Today’s Envoy is Lisa Call, a woman I’ve known for a long while but just met at the World Domination Summit in Portland last July. I’ll tell you about that later. First, let’s hear what Lisa has to say:
Nancy’s drawings and your stitching the drawings inspired me to return to needle and thread when sketching for my postcards from New York series and so I’ve placed her among my sketches and imagine her dancing in the streets of New York.
In the second I’ve placed her drawing in the middle of my latest piece – Portals #5 – which is all about opportunity and possibilities and it breaks my heart to think of how Nancy’s opportunities were limited. Which is why I am so moved by your project – you are giving Nancy a chance to make her mark in this world without constraint.
Thank you for giving her a voice!
[ ::: ]
So there I am, waiting for the session on How To Deal With Feeling Overwhelmed to begin, sitting at the end of the row in the chair nearest the door, stitching one of Nancy’s drawings. The chair next to me remains empty, maybe because I am not making eye contact, what with my head down stitching and all, or maybe it is the sight of a woman working with cloth. Some people see that as something only an ancient grandmother would do, you know. Just as we are about to begin, in walks this woman who heads straight for that empty chair beside me. “Mind if I sit here?” she asks as she’s already settling herself into the chair.
The session starts, and before you know it, we’re doing the dreaded audience involvement activity that requires pairing up with somebody near you to talk about it afterwards. There is only one person near me, and as I turned to face her, I silently vow that she will do all the talking. “So, tell me,” I say to her, “what have you to say about this?” She says something that that’s both clear and succinct, leaving space on the clock needing to be filled. “What about you?” she asks me. “What overwhelms you?” It’s a wonder I don’t have a heart attack right then and there, hearing the words that fell out of my mouth, talking about something I do not talk about. Ever. And you know what she says in response? “Me, too.” SHE HAS THE SAME OVERWHELM CARRIERS. (Or Gremlins, depending on how and when you look at it.)
We chat a bit – a very little bit cause in the time it takes to snap your fingers, the presenter starts talking again. How rude.
The session ends, and we sit there, the two of us, talking more about our respective chronic overwhelmed states of being and the similarities (especially the causes). She asks what I am working on. I tell her, of course, and she says she works in textiles, too, as we both fumbled inside our bags for a business card. “Mine is big,” she says as she pulls out a postcard-size business card to give me – a card bearing the beautiful artwork of Lisa Call. For the second time in the space of an hour, I fell a heart attack is called for. Lisa Call is a woman I’ve followed online (some might say stalked) for EONS, never leaving a message because she’s big and I’m not – that whole what-on-earth-would-we-have-in-common inferiority thing to which I now say “Pfffft” while swatting the air with my hand.
Not only do I love Lisa’s work, I love her approach to it. Lisa treats her textile art as a business. She makes plans, sets goals, does spreadsheets and marketing, AND she sketches, conjures, notices, stitches, and spends time on introspection and reflection. She produces, or as Steve Jobs said, she ships. She is very deliberate and disciplined (knowing that discipline means remembering what you want) in the context of her creativity, and that’s why she is able to be a mother, a friend, have a full-time job, AND create prolifically.
Her medium is textiles, but her methods transfer quite nicely, so go have a look at the workshops she offers. Sign up for her newsletter. Peek inside her studio. Read more about the Portals #5 piece, about her New York postcard series and the kindling behind it. And for heaven’s sake, take your time looking at (and perhaps do a bit of shopping, too) her artwork. Textile paintings, she calls them, and I think you can see why.