Q & A With Artist & Author Lisa Congdon

Lisa Congdon

Lisa is the author and illustrator of "A Glorious Freedom", an inspiring, and possibly life changing book about woman doing their best work over 40, and even way beyond that, like in their 80's and 90's. You all need to read her book, and I recommend it as the perfect holiday gift. Your friends will thank you.

Angelina: I’ve found myself drawn to Instagram feeds that showcase older women, i.e. Chinatown Pretty  It feels inspiring and healthy to collect positive and creative ideas and visuals of older people. Do you have favorite feeds you can recommend?

Lisa: I follow Advanced Style and many of the women who are famous Advanced Style icons (the amazing @ilonroycesmithken is featured in my recent book), I recently started following @funkingafter50 who is fantastic. I love the boldness that so many older women put into getting dressed in the morning. I notice every year older I get, the more daring I get with my outfits each morning, and especially when I'm headed out for an evening. Instagram is great inspiration for that.

A: What's a current project are you working on?

L: Right now I have three big projects. I'm writing and illustrating two books. One is a science book for kids that comes out in 2020. I know... so far away, but it's a big book and it's science so I want to get everything right. One is a book for visual artists on finding your voice. That one comes out in early 2019. I'm also preparing for a big solo exhibition in Southern California in March. So I'm also making lots of paintings. 

 A: Any new projects, or new mediums of work, that you’d love to start in the coming decades?

L: I just started working three dimensionally in my painting studio a few months ago. I wanted to create something for my upcoming exhibition that was different from my paintings, but played with them at the same time. I am painting an entire village of small house shapes that I had cut out of old pieces of recycled lumber. And I'm really loving working that way, and I think I am going to continue that work. I always love to push the boundaries of whatever I am doing into something new. I get bored very easily when I do the same thing all the time. 

A: After reading your book "A Glorious Freedom", I’m craving a book, similar to yours... with examples, interviews, and essays, that bends and elevates my ideas of woman in relation to vanity. Do you ever find your vanity holding you back? 

L: I think most women are restrained by vanity. It's how we are taught to respond to the world from the time we are small. So, of course worries about not looking "right" get in the way sometimes. But mostly, I try to draw positive things from my vanity -- things like self care, staying fit, getting enough sleep, and, of course, being innovative with my fashion, which is part of my creative process and something I love. And then I work really hard to not allow my vanity to stop me from living my life fully, or being myself online or out in the world. I want to be a positive role model for aging in the best ways, and I'm still learning what that means. I am a work in progress. 

A: Favorite object on your desk?

L: I have a now-famous collection of vintage erasers that sit atop the ledge overlooking my desk. They are my inspiration for everything, both literal and metaphorical. 

A: Do you have a personal mantra or quote that inspires you on a regular basis?

L: I have a few mantras, but my current favorite is ALWAYS BE A BEGINNER. 

A: Wouldn’t it be weird if…

We could talk to animals...

Here's a link to her book. http://www.chroniclebooks.com/a-glorious-freedom.html