“I decided I was an artist when I was in kindergarten and it took me about 27 years to finally believe it.” 

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The Story So Far...

Back in the spring of 2010 I quit an office job to see what I could do with my passion for art. Art was what I had always wanted to do and I even went to school for it once upon a time. But I suppose I never thought it was possible let alone realistic to try to live off of. And even when I wasn't thinking about making art into an actual career, it seemed I just plain didn't have the belief in myself needed to make a leap into creating full time. The whole story in short form sort of goes like this...

I got married right out of high school and put art school on hold to move to Germany and be a military spouse. By the age of 21 I had my first child and was officially a stay-at-home parent. Years went by, we moved back to the States, and I continued to raise my daughter taking part-time jobs throughout. Eventually I did go back to school though not for very long and my first marriage ended at the close of 2008. 

While I continued to paint and create during that time, I often found I had no inspiration or motivation. I had allowed the situations of my life to make me doubt myself - to convince me that I was supposed to be someone else. I legitimately believed I was not good enough for far too long. I know now that these are thoughts and beliefs most of us carry around from time to time and that we can make a choice to accept responsibility for our lives and change that way of thinking. And sometimes a special someone enters the picture that makes changing those negative beliefs a whole lot easier.

In 2009 I met the man who is now my husband. He helped me to realize that I am damn good enough and I always was. It's truly amazing what can happen when someone loves you deeply and unconditionally just the way you are and teaches you to love yourself in the same way. Or maybe it's all about being given the opportunity to really love someone wholeheartedly. When we are allowed the opportunity, our eyes can open along with our heart. Either way, I'm not proposing all of life's issues can be fixed by a "special someone" because ultimately we need to "fix" ourselves. But for me that's how it happened and how I learned to grab hold of the reigns of my life and finally be my own biggest fan. 

So in 2010 I quit that awful office job and started making art every day in my home studio. Within a month I found out I was pregnant with my son. I launched my Etsy store in August after coming up with some original typographic prints that I thought had potential (Lemons, A Beautiful Thing, the Make Love series). I was creating every day while planning a wedding and growing a healthy baby boy. I had my first sales pretty soon after opening because my Lemons print was featuring in an Etsy Finds/Etsy Blog post. 

I've been working hard ever since and have seen huge increases in success over the past three years. New parents are choosing my whimsical city skylines and "I Love You" series as artwork for their children's nurseries and couples have commissioned me to make art for their weddings. My art has been featured all over the web and I even had my "Wash Your Hands or Zombies" print photographed with Norman Reedus after producers/writers on The Walking Dead took an interest in the piece. Oh, and if you've got kids that watch Nickleodeon, check out The Hanuted Hathaways. That's my New Orleans skyline behind the counter in their bakery. It's all a dream come true, honestly. And I have so much to be grateful for.

That gratitude is something I express by regularly donating to charity. I've always felt it was necessary to help those less fortunate and to support causes that I feel benefit society. I'm very opinionated and passionate about these topics and feel that, though I'm not rolling in the dough, someone out there has a whole lot less than I do. It's my responsibilty as a member of this global, human family to do what I can to give back.

On Inspiration...

It is my hope that my work might inspire others in rather small, tender, human ways. That sounds deep, I know, but what I mean is that I hope my work gives people the sense of being comfortable with imperfections and vulnerability that tends to make most of us rather uncomfortable most of the time. I feel that making art helps me to transcend those fears and allows a mindset that is willing to love and be loved as I am as a perfectly imperfect, fragile human being. I can only cross my fingers that those who view my work will get a hint of those same feelings. But I'll settle for an occasional giggle or a smile. 

I see this beautiful, imperfect perfection all around me so these days I find inspiration to be in very plentiful supply. It's everywhere; nature, color combinations, lines, children's doodles, the sweet cream floating in my morning coffee, the M mark on my cat's forehead, and especially in everyday people. Inspiration is literally always under my nose and I have a gazillion ideas on a weekly basis. Finding the time to make them into reality is another story altogether. 

I think inspiration is all about how you look at the world. If we can be open both mentally and emotionally, the world begins to look much more inspiring . If our vision is one of possibilities as opposed to fixed concepts, inspiration is never in short supply. In my mind, that vision of possibilities is more commonly called hope. And the message it brings is "You Can Do Anything!".

"I believe in true love, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the genuine joy of everyday living. Without taking myself or my work too seriously, I strive to make authentic and soulful things." 

Lisa was born in Washington D.C. and has lived all over the world from Georgia to Germany. She currently calls Rochester, New York home where she lives on an acre and a half of pseudo-suburbia with her soul mate and their munchkins.

Press and Such...

 Above: Tear sheet from the April 2012 issue Genesee Valley Parent featuring Lisa's Rochester skyline.

Above tear sheet from the August 2012 issue of Washington Parent.

Above tear sheet from a German home living magazine.

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