, we’ve organized a blog tour, which will run through August 20. Check out these blogs on the following dates for excerpts of the book, giveaways, interviews and studio tours!

Today 8/12 – The Jealous Curator: Blog tour debut. Danielle is giving away a copy of the book on The Jealous Curator!
Today 8/12 – Jonathan Fields: Jonathan, the amazing guy who wrote my foreword, shares a book excerpt
Tomorrow 8/13 ; Uppercase: A story by Uppercase Founder Janine Vangool about our work together over the years
Friday 8/15 – Inc: The fine folks at Inc. Magazine are going to publish an excerpt
Monday 8/18 – Design Crush: Kelly will feature a Q&A with me about the book and also do a book giveaway
Wednesday 8/20 – Art & Lemons: Nikki will feature a Q&A with me too
Wednesday 8/20 – sfgirlbybay: Last but not least, come with Victoria to my studio for a peek into my world

I’d also like to thank Maria Popova, who wrote this fantastic piece on Art Inc on Brainpickings today.

Oh, and I hope you will take a look at this lovely trailer we made for the book based on the books gorgeous illustrations by Karolin Schnoor:

We’ve also got a few book events planned, and here’s the 411:

Today, August 12, 5 pm PST: Global Book Launch at CreativeLive. Anyone all over the world can participate in & view this event, since it will be broadcast live over the internet! The amazing Meg Ilasco will be interviewing me about my journey as an artist, the writing of Art Inc, and the lessons & advice in the book.Get all the information you need to either watch this event online here.

Wednesday, September 17, 7-9 pm, EST: In this special event at Powerhouse in Brooklyn, New York. I’ll be in conversation with one of my favorite people, Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge! We’ll discuss my journey as an artist, the lessons I’ve learned along the way, and the tips I give to other artists in Art Inc. The conversation will be followed by a book signing. RSVP’s are recommended. You can do that and get more information here.

Thursday, September 18, 6:30-8:30 pm, EST: I’ll be giving a public talk entitled: I Am An Artist: On Ownership and Other Enterprising Acts at CUE Art Foundation in Manhattan followed by a book signing. Seats for this event are limited. Tickets available here!

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Have a great Tuesday!

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New Podcast :: While She Naps

08/11/14

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I’m so excited today to be featured with my agent Lilla Rogers on Abby Glassenberg’s awesome podcast series! We talk about working together (Lilla has been my illustration agent since 2008), our books, and making a living as an artist. You can listen to the podcast here.

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Tomorrow Art Inc is released! I’ll be back first thing in the morning announcing the blog tour for the book! Stay tuned!

And happy Monday.

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Print Sale!

08/08/14

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Friends, I’ve marked down two of my limited edition prints today (pictured above) to just $35 (that’s $15 off the price of $50). These two prints will be on sale in my Etsy Shop for a limited time only (and there are only a handful left), so grab one while they last! They are professionally printed on archival quality German etching paper, heavyweight 310gsm and are signed and numbered.

Have a great weekend!

CATEGORIES: For Sale | Hand Lettering
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Words for the Day :: No. 33

08/07/14

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Trying to remember this, every day.

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AIGA Event: Small Studio Life in San Francisco

08/06/14

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Friends I wanted to let you know I’m part of a great AIGA event on August 25 from 6-9 pm. Here’s more about the event:

Join Adobe and AIGA San Francisco as we welcome Jessica, Erik, Michael and Lisa for an evening of design-centric conversation, and live-drawing with drinks and appetizers. We’ll kick the evening off with a Drink+Draw with the Adobe Ink & Slide team, where we’ll let you get your hands on the newest digital stylus and ruler from Adobe. Beer and wine will be served along with delicious appetizers. Grab a beer with one hand and try the other at sketching with Adobe’s sleek new tools. Next, we’ll join our panel as they discuss living the small studio life in San Francisco, with all of the delights and challenges this city-by-the-bay has to offer.

This is going to be a super fun night! I’ll be moderating the small studio discussion with these three awesome designer/illustrators. To grab a ticket just go here. It will sell out quickly, so act fast! You can learn more about the event and participants here.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

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New iPhone Case & Print!

08/05/14

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Friends, I released new phone cases today over at Nuvango using my Fête design! Pictured above is the iPhone case, but I’ve got them for all kinds of phones!

In addition, I’m offering a print of my Fête painting:

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You can get everything here. You can also check out all of my designs for phones (and a few prints) here.

