The Creative Spirit Within by Lisa Cyr (mixed media, 17.5×22)
Lisa Cyr, author of the best-selling mixed-media instructional book Art Revolution, is busy at work on her latest North Light project, tentatively titled Experimental Painting and set for release in summer 2011. We caught up with Lisa recently to chat about the project and some of the things that have inspired her.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I grew up in a family that was very craft oriented. Both of my grandmothers, my mother and my aunt (basically all the adult females in my life at the time) could sew, knit, crochet and embroider really well. There was
always extra fabric, thread and yarn around to play with. As a child, I made my own doll clothes and accessories. Early on, I think it was clear to me that something handmade was superior and special compared to anything you could find readymade in a store. Both my grandmothers have since passed but throughout my home, especially at holidays, I have many special things to look at, touch and use that they made for
me with their talents. Each piece serves as a reminder of the
importance of sharing one’s special gifts with others and the impact it has on generations to come.
What’s your home life like?
After living in Manhattan for many years, I moved to the Pocono Mountain area, about an hour and 15 minutes outside the city. I feel like I have the best of both worlds: the richness and culture of the city nearby and the fresh air and comforts of having lots of space to work. I have two cats that I rescued from the streets when I was living in NYC. They are my little buddies, providing creative feedback when I need it. A good supportive purr is all you need sometimes to keep you going! I also have a daughter and she is the love of my life. She inspires me to continue to play and experiment, always seeking new ways to do things.
Any favorite quotes?
I like this quote by Goethe, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic.” I also have a quote of my own that I like to use often. “Create from the heart, innovate without boundaries, strive for greatness and speak to the culture in ways that inspire and motivate.”
I think if I had to describe where my inspirations come from I would say J.W. Waterhouse and Adolphe-William Bouguereau meet Robert Rauschenberg with a twist of Gustav Klimt.
I like when others share their life experience in insightful ways. Artists on Art (Pantheon Books), compiled and edited by Robert Goldwater and Marco Treves, is a collection of writings and letters by famous artists throughout the centuries. From the classical notations of Leonardo da Vinci to the inner workings of Pablo Picasso, the prose is quite uplifting and inspirational.
Give us a taste of your latest project.
Experimental Painting is my latest project with North Light Books. It will feature exciting, in-depth demonstrations that bring a project from conceptual ideation to final execution, showing all sorts of interesting techniques along the way! It will also have a chapter on the artist portfolio, which will divulge into innovative promotional strategies for the artist. In addition to the book, I am planning on doing a mini documentary, showing a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this book. I think it will be a great teaching device as well as an interesting inside look into the project and its content.