Friday, January 29, 2010

Illustrators' Intensive Lisa Desimini talks

Lisa Desimini might not be human. I think she might be a sponge. She soaks up EVERYTHING. Lisa's got an amazing background story of how she got to where she is and that includes scanning every material under the sun for use in her collages.

Few of my favorite words and images from Lisa's talk, but you need to check this lady out in person if possible:

After Lisa's first few illustration jobs doing picture books and book covers, her editor asked her if she also wrote and Lisa said, "Nooooo!"
But after being asked that question Lisa went home and started writing and fell in love with it. Now she illustrates her own books, but equally loves illustrating for others still, too.

Lisa stresses "Always do personal work. Don't do it and worry if it is publishable and don't do it because you are trying to practice a new style for your illustration." Just make art to make art and have fun. Lisa promises if you don't force it, "It will always find its way into your professional work."

Lisa showed slides of her many books and how they came to be, my favorite story being the one behind THE SNOWFLAKE SISTERS. Set in New York, the book was done shortly after September 11th and is a love story to her favorite city. The super brilliant part: All of the images of New York in the book are made with stuff from New York. Lisa collected garbage off the street, city maps, New York Times crosswords, matchbooks, and even taxi receipts and turned those into fantastic city scenes:

Lisa's got the Intensive doing a fantastic exercise right now based on our homework. She is very animated in person and the best photo I can get is this:

Posted by Jaime


  1. Great post, Jaime. Lisa's work is beautiful.

  2. Wow! Thanks for the update. I have some wadded-up kleenex from my 9-year-old if anyone wants that for a collage.

  3. Thanks, Amy, Lisa is a super speaker and such a fun homework assignment. Martha, I'm ready for the collage!