Spotlight: Lisa Congdon

A real deal art+heart artist answers kid questions and reveals her favorite soup!

You probably know Lisa Congdon’s art work from one of her many books. Or her clothing, product designs, posters, puzzles or online classes or podcast or…the list goes on! Lisa is by far one of the most prolific artists I know, and I’m proud to call her my friend. We met over a decade ago. We were young, ambitious, queer artists in SF figuring out how to make a living drawing and painting. We encouraged each other - took a calligraphy class together and talked for hours on the phone about our hopes and fears. Since then, I’ve been thrilled to watch Lisa achieve many of her creative dreams, including supporting today’s up and coming artists: she teaches and speaks to art students around the world, and just launched The Long Table Foundation offering mentorship and grants to emerging artists of color. Plus she has a new book for kids out that we’re excited to share: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Elements. Talk about drawing from the heart!

Q&A with Lisa Congdon

We asked DrawTogether kids to submit your most pressing art questions for Lisa - and you sent us some amazing ones! Here are a few of our favorites:

“If I want to be real artist what can I do now?” - Marguerite, 5 years old

Marguerite, you already ARE a real artist! But if you are interested in being an artist for a job when you are older, there is one main thing you can do now: DRAW and MAKE THINGS whenever you have free time. The more art you make, the more interesting, unique, and and imaginative your work will become!

“Do you have flies in your house?”  - Wren, 5 years old

Hi Wren! I do have flies in my house, especially in the summertime! I get annoyed with flies, but I try to remember to be patient with them, because they are creatures too!

“How does wet-on-wet water color work?” - Theo, 7 years old, from Virginia

Hi Theo! Wet-on-wet means that you apply fresh watercolor paint onto a wet surface (like placing some water on your paper) or on paint that is still wet instead of onto dry paper or a layer of paint that has already dried. It’s a really fun way to use watercolors because when the surface is wet, the colors blend together and you get really beautiful color swirling and other interesting combinations! 

“Where did you get all those erasers, Lisa?” Nora, 8 years old

Hi Nora, I find my erasers all over the place! Sometimes I find them at antique stores, and sometimes at garage sales. I find them at stores all over the world when I travel. And sometimes people give them to me as gifts! I love collecting erasers! Do you collect anything?

“What does the inside of a bee hive look like? Also the inside of a screw?” - Marguerite, 5 years old

Hi Marguerite! When I have a question about what something looks like, I try to see if I can find a video or a picture! And I found this wonderful video of the inside of a beehive that I thought you might like! 

“What is your favorite color/animal/soup?” Antonia, 10 years old, from Poland

Hi Antonia! My favorite color is vermillion red. My favorite animal is my dog, Milkshake. And my favorite soup is tomato soup!

“Can you draw me please?” - Vanshika, 5 years old, from India

Hi Vanshika! Sure! If you send me a photograph of yourself to hello@lisacongdon.com, I will draw your picture and email it back to you!

Thanks, again, Lisa. We’re so inspired by you!!

What other working artists and illustrators would you like us to feature? Post your suggestions in the comments below and we’ll follow up.

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Until next week, DT fam.