Lisa Congdon, one of our favorite artists, is in the San Francisco Chronicle on page P-6 of Thursdays issue of StyleMaker Spotlight. Check out what they have to say about her new book, illustration, fine art and even a cheat sheet to her favorite spots in San Francisco.
It’s shaping up to be a busy year for artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon ( www.lisacongdon.com). She was featured in February’s Martha Stewart Living – “What crafty girl doesn’t dream of that?” – and recently sold Rare Device, the San Francisco store and gallery she co-owned with Rena Tom. Her new book, “A Collection a Day” (Uppercase, 2011), is coming out soon; the Curiosity Shoppe will host a release party on March 18. And in July, her solo show, “Boreas,” opens at Gallery Hijinks.
These accomplishments are especially impressive when you consider that Congdon is a self-taught artist who “didn’t start painting or making collages until I was about 33 years old,” she said. Previously, she was a project manager in an education nonprofit and painted and illustrated on the side. She quit her full-time job in 2007 to pursue a career in art. Today her client list includes PBTeen, Urban Outfitters and Random House Publishing. (One minor setback this year: A bike accident resulted in a broken arm that has slowed her down a bit.) In addition to painting and drawing, Congdon, known for mixing vibrant colors with muted tones in unexpected ways, makes three-dimensional shadow boxes and collages. ”I think I’m an illustrator at heart, in that my work is narrative, mostly,” she said. “I like to tell a story and evoke a specific sense of time/place in my work.”
The Congdon cheat sheet
Art smart: “Support San Francisco arts spaces. My favorite San Francisco arts nonprofit is Southern Exposure. It offers diverse arts programs for the public and youth along with grant and exhibition opportunities for emerging artists. Their 4,000-square-foot art space is a hot spot for incredible art shows and programs.” (soex.org)
Pedal power: “Get a bike and ride it. Not only will you feel amazing at the end of the day, you’ll be contributing far less to crazy traffic and poor air quality. San Francisco bike commuters should check out SF Bicycle Coalition for resources.” (sfbike.org)
Shop local: “Take a stroll down Valencia Street corridor. The new widened sidewalks, public art, a slew of interesting new shops, galleries and eateries make the Valencia Street corridor one of the coolest and most inviting neighborhoods in San Francisco.”
On inspiration: “I am definitely influenced by the California landscape – in particular all of the natural beauty and wildlife. I use a lot of color in my work; I am sure that also comes from living in such a vibrant, colorful place.”
Cool and collected: “Part of the thrill of collecting is the hunt. Think of one small not-so-common object, vintage or contemporary, that you’d love to have more than one of and that might add decorative finesse to your home. Hunt through flea markets or shops to build your collection.”
Read more here.