Daily Drawing Challenge Giveaway with Sakura



There’s nothing like starting off the new year with a big creative challenge! Every single day for the month of January, I’m inviting you to draw along with me! I have hand-picked 31 objects to draw, and I demonstrate several ways to render each object. This creative exercise is designed to help you embrace imperfections, all while learning to see everything around you—be it bird or bikini—as artistic fodder. You can learn more about the class and follow links to sign up for a Creativebug subscription here (it’s super inexpensive!).

In celebration of the new year and our newest daily drawing challenge, we are launching another #CBDrawADay challenge.

Here’s how to participate:

+Take parts 1-31 of my ’Daily Drawing Challenge: 31 Things to Draw’ series — *You must participate each day*

+Post your drawings to Instagram using the hashtags #creativebug and #CBDrawADay

4 lucky winners will receive the following (pictured above)

+6 months of unlimited access to Creativebug
+Strathmore Drawing pad
A set of Pigma Micron pens
+A set of Moonlight 06 gelly roll pen
+Two sets of Koi watercolor brushpens

So grab your notebooks and join the #CBDrawADay challenge.

Contest starts on Friday, January 1st at 12am PST and ends on on Monday, February 1st 12am PST.

Daily Drawing Challenge:

Day 1: Draw a Tree
Day 2: Draw a Teacup
Day 3: Draw a Chair
Day 4: Draw a Leaf
Day 5: Draw a Rose
Day 6: Draw a Sneaker
Day 7: Draw a Pitcher
Day 8: Draw a Cat
Day 9: Draw a Bird
Day 10: Draw a Mushroom
Day 11: Draw a Broom
Day 12: Draw a Tulip
Day 13: Draw an Owl
Day 14: Draw a Fern
Day 15: Draw a Watch
Day 16: Draw an Apple
Day 17: Draw a Radish
Day 18: Draw a Bikini
Day 19: Draw a Fish
Day 20: Draw a Fork
Day 21: Draw a Cactus
Day 22: Draw a Paintbrush
Day 23: Draw a Spice Jar
Day 24: Draw a House Plant
Day 25: Draw a Boot
Day 26: Draw a Seashell
Day 27: Draw a Lamp
Day 28: Draw Salt and Pepper Shakers
Day 29: Draw Sunshine
Day 30: Draw a Bee
Day 31: Draw a Telephone

You can learn more about the class & sign up for Creativebug here. The class will be posted on Creativebug starting January 1!


New Fabric Release and Lounge Pants Contest!



MY NEW LINE OF FABRIC IS HERE! She’s called KINDRED and is now for sale in stores! You can take a look here on Cloud9 Fabric’s site to see where the fabric is for sale in your area or online.

To celebrate the launch of the KINDRED collection Cloud9 is giving you an opportunity to win fabric prizes by simply making your own pair of Cloud9 lounge pants – you won’t be disappointed! See below for information on what you could win and how to enter:


                {Me lounging in my own pair of LOUNGE PANTS made with my Delicata print!}

Here’s what’s up for grabs for three lucky randomly chosen entrants:

1st prize:
• A fat quarter bundle of all KINDRED prints {including the voiles}
• PLUS 3 continuous yards of any one KINDRED print {in either substrate} – enough to make yet another lovely pair of lounge pants
• PLUS a signed copy of my book FORTUNE FAVORS THE BRAVE  to cuddle up with
• approximately $110 retail value!

2nd and 3rd prizes {choose one}:
• A fat quarter bundle of all KINDRED prints {including the voiles}
• OR 3 continuous yards of any one KINDRED print in either substrate and 4 fat quarters of CIRRUS SOLIDS in your choice of colors
• approximately $50 retail value


The rules are pretty simple:
To qualify for entry into the sweepstakes you’ll need to be able to publicly post or send Cloud9 a photo – you can use Instagram, Facebook, or email them at fabric {at} cloud9fabrics {dot} com. By posting or sending them photos, you agree to allow them to repost the photos on Instagram, Facebook and/or their blog.

