We are pleased to feature textile artist Lisa Call. An award winning artist, Lisa talked to us about her artwork and life in Denver. As always, please click the images to enlarge.
Are you originally from Denver? If so, what kept you here? If not, why did you relocate and from where?
No. I grew up in New Mexico and went to school in California and in Wisconsin. I then lived in New York and Virginia. After trying out the rest of the country, I came back home to the southwest and have no plans of leaving.
What medium do you prefer to work in and why?
I work with cotton fabric that I hand dye in 1 yard pieces creating textile paintings. See my artist statement for an explanation of my process.
When my work is on display, everyone wants to touch it. Fabric is familiar and it draws us in. The texture I create is almost irresistible. As a viewer - you don’t get to touch. But as the maker - I get to touch it every day. That tactile nature of the medium is a huge draw.
Have you always been an artist?
Yes - when I was a kid I would create elaborate sculptures with trash. I would spend my recess time in school in the library with my cache of expensive color pencils, stolen from my mother, drawing complex machines in bright colors that covered the entire page.
I wanted to major in art in college but the man footing the bill (ie Dad) told me that art was a hobby not a career. So I ended up in computer science instead. I got part way through my PhD when I woke up and realized that I wasn’t enjoying myself so much. I still work full time as a software engineer but I view it like an actress in NYC views waiting tables.
What was the moment when you first realized you are capable of creating an art career for yourself?
When I started thinking big and not hiding. I have a website devoted to helping other artists think big about their art, their marketing and their lives: http://makebigart.com
I also teach online art workshops, where my skills as a software engineer come in handy for creating an online experience that captures as much of power of an in-person class as possible. Students are able to view and comment each others progress and hold conversations about the course material. Details: http://lisacall.com/workshops/online-workshops/
From where do you draw your inspiration?
From my personal attempts to be authentic and from the gorgeous landscape of the southwest. Essentially everything I do informs my art. Being an artist is a lifestyle, not an occupation.
What is one milestone for your career that you hope to achieve?
Quitting my day job and supporting myself through my art and creative endeavors.
What is your favorite work of art by another artist and why?
Untitled (Say Goodbye Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor) by Cy Twombly. This huge and amazing artwork is in Houston and I spent hours a few years back sitting in front of it soaking it in.