New Podcast :: What’s Your Story



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

Words for the Day :: No. 34



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.



New Podcast :: Converge on Fasttrack Creative




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

Art Inc :: Out Today!



{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!


Have a great Tuesday!


New Podcast :: While She Naps



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.


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.


Print Sale!



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

Words for the Day :: No. 33



Trying to remember this, every day.


AIGA Event: Small Studio Life in San Francisco


Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.40.36 AM

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.


New iPhone Case & Print!



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:


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

Happy Tuesday!


Words for the Day :: No. 32



Hope everyone is having a great Monday!


New York Art Inc. Events



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!


Father Jan Rossey




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!!


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.


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:



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


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.


Words for the Day :: No. 31



Have a great Thursday, friends!


Art Inc. Book Tour Dates!



Friends, as you know, my latest book Art Inc. is released August 12. I have a few exciting book events scheduled and I wanted to share them with you:

Tuesday, 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. There are also live audience seats for the taping in San Francisco. The seats for this event are close to being filled, but you can sign up for one of the remaining seats here. Get all the information you need to either watch this event online OR get live audience seats here. I’ll be signing books after the interview (you can purchase a book there if you don’t have one already).

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 (Grace will be signing copies of her book too). RSVP’s are recommended. You can do that and get more information here.

Thursday, September 18, evening, EST*: I’ll be giving a 45 minute talk at CUE Art Foundation in Manhattan followed by a book signing. Seats for this event are limited. Tickets will go on sale soon (the event will be free to CUE members), and I’ll keep you posted here on the blog with all the information you need.

*Please note: when I originally posted this information I had the dates mixed up! The event with Grace Bonney is on Wednesday, September 17, and the event at CUE is on Thursday, September 18. These are the correct dates, not the ones I had previously posted.

There will be more events and book signings to come, so stay tuned for updates & please email me with any questions you have about any of the events!


Block Printing Class!



As you may recall, I’ve been learning & playing around with block printing recently. I have been wanting to experiment with printing my own fabric so I signed up for my friend Jennifer Hewett’s Block Printing on Fabric class at Handcraft Studio School this past Saturday. The class is designed for beginners, and most people in the class had never carved blocks or block printed before. Since I had some experience, I had grand plans for the class! My goal was to print enough fabric to make a dress. I brought some of my own linen (Jen provides fabric if you don’t bring your own) and extra rubber blocks since I wanted to carve five different shapes to make a pattern.


Carving blocks (especially when they have intricate detail) can take time, but it’s not difficult. Most people in the class exclaimed with glee at how addictive and fun block carving is! The rubber is soft like cream cheese and fairly easy to carve (as opposed to carving linoleum for linocut printing, which is much more time-consuming and a bit more difficult). Drawing your design, transferring it to the rubber and then carving the block is an important & enjoyable part of the process, but, for me, the printing is where the magic happens. My block designs were big, simple shapes, so it didn’t take me long to carve all five and I got down to printing pretty quickly.


{Photo by Tracy of homesteadhandmade}

I decided to create an all-over design in four colors on my fabric. I didn’t make a perfect repeat. Instead, it was more random, but I was paying attention to overall balance and composition, using the shapes and colors as my guide — sort of like I do when I paint a canvas. Block printing is, by nature, an imperfect art — every time you lay down your block to print you don’t know what you are going to get! And that’s what’s liberating about it: the beauty comes from the imperfections.

After five hours of printing (whew!) with a short break for lunch, I managed to print this giant piece of linen. Later in August, I’ll be making a dress from this fabric (if I can bear to cut it up!). I’ve saved the blocks, of course, and I plan to print some tea towels with them soon. So stay tuned for that!


I really, really enjoyed this class & the process of printing fabric! Jen is a great teacher. She explains the process really clearly, she’s there to help if you need her, and she is very encouraging! I also loved meeting & talking to the other women in the class. Here is my friend Rae printing some fabric with a small block she carved:


And here is another class participant with the small tote bag she made from a more intricate block she designed:


{Two photos above by Jen Hewett}

Bay Area folks: lucky for you, Jen is offering her class again on September 6 at Handcraft Studio School in Emeryville. If you want to learn to carve blocks and print on fabric, this is a fantastic way to spend a Saturday. To boot, Handcraft Studio School is a lovely, light-filled space run by the kind & generous Marie Muscardini. I can’t wait to take a class there again. If you are interested in printmaking, I also recommend following Jen’s 52 Weeks of Printmaking project.

Have a great Wednesday, friends!