Follow Cloud9 Fabrics via the format you post your image so that you can be notified in the event that you are chosen as winner:
@CLOUD9FABRICS on Instagram
SUBSCRIBE TO THEIR BLOG if you’ve emailed them
+Using any Cloud9 fabric, stitch up a pair of lounge pants
+You can use our free, downloadable, exclusive, super easy and fast CLOUD9 LOUNGERS pattern or any sleep/lounge pants pattern of your choice
+You must use a Cloud9 Fabrics fabric, past or present, to qualify
+CLOUD9 LOUNGERS are created in women’s adult size S-XL however, you can also make lounge pants for women, children or men using another pattern
+Who the lounge pants are intended for is not of consequence, only that they are made in any past or present Cloud9 fabric
+Post a picture of the Cloud9 fabric lounge pants you’ve made – either in lounging action, on a hanger, laying on the edge of a bed, or whatever works best for you and via
+Instagram: tag it with #LoungeinCloud9
+Facebook: attach a photo in the COMMENTS OF THIS POST
+Email: simply send to the address indicated above
+Anyone in the world can enter – shipping is on Cloud9! Winners are responsible for any applicable duties and taxes.

All entries must be submitted by December 23, 2015 at 11:59PM
. If posting on Instagram, PRIVATE accounts are made PUBLIC during the giveaway in order to be entered. The winner will be chosen at random from a pool of all eligible entries and announced on December 26, 2015.. Good luck!

Per Instagram rules, I must mention this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s term of use. By entering, you release and hold Cloud9 Fabrics harmless from all liability arising from or in connection with your participation and/or acceptance or use of any prize. Limit one entry per person during the entirety of the promotion. Cloud9 Fabrics reserves the right to suspend, cancel or modify this promotion if fraud or any other causes beyond its control affects the integrity or fairness of the promotion

Have fun & good luck!


My Next Book! Call for Submissions & Suggestions



Hello Friends,

I am so happy to let you know that I have signed a contract with Chronicle Books for my next book (title TBD)! The book will be a collection of profiles of, essays by and interviews with women over 40 — artists, writers, athletes, scientists, activists, thinkers, designers — who are embracing the positive aspects of getting older: the wisdom, emotional resilience, insight and sense of humor that comes with age. The entire book will be edited, compiled and illustrated by me. It will be released in 2017.

Here’s where you come in! I am looking for the following:

+Suggestions of living women over 40 to interview for the book (especially great if they are over 70 or 80!). I am, in particular, looking for women to interview who have hit the apex of their career or contributions in their field after the age of 40. They don’t have to be super famous (though that is also great), but should have made a profound impact or experienced a good deal of accomplishment. I am also interested also in interviewing “late bloomers” — that is, women who made major changes in their lives after 40 and forged new, exciting paths or are living or working in interesting or unconventional ways.  If you happen to know one of these women personally and can connect me (or if you are one yourself), that is particularly helpful.

+Essay & personal story submissions for the book. I am looking for essays from female writers over 40 about the topic of getting older and/or life after 40. Stories can be personal in nature (something funny, interesting, touching or inspiring) from the writer’s life experience (about herself or someone she knows personally). Can also be a story of an accomplishment as an older woman or a particular way of living fully as an older woman. I am also interesting in including essays from research-based scientific or sociological perspectives on the positive effects of aging. I am open to essays of varying lengths, but briefer essays or stories are more likely to be accepted because of page number limitations. They can be existing essays or brand new. Once essays are submitted, I will review them for inclusion in the book. I cannot guarantee an essay will be accepted for inclusion once it’s submitted, so if you’d like to run your idea by me ahead of time before writing & submitting, email me in advance so we can discuss. Essays must be submitted by February 1, 2016 to hello@lisacongdon.com.

+Suggestions of women to profile for the book who are no longer alive, but who made major contributions in their field after the age of 40 and/or hit the apex of their careers after the age of 40. I have several of these women in mind already (Louise Bourgeois, for example, pictured above) but would love more suggestions from you.

I am looking for a diverse set of women to include in the book. I am particularly interested in hearing from & about LGBT women, women of color, women from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, and women living outside the United States.

Questions? Submissions? Suggestions? Send them to hello@lisacongdon.com // final deadline is February 1, 2016.

Thank you as always!! I am very grateful!




Draw With Me Every Day in January!