Happy Tuesday!

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Words for the Day :: No. 32

08/04/14

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Hope everyone is having a great Monday!

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New York Art Inc. Events

08/04/14

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New York friends, I have two Art Inc. events scheduled in September and I’d love to see you there! You can RSVP for the September 17 event at Powerhouse Arena here. Information about the event at CUE Arts Foundation coming soon! Save the dates!

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Father Jan Rossey

08/01/14

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We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep. -William James

The day before I got married last year, I got an email from someone I’d never met. This is not unusual for me. My life is somewhat public-facing — I keep a blog that many people read and I post daily images of my work & life on Instagram. I get emails almost every day from people I don’t know —  asking me questions or letting me know what they think about my work. Around the time of my wedding in 2013, I got a lot of congratulatory emails from people around the world — and I loved them all.

The email that I was most touched by, however, came from Father Jan Rossey. The first line of the email said this: “I wish you both a wonderful day tomorrow and a wonderful day every day of your married life. May God bless you and keep you.” He attached the beautifully lettered image, pictured above, to the email. Father Jan went on to explain that he was a Roman Catholic priest and monk in the monastery of Caldey Island. He also explained that he was an amateur lettering artist, letter carver and calligrapher since 1978. He learned calligraphy from the best teachers in the world: John Stevens, Brody Neuenschwander, Tom Perkins and John Nash, the Family Boudens and many others.

“Some time ago,” he said, “I came across your work and I love it very much. I like the ‘simplicity’ [which is not so simple] of your lettering work and drawings. I myself turn more and more towards the same simplicity, pencil drawn letters. Apart from some lettering I carve text in stone also. If you’re interested I’ll send you some pictures of my work.”

I was so moved by this email. First, a Roman Catholic priest and monk who lives in an abbey across the world in Wales was emailing me to wish me — and my soon-to-be wife — a happy wedding day. Second, this accomplished calligrapher was complimenting me on my lettering. It made my heart feel full, and made me feel a love for humanity. Here we were — two people from different generations, from two different worlds — finding connection. Father Jan and I corresponded a bit after the initial email, and I never forgot about him.

Fast forward to a year later. I got another email from Father Jan, this one entitled, “Happy Anniversary.” I quickly opened it. “I wish you a happy first anniversary of your wedding,” he wrote. “Lisa, I must say I’m very much inspired by your work and by the way you look at things in life. Last Christmas I had to make the Christmas crib here at the monastery and I took you [and Marimekko] as inspiration.” Father Jan attached this photo of his beautiful patterned trees. I thought I might cry that moment — how beautiful are these trees!!

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Father Jan continued: “Also your hand-lettering and drawings made me try myself. So I handlettered and illustrated one chapter of the Rule of Benedict, chapter 4, ‘The tools for Good works’.  As a token of my appreciation for you and as a late wedding-present I would like to send you a copy of the little booklet [A6-80 pages], but then I need you mail-address. It might inspire you in turn.” He also let me know that he was packing to travel to Tautra in Norway “not to make you jealous of course,” he said, which made me laugh because everyone knows how much I love Scandinavia! He was going on retreat in preparation for his Solemn Profession as a Cistercian Monk.

I quickly wrote back to Father Jan and thanked him for the offer of his book and gave him my address. I was really excited to receive it. Several weeks later I received Father Jan’s beautiful book.

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The book is called RB4 – The Tools for Good Works, and it is an illustrated version of Chapter 4 of the Rule of St Benedict, traditionally known as ”The Tools for Good Works.” The Rule of St. Benedict was written for monks, but Father Jan thinks everyone can benefit from living by the rules — or at least attempting to! Some of them are rather challenging! Anyhow, father Jan not only hand lettered the rules, but also illustrated them. The illustrations are based on everyday household tools. Here are a couple of examples:

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Even the end-pages of Father Jan’s book are beautiful!

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How does a monk living on an abbey on an island in Wales create such a beautiful book? Well, the same way any of us would: with pencils, pens, and, of course, Photoshop! Father Jan has some serious skills. If you would like to purchase a copy of RB4 – The Tools for Good Works, you can do so here.

After I received Father Jan’s book, I sent him a copy of Whatever You Are, Be a Good One, which he received last week. “Your beautiful book arrived this morning,” he wrote. “And it is a great thrill to take it in hand as it has such a tactile cover.”

I leave you with that, friends. And with these words from Herman Melville: “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”

Have a happy Friday.

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