Happy Birthday to this young lady, too!!!! Here is my gift to you, sweet lady!
Lisa first came to my attention through The Art and Artists of 614 on Facebook but our lives have intersected quite a bit over the last year. Our first in-person meeting was at the Falling for Local artisan market at Franklin Park Conservatory last October. I was fortunate that she applied to the show and sold her gorgeous copper pieces there. From there, we ran into each other at a number of art shows, 614 mixers, etc. Eventually, I convinced her to let me interview her and after much prodding, she agreed!
Lisa is a first generation American, with Jamaican parents, born in NY but grew up in Columbus Ohio. Although she now believes she was a born artist, she chose to pursue a career in design (money, security, etc…you know the drill!) She graduated from The Ohio State University’s Department of Industrial Design with a Bachelor of Science in 1994 at a time when digital design was taking over the world, and hand made type was still a viable skill for Graphic Designers. Her first job was in the design department, working for her advisor, Noel Mayo. On the first day, he pointed to a large beige box and said “Your job is to learn everything on that machine” …and so she did! Photoshop 2, Pagemaker 1.5, Illustrator 88, Freehand, Fontographer, and on and on and until she became the go-to office techie. That work laid some initial groundwork in her development as a teacher through helping others learn how to problem solve on the Mac.
At the same time, her social life exploded! She found a group of creative hippies who wore patchouli, did interpretive movement to Dead Can Dance and found her ‘chosen’ family , spending her time outside of design schooling with them. This is when she discovered the wonder of copper and metal working, and started making jewelry and home decor with vigor.
The following 15 years found her working at several different businesses. First, she was Art Director at Blue Cosmos Design where she taught herself how to design for the web. From there, she got a job at OSU Medical Center, as a Senior Designer where she began utilizing her web talents…the bulk of her work was in designing publications, creative direction on photo shoots, and managing the department’s digital assets. Her next job as a Senior Designer was at Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Science and Mathematics. In 2001, she made the transition to full time freelance, under the business name of Firstribe Design and .., I quietly pursued art-making, but never gave myself enough time and space to really do anything more than explore. And I never shared it. I lived vicariously through friends and other creatives, by hanging with them and doing creatively for them what I thought I did best: design! I did manage to get myself together enough to have my first solo art show at Studio 16, which was an amazing experience. The show was titled Earthbound, and I created metal based, figurative works of faceless beings with expressive hands, reaching for life.
However, after 2 years of this she was tired of working alone and chose to take a job as Art Director at Trident Design, a product design firm. But in 2005, she was reaching burn-out with working the 9-5 in a fluorescent lit world so she shifted focus to donating creative time to causes she believed in, hoping to regenerate her love of her chosen field. Two years later, (and to stabilize her finances) ,she warily accepted a job offer with one of her larger clients; 42fish. But, once again, she found that her heart just wasn’t in it (funny how we often DON’T listen to our guts!!)
While I loved being in the design world again, and LOVED my salary, I was nervous about becoming bored with doing only one type of work for 5-6 days a week. Thankfully I was given a wide variety of projects from print, to packaging, to web development, and enjoyed the work for awhile. … But that 9-5ish though. ugh.
That was it! She quit her ‘jobby’ job and vowed that she would do whatever it took to become a working artist and let her heart sing!! She’d tried the viable career route and found that it almost destroyed her desire/need to create. It has taken a few years but she doesn’t regret making the decision to follow her passions of art-making, collaborating and growing! She has allowed herself to be driven by a need to explore the depths of “my emotion, cultural history, and why women rock so hard.” and those of us in the Columbus art community are glad she did!
As I said previously, she creates lovely copper jewelry but that is not all that she does. She also paints and creates gorgeous 3-D art works. When asked to categorize her art, she stated: Mixed Media … Abstract figurative … sculptural … textural. Her inspiration comes from nature mostly, but specifically sunlight, trees, flowers, animals, good food and passionate people. She has a love for unicorns, rainbows and nature and focuses pretty exclusively on positive, loving people. Her followers would say that they never know what to expect from her next but they know that she is a positively prolific artist. I have also heard from many that she is a team player and believes in helping others to promote their work as well as promoting her own.
And I believe that is what led to her having the honor of being asked in 2013 to become an administrator for The Art and Artists Of... on Facebook, an online network of artists in Ohio that started last year and has been growing exponentially! Initiated by Walter Herrmann, this group includes over 3000 members along with administrators Amy Leibrand and Chad Cochran (both previously featured artists), who have each become forces in our community in ways that Lisa identifies with…through positivity and and passionate belief in the power of art. This year promises even more growth for us, as we branch out into all of Ohio and offer group shows that our professional and amateur artists can choose to be a part of.
In addition to that honor, Lisa was extended an invitation to join TacocaT Collective when one of their original members moved on last fall. She has indicated that this move is HUGE for her, being a self-proclaimed creative nomad. Her studio there is filled with lovingly created works ranging from copper to paintings. She has also built an amazing almost floor to ceiling portable storage unit that houses her supplies and allows for more space to exhibit her art. You have to stop by to see it!
Due to her schedule, however, she’s only in her studio sporadically. Because she hates to disappoint anyone who would like to know her, her art, or receive a big bear hug, it’s best to drop in during an opening at the collective. 2014 has already been a very busy year for her. She served as juror for Amy Leibrand’s EXPOSURE Mobile Photo Show. This was held at CS Gallery in March featuring mobile photographers from Ohio, the US and several other countries. It was an amazing show and she did a wonderful job selecting the photos that were displayed!
Although she has an online store for her copper work, she says it’s best to schedule an appointment to visit her studio. She will also be selling her wares at varying events throughout the year, such as Columbus Flea, 400 Market, and more. Details about upcoming events are usually posted on her Facebook pages.
Her final words of encouragement as a means to inspire herself and others: GO TO THE LIBRARY. HELP OTHERS. TRY NEW THINGS WITH YOUR CRAFT OFTEN because, as she puts it : I plan to grow old, very old doing this.
Contact info for readers:main contact page: about.me/lisa.mcemail: firstname.lastname@example.org only: 614 886 4391gallery of signature items: http://www.coppercurious.com/online store: http://coppercurious.storenvy.com/facebook like page: http://www.facebook.com/coppercuriousfacebook like page for my visual art: https://www.facebook.com/lisamcart/identity website showing my capabilities: http://lisamclymont.com