What To Do… Lisa Congdon

April 16, 2008

Lisa Congdon, a San Francisco-based artist, illustrator, and shop owner has a few words of wisdom to share with us for our What To Do… series.

What To Do... Lisa Congdon

How do you think a person can find their spot in the world of design — you know, your true calling?

* Do what makes you happy at least once a day. If you don?t have time, change how you live your life so you do have time.

* Share what you create or your creative aspirations with as many people as you can for feedback, for support and to combat isolation.

* Surround yourself with people who treat you with respect and support your efforts to find your calling.

* Work really, really hard.

Do you feel that you found your calling and if so, how did you get there?

I worked in a field completely unrelated to art and design for eighteen years. I have no formal training in art or design. I used to fantasize while I was at my 9-5 job about living the artist?s life, about owning a design store, about getting to do all the things I do now. I didn?t really ever think it would happen! I just kept working hard at making art and learning as much as I could about the latest in design. I believe that when you immerse yourself in what you love everyday, things fall into place. Before I knew it, I was showing and selling my work?enough so that I could go down to part time at my job. That?s how I met Rena, with whom I now own Rare Device San Francisco. She followed my artwork via my blog and asked me to do an installation at the original Rare Device in New York. We became instant friends. Seven months after meeting in person for the first time, we opened a Rare Device together in San Francisco. Recently, I left my 9-5 job. Now it?s art and design everyday (and a bit of bookkeeping and shipping)?and it?s just as amazing as I thought it might be.

(image top: altered by me, original photo by Ez at Creature Comforts.)


  • Reply cindy k April 16, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    lisa is the absolute best example of someone who set goals to live a creative life, and gradually, over time, made it happen.

  • Reply Melissa & Emmitt April 16, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Hi Holly!
    Great post! I love that you followed your passion. I did not know you own Rare Device. I am a customer. I purchased the silscreened pug pillows (of course) and I just love them. They are the focal point of our family room.
    :) Melissa

  • Reply Kelly April 16, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! I am also working the 8-5 regular job, but have started delving into a creative business all my own. Your story has given me validation that working on my passion at night and on weekends is the way to go. Thank you so much for inspiring me!

  • Reply Gwen April 16, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Isn’t Lisa the best? She was a huge inspiration for me to start my own little corner of the design blog community. It’s NEVER too late to follow your dreams.

  • Reply Incagirl April 16, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    This is a very inspiring/inspired story.

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