At the age of 8, Lisa began formal oil painting instruction in adult classes. By age 14, she was painting western scenes and horses with photorealist precision. As an adult, Lisa turned her talents to graphic design and, in 1991, became one of the first designers focused on the emerging digital revolution, working for the Apple Multimedia Lab in San Francisco and then with George Lucas at Skywalker Ranch.
Because she was one of the first designers tackling interactive digital media and the earliest web sites, she started writing books and speaking at digital design conferences around the world. Seven books later, including Web Design For Dummies, Lisa was well known as a pioneer in interactive media. She founded one of the first digital design agencies in San Francisco before moving to Southern California and serving as a Creative Director for digital agencies, Disney, and then as Vice President of Creative at Monster Energy.
In 1998 Lisa began painting again, but this time taking up watercolors. Determined to enjoy the same level of control she enjoyed in oils, Lisa worked tirelessly to understand the watercolor medium, and its intricate mineral interactions that produced incredible textures and eye-popping color. Her first series of large-scale, hyperrealism tropical florals sold in galleries and to collectors around the world and earned her a Signature Membership status in the National Watercolor Society. Her second series featured hyper realistic high action scenes of Western performance horses in the heat of the moment—complete with swirling dust and wild-eyes.
Most recently, Lisa returns to her digital design roots, with a radical departure in style, exploring “Digital Pop,” a series of iconic, whimsical scenes with bold color blends and simplified black lines. “There is a necessity to economize in mobile app and web design. As such, in this digital age, viewers have grown accustomed to navigating a lot of information through small affordances such as icons, simple layouts, and the use of color,” says Lisa. The Digital Pop series capitalizes on this modern design literacy to tell small, often humorous, stories in each piece.
Lisa lives with her husband on a small ranch up in the southern California mountains, where she enjoys riding her horse and playing tennis when she’s not dreaming up new designs to share with the world.
Five Questions with Lisa Lopuck:
- 1. Who is the biggest influence on your artistic style?
Picasso is interesting to me because, like me, he started as a graphic designer and also as a realist painter. He challenged himself to explore simplicity and in doing so, found a profound signature style. My own explorations of simplicity, however, have been more influenced by the fluid, fat graphical illustrations of Keith Haring. I think that as I evolve my style, I will continue to focus on the simplicity of shape, line and color. I can see my work becoming completely abstract and disconnected from any representational subject matter.
- 2. What sort of music do you listen to when you create artwork?
Interestingly, when painting realism with watercolor, I am so focused on the interaction of minerals, coaching them to mix together to produce incredible textures and color, that I can't listen to any music that has words in it. Classical or ethereal music actually heightens my deep mental state when painting with watercolor—it's very zen-like experience for me.
- 3. When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
I don't ever remember a time when I wasn't an artist. I think I was drawing on any available surface (including walls!) as soon as I could hold a crayon.
- 4. Where do you create art?
Because painting takes so much mental focus, I like to paint at home where I'm most relaxed and comfortable. The digital pop illustrations, however, I can do anywhere—just me and my laptop—and my finger doing the drawing. They are my release.
- 5. Why did you decide to pursue a career in art?
In high school, I was fortunate to intern at David Willardson's graphic design studio (my good friend's dad). That's when I realized that I could make a career pursuing creativity. David subsequently went on to be quite successful as a fine artist.