The Last 365 Days (Past, Present & Future)

If each year you're alive is like another chapter in your book of life, then my most recent chapter would be titled TRANSITION. (All caps. Bold Style. Just like that).

But before I get into why it was such a year of transition, lets first get acquainted.

PAST :

Hi, my name is Lisa Kowieski. I go by Lisa Marie because very few people can pronounce my last name, so I thought this would make things easier. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago where I've been surrounded by flat lands that stretch across the horizon for miles and miles. I grew up visiting the mountains of Colorado and the beaches of Florida on a regular basis. At a young age, I fell in love with the mountains and the ocean. Even though my home was an entire days road trip from an epic change of scenery, I would often day dream about going on a great adventure out west. I've always loved exploring.

I've also always loved drawing. My earliest memories are of me drawing horses and dogs in my play room at 3 years old. I've been drawing for as long as I can remember, and never plan to stop--even in this digital world. From a young age, my parents and school teachers recognized my gift for drawing and in third grade I started taking art classes at a Studio in my town. At the studio, I was taught how to draw still lifes with oil pastels and charcoal and how to paint from photos with acrylics. My time in the "kids class" was accelerated when the studio art teachers saw my talent and moved me to the adult classes when I was 11.  I learned how to paint using oils in the adult classes and quickly fell in love with painting portraits and mixing colors.

By the time I entered high school, I had been playing soccer for 10 years and I decided to quit soccer so that I could focus more on art. By my senior year of high school, I competed in various fine Art Shows around Chicago and won several awards for my drawings.

For college, I took the non-traditional route of going to a small private school that had a new design program. I didn't know I wanted to be a designer until my junior year of college when I met the new Head of the Design Department who explained to me how art and design are one in the same thing. I began to fall in love with design and dove headfirst into the world of design and all it had to offer. I interned at my professors design studio, worked as the layout editor and chief for a newspaper, created several logos for start-ups, designed a trade show wall display and pop up banners for a national company, created an album cover for a Chicago musician and more. All of this was great, but I still had a burning love for drawing and illustration.

PRESENT:

Fast-forward to March 8th, 2015 (one year ago) and I was a second semester senior design student anxiously awaiting graduation. So what happened from that day to today? Well, here's a quick run down for you: I graduated Cum Laude and Lambda Pi Eta with a Bachelors degree in Graphic Design and a minor in Communications as an honors college athlete on the cross country team. I watched 7 friends get married (3 of whose weddings I stood up in), I said goodbye to loved ones and went to 4 funerals, I traveled to 12 states, I flew a drone for the first time, I saw the Pacific ocean for the first time (and then again and again two more times), I went snowshoeing in the cascades, said goodbye to living with 4 of my best friends and moved back home, celebrated my two year anniversary with my boyfriend, started training for my second half-marathon, started a new job as a graphic designer at a large sales and manufacturer's representative company, got promoted within 4 months to lead designer and marketing coordinator as the youngest and newest person in the company, made a 200 page product catalog, took on several freelance jobs--varying from corporate head shots for a small business to commissioned oil paintings for a romantic proposal downtown. I attended my first trade show and networked with some of the biggest brands in the industry, and juggled two full time jobs while also always trying to make personal work and draw as much as possible. Phew, I'm tired from just writing that all out in word-vomit-style.

FUTURE:

I have two major priorities when it comes to work: be creative and help people. As I push into the next year, I'm constantly searching for opportunities that fill those values. I've spent many days and nights burning both ends of the candle to chase down my dreams. Most of the work on my website was all created within the last year--I'm always working, always dreaming, always searching for the next adventure. A dream of mine is to find a sweet spot where my passions can collide seamlessly: art, the outdoors, helping people, living an active lifestyle and travelling. So much has changed in the last year and there's been a lot of high-highs and low-lows. My goal for the next year is to dream bigger, go outside of my comfort zone more and explore ways that I can give back and make a difference in people's lives. I can't wait to see what the future holds. 

A CLOSING

Thank you for taking the time to read through this long, introduction of who I am as an artist and a person. If you are someone with similar dreams and goals, please send an email to madebylisamarie@gmail.com and let's see how we can work together and make those dreams a reality. Blessings.