Hello Friends, I’d like to introduce you to another of my favorite artists, Lisa Engelbrecht. Several years ago I was doing an open studio demonstration (or was it a sampler – I can’t remember) and the Lovely Lisa was at a table nearby doing some amazing calligraphy on cloth. An admission here: I have always loved, loved, LOVED beautiful lettering. I love everything about language (I am an English Lit. major after all) and creating visual beauty out of beautiful language – it’s just poetic. I’ve followed her work ever since and am so pleased to be able to spotlight her her. So – ON to the interview!
Lyric: What is your favorite medium and why?
Lisa: Right now it has to be paint of all kinds-acrylic on paper and on fabric. I just love mark making and really have moved away from straight readable calligraphy. I feel as though I am journaling on the page, making writing that only I know what it says!
Lyric: Why do you work with textiles?
Lisa: Oh, I didn’t want to write on a big piece of paper for a final project in my calligraphy class so I asked if I could write on fabric-fortunately my teacher said yes and I found I loved it-and began teaching others how to do this
Lyric: What is it about lettering?
Lisa: I clearly remember a neighbor friend when I was about 7 or 8 showed me a piece of Eucalyptus Bark she had written on and put a flower next to the writing. The writing was cute and curly and I decided-yes! That’s what I want to do. I started playing with my letters then and there-using just a ballpoint pen and making circles over my ‘I’s and writing on a ruler. I love the idea that I can convey my words or someone else way more eloquent than me’s words in a beautiful way that might bring even more meaning to the words- a real direct communication between the viewer and I.
Lyric: How did you become an artist – did you always know what you wanted to do?
Lisa: I only know that I chafed under the rules of traditional calligraphy-this could be related to my own psychology but originally I wanted to please everyone ( teachers) with my technical skills-but really really wanted to bust loose. I found my voice once I did go my own way but it was scary and I know even now traditional calligraphers aren’t too pleased with my message-that really anyone can do calligraphy! I find even today that when I go with my gut feelings on my art work Im much happier and others tend to like it too-I never tried to be a famous lettering artist and now I’m trying to put the emphasis on ‘artist ‘ in my work-kind of a hurdle for me-I want to be known for my art and not my crafty things.
Lyric: Desert island – what art thing would you bring?
Lisa: Favorite tool of all time has to be the parallel pen by Pilot. It is so versatile-besides having a cartridge inside so I don’t have to dip into ink I can dip it also into other colors and metallic powders .
I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Lisa Engelbrecht. She has a wonderful book available – I encourage you to go over to her website and take a look!
DVD: Hand Lettering on Fabric
Bali Lantern Workshop available on Lisa’s website