Friday, October 10, 2014

I Can Die Happy

You know how, every once in a while, you have one of those optimal experiences that make you think that if you were to walk out the door and step off the curb and accidentally find yourself in the path of a speeding semi, whereupon you'd be immediately flattened, you would go out being totally pleased with the world? That feeling? I've felt that on a number of days, like the day my husband and I walked into a voodoo shop in the French Quarter in New Orleans, and I saw one of my voodoo dolls hanging from the ceiling, twirling slowly in the breeze from the ceiling fan. And I told Sal and Ellen this morning that if I go today, I will die happy, because our Morning Motivator this morning was perfect in every way.

I've been interviewing artists since 1991, when I started writing for Rubberstampmadess. The artists I interview are almost always really nice people, talented and generous. Often, however, I don't know anything about them ahead of time. Every once in a while I'll be given an assignment to write about someone I have heard about, and that's always fun. But one time, over a dozen years ago, I was given the assignment to write about Lisa Lichtenfels for Art Doll Quarterly, and I'm sure that, alone in my office, I squealed out loud. Of course I knew who she was, and of course I was familiar with her work. I had her book, Figures in Fabric: The Sculptures of Lisa Lichtenfels.  If you're at all familiar with figurative sculpture, aka art dolls, you know Lisa's amazingly lifelike soft sculpture work.

So I got to write about Lisa, and I was so fascinated by her work and her life that I asked her to be a contributor to my book, Living the Creative Life. Very generously, she said yes, and finding out more about her life, which really is an amazingly creative one, was a delight. Imagine my excitement this year when I found out she was going to be here at Art is You teaching a workshop. And when Sal agreed that having her as a Morning Motivator was a wonderful idea. Whoa!

We met last night in person for the first time, and this morning we did the motivator, and just let me say this: Lisa is funny. Omigod funny, the kind of funny where if you were just watching her and couldn't hear what she was saying, you might think she was just talking. But if you have the sound track, you realize this is someone with the kind of sense of humor that's not only hilarious, but kind and generous, as well.

Oh, yeah: don't forget smart and insightful, too. Do I sound like a total Fan Girl? You betcha. Her advice to artists was spot on, and I'm lucky that I was there to hear that part, the part where she talked seriously about the magic of living a creative life. It was one of those moments when the laughter stopped and you could hear a pin drop while she talked and then, when she finished, everyone broke into spontaneous applause. One of those priceless moments.

That's why we call them Morning Motivators, and this morning's was Lisa's gift to us.


Tonia Jenny said...

That sounds like such a wonderfully-empowering morning. You've made me wish I had been there.

Vanessa Johanning said...

This was one of my favorite top three moments of the week!!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️