E-mail this page to a Friend
From the heart: Interview with artist Lisa Costiloe
to view lisa's paintings and artist's statement...
at: When did you start painting?
LC: I started painting in 1995 when I took an elective course at San Mateo Community College. The class was actually at Half Moon Bay High School and was mostly attended by adult education students who were taking it more as a studio/workshop rather than a class. The energy of the class was great. I painted my first nude and absolutely loved it. That was when I discovered that I had a natural talent to connect with paint, especially colors.
at: Are you painting fulltime?
LC: Unfortunately, not - I wish! One day, when I retire. ; ) I work full-time as a high-tech recruiter which takes up most of my time during the week so I usually spend the weekends painting. Unless I'm up against a show deadline, and then I'll come in at night or might take some time off from work to finish some paintings. I love being in the studio all day and coming home exhausted.
at: You deal with some pretty heavy and personal issues in your work, like your experience with sexual abuse. How does your painting factor into your emotional process, or vice versa?
LC: Painting allows me to release pent up emotions or work through emotional issues I'm experiencing. It's a sort of therapy for me. A place where I can express myself without any restrictions or rules. No one can tell me how I
should think or feel. It's completely safe and non-judgmental. I can feel completely drained when I've finished a session, almost emotion-less. But it's a "clean" feeling of exhaustion and I go home feeling completely
fulfilled and at peace, resolved.
at: Have these personal experiences of abuse affected your self-confidence throughout your life?
LC: Absolutely. I struggled for many years with a lack of self-confidence. I was always very shy and introverted. It took me a long time to come out of my shell. I went through many careers and pursuits, always ending up feeling like there was something missing - I wasn't happy. So I embarked on a journey to travel within and find my inner beauty and, luckily, after a few years of professional therapy, I found her. Many thanks to my husband/then boyfriend who supported me along the way!
at: I'm not sure I could put something so personal out there so publicly. How did you find the confidence to show your work and yourself, basically, out there for anyone to see?
LC: It takes a lot of courage. I want to share my images with others because they're filled with emotion and I know others connect with this. It's a way of having an unspoken conversation. Some people do like to talk about what they see, but others just absorb it visually and allow it to impact them on a intellectual or psychological level. It's pretty amazing to know that something you expressed for yourself impacted someone else's life. Very powerful. It keeps me wanting to paint and share more. I hope to also one day have a positive impact on children by helping them to find their voice through the visual arts in an afterschool youth arts program. Connecting with others is the most powerful thing you can experience, especially when your expression is pure and from the heart.
at: What do you want to communicate through your work? Or what do you hope people get from your work?
LC: I want to communicate the dychotemy of love and pain/loss. Sometimes this changes but certainly seems to be a continuing theme. My childhood was a mix of this and my adult life continues to be as well, although I feel a greater sense of love in my life now. I hope that others experience a true connection to my work and can "feel" my work with their hearts.
at: What is your definition of "confidence?"
LC: Confidence is total happiness and balance. When you are doing what you want/love and everything is in balance, you step into every situation with confidence, knowing that you are going to fulfill your goals and make new
at: Do you see yourself as a confident person?
LC: Yes, absolutely. I also equate confidence to positivity. I consider myself a very positive person, probably because my childhood was so negative. This positive energy has greatly influenced my confidence levels. And whenever I might slip, I recognize that it's momentary and remember my strengths, accomplishments and goals, then I'm right back on track. Think positive, that's my mantra.
AT: Is there anything else you'd like to say to our FEMPIRE audiences? Anything at all...
LC: Be yourself. Follow your dreams. It takes hard work and determination, but it's possible. Just stay committed to yourself - you are the one who can make the difference in your life.
Wait, one final comment, if you haven't already seen An Inconvenient Truth<, get out there and see it! The world is literally heating up and if we don't reduce our carbon emissions, climate catastrophe will ensue - it's already happening. Not to put an "end of the world" message out there but it's pretty serious and there are things you can do to reduce carbon emissions, thereby reducing the warming that increases each year. We can stop this but everyone has to start reducing their carbon. Here's the website, which lists 10 things you can do plus tons of facts - you can also buy the DVD here: http://www.climatecrisis.net. Take action - save the planet!
Lisa Costiloe will be participating in a group show Feb. 2 at Space Gallery to benefit the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
1141 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
From 7pm - midnight
You can also view more of Lisa's work at http://www.lisacostiloe.com
Please log in if you would like to make a comment.