"It has taken a lot of personal reflection and being honest with myself about what makes me happy.
And then believing that I could do it."
Lisa Marie Tsering, 34
College Major: Graphic Design & Art
Occupation: Independent Artist and Designer
Ruth: Welcome, Lisa Marie! How long have you loved what you do?
Lisa Marie: All my life creativity has been my constant companion and in my soul I have always known I was an artist. But, knowing and accepting are two different things. I have known for some time that I was to step more fully into my art, but fear kept holding me back. I was stuck and grasping onto anything that I could use as an excuse to keep me from moving forward with my art... until this year. This year I am going for it. I am an artist and I am loving it.
R: How did you feel and what did you do before now?
L: After graduating with my degrees in graphic design and art I became an in-house graphic designer for a well-known, modern salon in Minneapolis. I held this position until I became a mother and then transitioned into freelance design. Even though I was working in the creative field as a freelancer it felt like there was something missing. There was something in me that wasn't being expressed. After spending a few years as a freelancer I began to dip my toes back into my art. It wasn't until my second son was born that I knew that I wanted to do art full time.
R: When was the first time you realized that you love what you do?
L: This year I declared to myself and the Universe that I would show up for the art that was wanting to come through me. After making that declaration a few months ago I felt a clear knowing and began a big, creative undertaking. I committed to creating 365 pieces of art inspired by feathers in roughly 365 days. Every day that I sit down to create my feather inspired art I feel content and in my element. I recently dug out my old drawing tools from college and after a few hours playing with them, charcoal smudges on my hands, a feeling of 'yes... this' came over me and I knew that this, this was it. This was what I loved to do.
R: Describe what you do now and what a typical day looks like.
L: Since committing to my art full time my days are now spent creating and feeling my way through making art my livelihood. I still do client based design work, but have set limits for myself regarding the number of projects I will take on this year in order to create space for my personal art making. As for my days, since my husband is a chef and has a constantly changing schedule and long hours, my days and weeks have to be flexible. The daily needs of the household and the kids are a big part of my days, but I get two afternoons a week to work while my mom watches my boys. These designated work days are used for creating, planning, and meeting deadlines. On my non-designated work days I am creating and working during my youngest son's nap time, or if the boys are happily doing their own thing I will jump into some work. Throughout the day, though, my art and business are never too far from my mind so I be sure to have something nearby to capture my ideas and inspirations. I rarely do any work at night after the kids are in bed as I am mentally and physically drained.
R: What were the steps you took that got you to loving what you do?
L: It has taken a lot of personal reflection and being honest with myself about what makes me happy. And then believing that I could do it. I sought out mentors, other trailblazers, who inspired me and also built up a beautifully supportive network of kindreds around me.
R: Is there something about your work that makes you feel like you're contributing to a greater good?
L: I create my work with the intention of bringing more beauty, hope and inspiration into the world. If my work, and my journey, adds even an ounce of light to the world I believe that is a worthy endeavor.
R: Do you have any advice for others on their way to loving what they do?
L: It is normal to have doubts and concerns, but if you listen to your inner knowing you can gently move past them.
R: If you could whittle it down, what was the ONE most important thing you did to begin loving what you do?
L: I began to trust... trust in myself, trust in the vision, and trust that it would all work out.
Lisa Marie Tsering is an independent artist and designer. She lives in Minnesota surrounded by soul nourishing lakes with her husband and two young sons. A lover of beauty, she seeks it out daily letting it inform her next inspired work.