We knew we were in for some laughs when we asked the awesome Lisa Graves if we could interview her. Lisa was one of our very first contributors with Starving Artist Goo-Lash and recently submitted Drunk & Bloated for the Year of the Fig Contest! She continues to entertain us with every new recipe. Oh, she's funny alright. Very funny. She likes to infuse her illustrations with her quirky humor and love of crazy historical facts and stories! We're sure you'll find her answers amusing...we're still laughing.
What is your favorite thing to draw?
Crazy Monarchs. Weird, I know, but it’s become an obsession. I get a history lesson and enjoy doing all the intricate line work in their outfits. I also discover weird little details about people like Marie Antoinette, Queen Victoria, Georgiana Cavendish, etc., details that make me sound smart at cocktail parties (because I attend so many cocktail parties.)
What was your favorite toy when you were a kid?
Sounds very pretentious - but my piano. It’s a 1930’s Spinnet and I’m currently in the process of restoring it to its original glory.
If you could live anywhere else for a year where would it be, and why, and can I come visit?
Um - Bordeaux. And of course you can visit, I can’t drink all that wine alone. Now that I think of it - bring Nate and Mr. Robertson too.
What city/country has the kind of food you LOVE the most?
New Zealand. Ever have breakfast in New Zealand? Everything just tastes better - milk, eggs, bacon. Second choice would be any coastal town, I’m a seafood junkie.
Describe to me what you see when you look out your studio or workspace window.
I see that I need to clean my windows. Through the muck and spun glass, I can catch a glimpse of green trees and the delapidated antique house next door. I also see that I need a new fence.
If I came to visit you what kinds of things might we do?
We‘d probably get into a lot of trouble. Nate can bail us out right? Hahaha. I’d take you straight to Cape Cod so we could bounce around to all the beachy boutiques in search of crazy jewelry and fab art.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
A perfect day involves my feet in the sand, a little sunburn, my sketchbook, and something with coconut and pineapple in it...and maybe a big plate of fried clams with extra tartar sauce. Oh, and gambling. Yes, some sort of gambling. Now I’m rethinking my answer for “where would I live” maybe Monaco would be better.
If you imbibe, what is your favorite cocktail and where do you like to drink it best?
I’m such a wino- but my secret little fantasy is to sit in some Irish/English/Scottish Pub with Jason Isaacs swilling Guinness and talking shop. Maybe we shouldn’t tell my husband that.
Do you listen to music when you work? if yes, care to share?
I listen to everything. My latest love is bluegrass. I’m listening to a couple soundtracks - O Brother Where Art Thou, Cold Mountain and a little Alison Krauss and Union Station. Damn that Dobro just gets me. Love it!
Do you have any pets? Kids?
Yes- 2 artsy-fartsy children. Finn is 5 and loves drawing Transformers. Stella is 3 and loves drawing on the walls. Although I scold her for drawing in places she’s not suppose to, I secretly love it and haven’t washed away any of her masterpieces. I also have my old-man-dog “Josh.” He’s a 14 year old pitbull that is the sweetest, most gentle dog I’ve ever known.
List 3 illustrators/artists/designers whose work you love.
Just 3? How about 6? Everytime I look at Mattias Adolfsson’s blog, I feel like a hack. Paul Bommer’s blog is brilliant. I’m a HUGE fan of Kristie Edmunds (Pencil Pocket) and Jacqueline Hudon’s travel sketchbooks are exquisite. But the illustrators that truly inspired me to go into this line of work are Shel Silverstein and Edward Gorey.
What is your most memorable art exhibit/gallery show/cultural experience?
When I was in 4th grade, my dad had me dismissed from school early so he could take me to the Boston Museum of Fine Art. I thought that was one of the greatest days of my life.
Is there a time of day when you are at your creative best? Not really. Working out of my dining room with 2 crazy kids running all willy-nilly doesn’t give me the luxury of choosing a particular time of day to do anything!
and last but not least...what is one of your favorite recipes on TDAC? Michael Robertson’s Retro Cocktails is still my favorite.
Thanks Lisa...we hope those windows are clean by now ; ) although it looks like you're waaay too busy to be cleaning windows. Here's a recent illustration Lisa did of Madame du Barry. Swing by her
to see lots more of her brilliant craziness and creative endeavors.
Here are Lisa's recipes...all hilarious! Click on each one to see larger images.