This year’s featured art is by Lisa Morales. Read our interview with Lisa to learn more about the artist and work behind the 2019 featured art piece.
Tell us about yourself, your artistic background/career, where you are from and where you live now.
I grew up on the performing side of the art spectrum. My aunt owned a dance studio so at three years old I strapped on my first pair of ballet shoes and I didn’t stop dancing until I was well into my 30’s. I graduated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and went on to dance professionally in the Houston area. It was not until much later in life that I made the switch to the visual side of art. I was in my 40’s when I took my first drawing class and it wasn’t too long after that I fell in love with mixed media. A few years ago I was signed with a licensing company that has allowed my work to be seen on products throughout the United States, without having to leave Texas. I even have a calendar coming out in the U.K. in 2020. I consider myself to be very blessed to be able to make a living doing something I love.
What was your favorite part to create in the featured art piece?
I always try to hide images in my work that relate to the subject matter. The feature artwork has armadillos hidden all through out the piece and the lyrics to “London Homesick Blues” which is kind of an inside joke to all the artist who participate in the show. This song is played every morning to start the show, and every night as the shoppers are leaving the venue. By the end of the show we know all the words by heart.
How did you get started creating collages?
I used to work in stained glass and mosaics which is just a different media for the same process I use now. Stained glass, mosaics, and collage all take tiny pieces that are used in a jigsaw puzzle fashion to create a larger image. Paper is by far my favorite of the three because I can paint it any color I need, it is lightweight, and never breaks like glass can.
What are your favorite art supplies or tools?
Paper is my main media so I am always on the lookout for papers with interesting writing or graphics on it. I paint and texture the papers I use in my work with liquid acrylic paint. This paint is vibrant and translucent which allows me to use a lot of color that does not completely cover up the markings on the paper. Having both the color from the paint and the markings on the paper make for very intricate texture.
Is there any wisdom you would like to pass on to emerging artists?
I think a lot of people starting out in the business of art forget that art is a business. Talent alone is not enough. Take some business classes, learn some basic coding, make good choices with social media, network, be nice to people, work hard, think outside the box, be disciplined, and after all that, create good work!!