Friends! I am so happy to let you know that my next class with Creativebug launches January 1! This class is different from anything I’ve ever done with Creativebug, because this class is 31 days long! Before you say “NO WAY!” — let me explain: every day for the 31 days of the month of January, you draw for just a few minutes alongside me. Each day, I’ll show you how to draw an ordinary object or bit of nature a handful of different ways.
There’s nothing like starting off the new year with a big creative challenge. I’ve hand-picked 31 objects to draw, and I demonstrate several ways to render each object using just your imagination. This creative exercise is designed to help you embrace wonkiness and imperfections, all while learning to see everything around you—be it bird or bikini—as artistic fodder. Here’s a little trailer you can watch to get a better idea.

Learn how to draw 31 different objects in a variety of ways, embrace imperfections, create stylized drawings and explore different patterns and motifs. The class will be ongoing and available after January 31, so if you want to take it more slowly, that’s also fine! Want to get ready for the class now? Get a pad of 9×12 paper (though any old paper will do) and your favorite pens or pencils! We’ll get started January 1.

You can register for Creativebug here (the class page will be up at the end of December) — just click on the START YOUR FREE TRIAL red button on the upper right of your screen if you are not already a member of Creativebug. The monthly membership after your free trial is just $4.95 a month — a steal for all the amazing content!

Once the course is fully loaded onto the Creativebug site, I’ll let you know the direct so you can get started.

Hope to see you in class!


Jude Stewart: Patternalia


Patternalia cover high-res

As most of you know, I love a good pattern — I love drawing them, I love designing them, I love decorating with them, I love pinning them. So I was really excited when my friend Tina introduced me to her friend, design writer & creative powerhouse Jude Stewart, who has recently written a fantastic history of patterns. It’s called Patternalia: An Unconventional History of Polka Dots, Stripes, Plaid, Camouflage, & Other Graphic Patterns. This book is for the pattern geek in all of us. Have you ever wondered where stripes, plaids and polka dots came from? Do you squeal with nostalgia when you see a certain fabric or wallpaper pattern from your childhood? Do you wonder about the different kinds of patterns or some of the unwritten rules of pattern making? If so, I guarantee you will love this book.

Last week I had the privilege of interviewing Jude about Patternalia — why she made it and what it was like researching it. We also chatted about our own personal relationships to pattern (since we both love the topic). Today in my Interviews with People I Admire series: Jude Stewart!

Jude Stewart headshot 1

Lisa: Jude, first before we dive into the book, tell us about you. Who are you and how do you spend your days?

Jude: Professionally, I’m a writer who wears two hats. I run my own creative agency, Stewart + Company, specializing in content strategy and development for corporate clients. I’m also a journalist writing about graphic design and visual culture.

But professionally is less than half the story, right? On the personal side, I live in Chicago with the two most excellent dudes I know, my husband and 2-year-old son. I’ve lived a bunch of times in Berlin and plan on doing so again this summer. Right now I’m reading Agatha Christie novels like they’re going out of style…


Lisa: You previously wrote a beautiful book about color called ROY G BIV. Tell us first a little bit about that book.

Jude: First off, thanks for the compliment! To explain the title, ROY G. BIV is a mnemonic for the order of the colors of the rainbow, and the book itself includes a few more shades than the “classic” rainbow, like pink, gray and black.

I like to describe ROY as a “Color-Choose-Your-Adventure”. You can read your way through the rainbow – each chapter is devoted to a single color – or you can hop around following the thematic cross-references that dot the book’s pages. If you’re curious to read all the ways color intersects with bugs or hallucination, ROY can scratch that itch for you. Patternalia follows a similar format. For both color and pattern, I found this a great way to provide a satisfying old-fashioned read while giving reader scope to explore their own interests in a potentially infinite topic.


Lisa: Why a book about patterns? Why was this the next book you had to make?

Jude: A good chunk of ROY G. BIV deals with the history of material color – how natural dyes and artist’s pigments were produced prior to the invention of synthetic dyes. That topic bumps into textile history over and over, some of which overlapped with weaving techniques and patterns.

But I really got a running start on Patternalia when I wrote a short “patterns are back” trend article for Print in 2009. I thought it’d be fun to find several ways each classic pattern had been used over the centuries, with an eye towards discerning the source of each pattern’s personality. Well, I found a lot of fascinating material but also no one book that answered my questions exactly – which was maddening. If you’re a particular kind of curious, dogged writer, your next book really chooses you that way.

PG 25

Lisa: I’m floored at the amount of information in the book! Tell us the process of researching the book. Where do you go to find all of the interesting pattern facts & history? How long did the research take you?

