We are excited to welcome Lisa Lala to Blue Print!
Lisa Lala was born in California to artistic parents who encouraged her instincts from an early age. Her mother allowed her to maintain a work table alongside her in her fiber art studio. She also accompanied them on humanitarian trips world-wide, which fostered her unique perspective and exposed her to many different ways of life. Lala now lives and works in Lake Lotawana, Missouri.
Learn a little more about her and her process below!
I often get asked the question “why” or “when” did you become and artist, but the funny thing is that I always felt that I just “was”. Growing up both my parents were artists. I had my own “art table” in my mother’s studio and I spent countless hours there. It was peaceful, my mother working at her loom, and me working with all the scraps of art supplies she often added to my area. Then in second and third grade I had a very special Montessori teacher who had a way of encouraging each child in their own directions. For me this was art. She told me I didn’t have to do any of the class worksheets as long as I made art for her and wrote her poetry every day. But on the flip side, we all make decisions every day to stay or go. I am not a leaf floating down a river with no ability to adjust my course, so I have surely decided to stay. I remain an artist because it feels in balance to do so. When I make art and share it with the world, I send the best of my energy out, and then I have that positive energy echoed back to me by others. And I think “this is right”, and “I am glad I am an artist”.
When someone walks into your show, what do you hope they will grasp or enjoy about your paintings?
Show openings are some of my favorite nights of my life. I love the energy of people reacting to the work, you can feel it in the room. I get to meet so many people that I never would meet otherwise, and hear a tiny part of who they are, why they are there, how the work affects them. The truth is that if someone doesn’t respond to your work, they probably won’t come to the show. And if they were dragged there by someone else, they still probably would not spend much time other than saying hello. So the overwhelmingly filled with people excited to meet me or hug me, and it becomes a little over the top. It is quite a contrast. because as much as I love people, I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like, working alone in my studio. Galleries are the primary way people see my work, and so I often don’t get to meet people that have my work, but I DO on opening night. And it is these nights that sometimes I hear wonderful and funny stories about the lives my art has had after it left my studio. For example, a young couple that had gotten married told me a story about how they had each gotten the other a wedding gift, and they exchanged it the night before at the rehearsal dinner. There they were sitting there in front of each other and the whole group and they each had a package the same size – and when they opened them they discovered that they had BOTH given each other one of my paintings! Ha. What are the chances?
What is the best piece of life advice you’ve been given?
When I was pregnant (a long time ago, our daughter is now 16), I had a lot of concern about how I would balance being a mother and an artist. Still to this day I have to recalibrate sometimes. But at the time I wondered, “Who am I even to work?” and “How can I raise a healthy child if I am also working?”. I remember sitting in the kitchen of Deanell Tacha and sharing this concern. She was a federal judge, and one of the warmest and wisest women I knew. She had four kids. To this day, I don’t remember exactly what she said, but she put a question to me something like this: “What if every generation stopped for the next?” To illustrate, imagine if each generation had one daughter (my daughter is in fact a 3rd generation only child daughter). What if instead of each of us going out there to do OUR THING, we STOPPED when the next generation came, so instead of doing our thing, we didn’t, and then when our daughter had a child, she didn’t either, and so on. And then she impressed on me, “What sort of an example are you setting?” By not doing your thing? And I realized, that I had to do what I did, both for myself AND for my child. And I have found that both inspiring and guiding.