“All children are born artists, the problem is
to remain an artist as we grow up.”
Hi, I’m Lisa, a professional artist, teacher and overall creative person. Although born and raised in Los Angeles, I spent a few years as a kid living in Hawaii where I developed my love for nature and natural found objects (an element that often appears in my artwork). I consider myself primarily a mixed media artist and I’ll explain why shortly.
But first a little about my journey, as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a creative streak. From handmaking dollhouses out of shoe boxes as a kid, to dance, writing, photography, graphic design and painting as an adult. It was as if I was born with an inherent drive towards creating.
With dreams of becoming an artist, I had a passion for creating realist oil paintings as a young adult. However, young and naïve, I was easily swayed to take the practical road, so I decided to become a graphic designer instead. I attended one of the pedigrees of art schools, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Most of my creative energy was focused on becoming a designer. Although I gained valuable skills, learned the importance of discipline and how to productively focus my creativity, I lost the sense of play. It would be 18 years before I would pick up the brush to paint again.
After graduating I entered the corporate arena as a graphic designer where I worked with clients like Toyota, Nestle, Disney and Citibank to name a few. However, over time graphic design became methodical and was mostly about the objective of the project. Ultimately, it stopped feeding my creative spirit. I found myself hungering for a deeper connection…a deeper meaning to what I was creating.
A deep desire to understand the creative person and myself.
As an attempt to find a more meaningful path, I return to school to study a life long interest…psychology. I always had a fascination with the creative process and the creative personality…and to be honest I had a desire to understand myself.
Like many interests throughout my life, I immersed myself completely and eventually became a Licensed Therapist and Creativity Coach in private practice. Because of my creative background I worked with artists, musicians and creative professionals. I helped them be more productive in their creative process so they could reach their creative potential.
All sounds great…right? Well, the ironic thing was I had become what Julia Cameron refers to in The Artist Way as the “Shadow Artist.” The person who works around artists, in creative industries, but neglects their own creative expression or art. I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching. In other words, I encouraged my clients to embrace their full creative potential, yet I wasn’t doing it myself.
Life’s tragedies become the catalyst for creativity.
One year I was faced with one of life’s most difficult challenges…losing a parent to cancer. This became a turning point for me in terms of my own creative life. I was faced with the harsh reality that life doesn’t always play out the way we planned it.
The loss caused me to reflect upon my life and where I was going. I was forced to gaze into the eyes of a life long dream to be an artist, as it was screaming out, “What are you waiting for…? Now is the time!!” I realized, the importance of choosing to spend the rest of my life doing what I was meant to do, doing what I loved…creating art.
The decision to hang up my hat as a therapist and to pursue my art career was a scary and challenging one, but one that I could no longer ignore. So as part of my commitment to this new career and in honor of my Dad, I transformed his shop into my art studio.
Mixed Media set my creativity free.
Like I mentioned earlier, I originally started out as a realist oil painter and although I loved painting in oils, a part of me was eager for something more spontaneous, intuitive and playful. This is when I discovered mixed media.
Mixed media allows for mistakes, it provides the space for experimenting so that alchemy can emerge. You have the freedom to paint over, remove, add and change your artwork as it evolves.
Mixed media art is an encapsulation of the actual creative process. I fell in love with the organic quality of it as it dictates the direction “it” wants to go without a plan or preconceived idea.
Teaching from my own experiences and discoveries.
Which leads me to why I started True Creativity Within. I have a continued passion for helping others discover or rediscover their True Creativity. My personal journey has inspired me to share what I’ve discovered from my own experience with the creative process.
I know what it feels like to have one’s creativity hindered by the inner critic or opinions of others. I understand how old ideas such as “coloring with in the lines” or “it has to look like something specific” can actually block or even paralyze one’s creativity.
I also know first hand how it feels to hear those crazy voices that loop in our head. You know the ones. The ones that say, “you’re not talented enough to be creative” or “you can’t draw or paint so you’re not a real artist” or the best one yet, “creating art isn’t practical…you have more important things to do with your time.”
So it comes down to this, I truly believe that everyone is born creative. Being creative is a natural, innate human trait. When you watch kids, they so freely paint with their fingers, creating worlds in their imagination where the sun is blue and oceans are orange…their creativity is boundless. Free from parameters, definitions or ideas, nothing seems to get in the way of their creativity.
What makes my workshops different.
You’ll discover that my workshops are different from the typical art classes. Although I also integrate art techniques into my workshops, those who attend are encouraged to trust their creative intuition and surrender to the process, without any expectations.
My workshops are designed to help creatives like You (first-timer, beginner or intermediate) explore your inner artist and free up your creativity through mixed media.
“Play” is the best word to describe what happens in my workshops. I create a space that encourages you to return to that child like mindset where you once felt open and free to create whatever emerged in the moment. Mixed media is the perfect medium to achieve this.
In my workshops you’ll discover beauty in imperfection, accidents and mistakes, all within a fun and supportive environment. I ultimately want You to have fun creating!
It has been rewarding to witness the blossoming of the artist in each of those who have attended my workshops. Especially, when they’re ecstatic at discovering their own authentic creative expression and are surprised at what they’ve created.
So, what am I getting at
Why did I find it important to share my story? Well, from what I’ve learned from my personal journey and from other creatives who have had similar experiences, I’ve come to realize something very valuable. I strongly believe creativity is essential to our wellbeing and sense of wholeness. Whether it’s painting your child’s room, putting a family album together, writing poetry, cooking or creating art, some form of creating keeps us grounded. It can help us make sense of the world and better understand ourselves. Creativity offers a deeper meaning to our daily routine. So putting aside time to express yourself creatively can bring much fulfillment…at least it has for me.
So thank you for letting me share my story with you. Maybe parts of it reflected your own journey. Maybe you’ve always had a sense you were creative, but never took steps towards exploring your artistic side. Or maybe you’ve lost touch with the true artist in you. Wherever you are in your creative development, I’m here to tell you…it’s never too late! The important thing is that you start by honoring the True Creativity Within.