Jude: Ha, forever! Seriously, the research was a bit nutso. I gathered material for about six years total, gaining confidence as I progressed that this odd book could indeed be successfully written. I amassed all kinds of books that weren’t really intended for me: military histories, symbolism dictionaries, mathematics textbooks, textile histories galore… I also relied a lot on charming librarians and hitting up my husband (who’s a music historian) and our many academic buddies.


Lisa: What is the most (or one or two of the most) fascinating fact(s) you learned while you were writing the book?

Jude: Well, all those military histories of camouflage were totally worth the slog. The story of camouflage is infinitely weirder and more fascinating than I’d imagined. Camouflage rose to prominence in WWI to protect military equipment from aerial reconnaissance – but then it expanded like crazy during WWII to encompass all kinds of of visual sleight-of-hand. It’s a story of inflatable tanks; decoy heads, tanks and cities; magicians sporting colonel stripes; jazzy warships – it goes on and (weirdly) on.

I was also pretty amazed at plaid’s history – more properly called “tartan”. (“Plaid” derives from a Gaelic term for a certain kind of woolen blanket, however it’s patterned. “Tartan” refers to the actual family of patterns.) Nearly everything you think you “know” about tartan is imaginary. Tartan was banned in the UK from 1746 to 1782 – which fueled the pattern’s rise in popularity. But nostalgia for the pattern also made its history fuzzy and rife with frauds. Several confidence men faked finding ancient tartan guides, and most of the “family tartans” we know today are invented, with little basis in fact.


Lisa: When I was a kid, my dad, who is a mathematician and scientist, introduced me to fractals. I became obsessed with them, looking everywhere in nature for them. In some ways I think that introduction was the beginning of my interest in pattern that eventually led to a career as an artist and pattern designer. What was your first fascination with pattern or something pattern related?

Jude: Nice! Can I borrow that anecdote? 😉 But seriously: I recall a few patterns from my childhood intensely. A tiny bathroom of my grandma’s house in Louisville, Kentucky, was tiled in black-and-white hexagons that, to my eye, looked like interlocking pandas. Her living room was wallpapered Churchill Downs wallpaper. (Louisville is home to the Kentucky Derby, so horse-love is no joke there. (It only occurred to me later that there were three framed pictures of Secretariat, a Triple Crown winner from the 1970s, and maybe two pictures of grandkids.)

I used to love staring at patterns like these, sizing them up, then sizing them down in your mind’s eye, reverse-engineering how it was made, and – later on – the pleasant difficulty of parsing really complex patterns like Islamic tiling.


Lisa: Once several years ago, I designed my first repeat pattern that was made entirely of interconnected lines. I used to have an illustration agent, and I remember when I showed this pattern to her she paid me the highest compliment: “I can’t tell where it begins and where it ends!” In other words, she couldn’t tell where the “repeat” began or ended. Making that particular pattern was one of the most satisfying things I’d ever done. You’re a writer & journalist, not a pattern designer. Did you have the opportunity in your research to watch a pattern designer at work on the computer or drawing table? Or have you ever attempted to make a repeatable pattern yourself? If so, what was that like for you?

Jude: I would L-O-V-E such an opportunity but haven’t yet had it. I have, however, interviewed many pattern designers about their process and gotten glimpses into how they work. (See my article Sensing a Pattern for Communications Arts.)

I also admire Islamic patterns for the very qualities you describe. That centerlessness is intended as an homage to Allah, who’s everywhere all at once. They also conceived of mathematics, design and spirituality as intertwined, a beautiful way to commune with a higher plane of existence. As I wrote in Patternalia’s introduction, pattern’s whiff of infinity is exciting to me.


Lisa: What is your favorite pattern motif and why?

Jude: I really like black-and-white checkerboard. It’s clean, fresh, dynamic – it crackles with a certain electricity. It also conveys a surprising range of meanings across cultures. B&W checks can suggest speed (in racing flags), law and order (“Sillitoe tartan” appears on police uniforms in British Commonwealth countries, and here in Chicago), and spiritual protection (in Bali, you can drape B&W-checked fabric called wastra poleng over something you want to shield).

Lisa: Where can people find you on the Internets?

Jude: I’m at www.judestewart.com, but also tweeting up a storm @joodstew.

Lisa: Thank you Jude! I hope all the pattern geeks purchase Patternalia! It’s amazing