Lisa Wallace’s journey as an artist began, in part, in childhood, when she would write and illustrate short stories for other children to read. Through the ensuing years, she has painted for pleasure, gifting her creations to friends and family. It was not until two years ago that her vision of an artistic career began to take hold.
Lisa’s style has evolved as she has honed her craft. Her earlier works were abstract landscapes. She had never entertained the thought of painting people until she had a dream in which she saw an entire gallery filled with her art. “There were faces everywhere!” Lisa said, “It was confusing, but I felt that I was to explore the idea of communicating emotions through portraits. I found that this sat very comfortably with me, though it was quite a surprise.” Lisa now finds that her classic yet quirky surreal portraits allow her to connect with people.
Like many emerging artists, Lisa finds the ability to find time and resources for her to create her art to be one of her greatest challenges. Married with two sons, Lisa currently works full-time as a paediatric nurse. “You really have to believe in yourself as it can take time for those around you to get on board,” Lisa observed. She admits that the struggle can feel lonely at times but acknowledges that perseverance with small steps are necessary for advancement.
Part of Lisa’s journey has involved navigating the tricky world of self-promotion. Lisa wisely advises that not every exhibition format will suit every style of artwork. She is active on social media and finds this medium the best fit for her work. She has her own Facebook page at Contempo Concept; Artist Lisa Wallace and an Instagram account. She also sells her work through Facebook buy-sell groups and a variety of art groups. To keep her social media outlets interesting, she posts often with progress images and offers online competitions. By helping people connect with her work in this way, she is building an audience who are loyal, supportive and who share her work.
Lisa’s work is now dedicated to her first solo exhibition, “Life is Beautiful”, to be held at Rangi Ruru Girls’ School on the 10th and 11th of November. She finds the prospect both exciting and exposing as she introduces the work she has poured her heart into to a public audience.
A chance meeting with a teacher resulted in the opportunity for Lisa to display her work. Preparation included a commitment to painting 20 works for the event, all while working full-time and raising her family. As well as original artwork, the exhibit will include limited edition gift items branded with Lisa’s unique artwork. Lisa has found the process to be yet another learning curve on her journey, and Lisa is very grateful to Rangi Ruru for presenting her with the opportunity.
As an emerging artist, Lisa hopes to gain some valuable exposure from her exhibition. She is open to future opportunities, but until then, Lisa says she has many ideas for future artworks.
We can’t wait to see them.