Photo of Lisa Solomon by Sarah Deragon. 

On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast, we’re talking about making a career as an artist with my guest, Lisa Solomon.

Lisa Solomon is a mixed media artist whose work has been exhibited and collected all over the world. She received her BA in art practice from UC Berkeley and her MFA from Mills College and has been a professor in the Bay Area for 15+ years. As a Hapa [her mother is Japanese and her father is Jewish Caucasian] she is profoundly interested in personal identity, and all things chroma. Her work reflects this as well as an incredible love for textiles. She regularly uses “craft” materials and techniques in a “fine art” context. Another important focus of hers is bridging the gaps between being creative, living creatively, and making a living as a creative.

Some of Lisa’s art students at work.

Lisa and I begin the conversation by talking about where she grew up and how she decided to pursue art in college and afterward. She talks about the influence of her paternal grandmother, especially. Lisa explains how she got her first job teaching at the university level. Lisa straddles the line between the indie craft world and the fine art world – she teaches at Craftcation and on Creativebug and has been a longtime craft blogger as well. During this portion of the discussion, Lisa references The Subversive Stitch.

Lisa’s backyard art studio built at the recommendation of her grandmother.

Lisa has written several books about art-making and we talk quite a bit about her newest book, A Field Guide to Color: A Watercolor Workbook (affiliate link).

The idea for this book came about in a really unusual way! You’ll have to listen to the interview to hear the story. The book is a workbook that you can paint in while you’re working through the color exercises. It’s beautifully made and very fun! While we discuss the book Lisa references her color meditation practice.

“Chroma” installed at Rare Device. Photo by Stewart Watson.

And, of course, I ask Lisa to recommend great stuff she’s enjoying right now. Lisa recommends:

Keep up with Lisa on her website and on Instagram.


This episode is sponsored by Hobbs Bonded Fibers. Hobbs Bonded Fibers has been making high-quality batting for quilters since 1978. They manufacture all their own batting in Waco, TX and you can find out more about all of their batting and crafting products at www.hobbsbatting.com/products.

For more recommendations – and a chance to win a collection of Hobbs Batting & Crafting Products! – send an email to shackney@hobbsbondedfibers.com letting us know you’d like to win the collection of our batting. Stephanie will reply with a handy reference batting selection tool you can use and share with your quilty friends! And if you love giveaways, be sure to follow @HobbsBatting on Instagram, where they have a giveaway in progress!


You can listen to this episode by clicking on the green arrow below, or subscribe to the While She Naps podcast on iTunes or on Stitcher so you never miss an episode. If you enjoy the show, tell a friend about it! Thank you so much.

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