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In the Studio | Lisa Congdon

Artist Lisa Congdon is awesome. In fact, she's so awesome that her blog is named Today is Going to Be Awesome.

We're always in awe of Lisa's bright, whimsical studio pics—we have so many of them to share with you! Take a peek at these, and then read on to hear about Lisa's tips and tricks to her busy and bountiful studio practice.
 - Jen Bekman & 20x200

Lisa hard at work!

Studio Speak

Where is your studio?
In a warehouse in Oakland.

What's the first thing you do when you arrive in the studio?
Fill my water buckets.

What's your favorite "tool" in the studio?
One of my fat paint brushes.

What's on your studio playlist?
Audiobooks, mostly! And lately I have been sucked into the new “Serial” podcast by This American Life producer Sarah Koenig.

What do you wear as you work?
Pretty much whatever I feel like, except that I always wear an apron.

What's your favorite way to sweat it out?
Spin class

Don't lie...what's your favorite way to procrastinate?

Which artist's collections from 20x200 do you covet?
I absolutely love Helena Wurzel's work. [Editor’s note: Check out Ms. Wurzel’s “In the Studio” interview from two weeks ago!]

It's easy to see Lisa's love of bright colors here...

Whens, Hows & Whys

When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?
I didn't start painting or drawing until I was 31 years old. By the time I was about 38 I realized I wanted to do this for a living. There was no magical moment. It was all just a series of mostly fortunate events and a lot of hard work.

How did you get there?
I am self-taught. I painted for a long time in the privacy of my own home before I ever sold anything. Around 2005 I began sharing my work on the internet. And in 2006 I had my first show. In 2007 I left my other job to pursue art full-time.

How do you get over creative blocks?
Determination. I do just have days where I feel completely rotten about my work, and feel really paralyzed. But most of the time I have to push through it because I have something that is due to a gallery or an illustration client. I take breaks, obviously, and that helps. But mostly I don't cave in to the voices in my head or feelings of irritation with my work. I push through them—and some of my best work comes after I have pushed through a creative block. Knowing that makes it easier each time it happens.

How did you get connected with 20x200?
Jen Bekman began shopping at a store I owned in San Francisco back in around 2007 and we became acquainted that way. Then shortly thereafter she contacted me about becoming a 20x200 artist. I was pretty excited, obviously. I was still pretty new on the scene and it was a great opportunity for me.

The 411 on Lisa Congdon
Lisa Congdon is a San Francisco-based illustrator and fine artist. Raised in both Upstate New York and Northern California, she grew to love the trees and animals that surrounded her. That love is now expressed through her colorful paintings and drawings. Her clients include Chronicle Books, Running Press, Harper Collins Publishing, Target, Pottery Barn Teen, Urban Outfitters, Land of Nod and Random House Publishing. She's an avid cyclist, swimmer and vegan. Lisa's 20x200 editions are well-loved - check them out here!

Professional Site: Lisa Congdon  Blog: Today Is Going To Be Awesome  Twitter: @lisacongdon    Instagram: @lisacongdon