15: Lisa Congdon

In this episode I talk to fine artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon about inventing challenges for yourself, listening to Bulgarian folk music, and getting good at something by doing it over and over and over and over.

“It is absolutely possible, especially in this day and age, to make a living as an artist.”

—Lisa Congdon

Lisa is best known for her colorful abstract paintings, intricate line drawings, pattern design and hand lettering. She’s the author of five books (and counting!) and writes a popular daily blog at Today is Going to be Awesome.

Photos: Shot of Lisa by Sarah Deragon. Pinball Wizard, by Lisa Congdon. All Good Things, by Lisa Congdon.

Show Opener: Salt-n-Pepa, Pharrell Williams (with Justin Timberlake), Melanie and Kanye West (feat. Rhymefest)
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) – The Beatles
The Analog Kid – Rush
All Your Secrets – Yo La Tengo
Own It – Drake
Within Your Reach – The Replacements
Mur stho sme se razigrali (Hey Let’s Dance) – Bulgarian State Television Female Choir
Show Closer: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Tricky, Dusty Springfield and Isaac Hayes

Reading List
Owning It: I Am An Artist – blog post by Lisa
Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist, by Lisa Congdon
Whatever You Are, Be a Good One: 100 Inspirational Quotations Hand-Lettered by Lisa Congdon, by Lisa Congdon
A Collection a Day, by Lisa Congdon

Watch List
Gerhard Richter Painting
Become a Working Artist with Lisa Congdon
Basic Line Drawing with Lisa Congdon
Sketchbook Explorations with Lisa Congdon

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  1. Thanks so much. Great interview. I really, really enjoyed it. Lisa Congdon is amazing and I have taken her Creativebug classes. She is an excellent instructor and such a “giver” of her knowledge.
    Thanks again.

  2. […] Lisa Congdon was recently interviewed by Jen at Brand New Ways and talked about how she challenges herself creatively and her love of Bulgarian folk music! […]

  3. […] a fun new podcast called “Brand New Ways.” Jen Leonard’s interview with Lisa Congdon was so […]

  4. Mama says:

    Great Interview with Lisa Congdon…Loved it! Most inspiring! I felt a connection, especially, with her comments re: Lettering, Calligraphy and Doodling! Checked out her books & Blog. She had very nice things to say about you, Brand New Ways and your interviewing style! Keep up the wonderful Podcasts! Interesting! Informative! inspiring!

  5. linda says:

    Loved listening to this interview, thank you for sharing! I suddenly felt all these connections to Lisa because of my project management background and now in my 30s wanting to pursue a creative career route… very inspiring to hear that it is never too late, that we are all afraid and have doubts… but hard work is really the key!

  6. Trina Lucido says:

    Really enjoyed the interview with Lisa Congdon. I discovered her work last year; it was great to hear her talk about her art and her insights (and insecurities!) about being an artist. Thank you for such a wonderful interview!

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