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Children’s Book Author & Illustrator: My Surprise Calling – Lisa, 53

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KuelWomen are everywhere; even right next door. I have the good fortune to call this one a life-time, childhood friend. The kind of friend who sits through 40+ questions to help you figure out how best to have ALL KuelWomen be able to ‘SHARE’ their stories.
There is power in story telling. There is power in community. There is power in sharing. The more we know about one another; the more we understand; the more powerful we become.
We invite all of the KuelWomen out there to share their stories with us.

Here is Lisa’s.
KUEL LIFE: What are you pursuing now, after 50, that surprises you or might appear to others as if it’s come out of left field?
LISA: Becoming a children’s book authoring illustrator – i’ve always had my art. It surprised me because my first book was written without the intention of becoming an author… it got published almost by “accident”. That wasn’t my goal – to become published. I wrote that first story from the heart. It got published. What came next was the real surprise. I saw how it was received –  at schools, libraries… My reaction, when I heard the kids read back my book to me, shook me to my core. It was then I realized what I had to become.
KUEL LIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?
LISA: I work from home, mostly. Most of my days are not typical. Depends on the project and what phase I am in. I also teach violin. Someday’s I’ll get up and do a little cleaning then get into whatever project I’m doing…. Getting supplies, doing research, working on design. It intermingles with my at home duties… like doing laundry.
KUEL LIFE: With what do you struggle?
LISA: For me it’s hard stay focused. One of my stumbling blocks is focusing a certain amount of time when I am not necessarily feeling creative. I have modes where I’m super creative and can’t stop working then I have days where the fizz is out of the soda. Sometimes I have to go to a park and sketch exactly what I’m looking it – just to start creative juices flowing again.
KUEL LIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
LISA:  Number one: I really work better with a deadline. What I find myself doing is creating a deadline for myself. I’ll search for art shows coming up – with specific deadlines for artist calls. I will set that as my deadline and it will motivate me to do it. I do the same thing for children’s books illustrations. It keeps me moving forward.
KUEL LIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging? 
LISA: Spend a whole lot less energy fighting it (aging). In our society there is so much pressure to be and look young. If people spent the same amount of time and money used to try to make themselves 10 years younger on making the world a better place, we’d be so much better off. The women older than me, that I think look beautiful and amazing, don’t spend much time looking that way. I see the soul coming out of their eyes, not the lines on their face. If the soul isn’t right; there’s nothing you can do to look beautiful. You have to be confident and comfortable with growing older.
KUEL LIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?
LISA: Feeling exposed. Not just exposed but unsure of yourself at the same time. You open yourself and are not confident. It happens to me when I put my heart into something and it becomes public; like my writing, an art project, or something I’ve said to someone.
KUEL LIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
LISA: Having children. Going to college. And, deciding to leave my career in architecture.
KUEL LIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?
LISA: My Dad. He was the one, from a very young age, who taught me how to see the world as an artist.
KUEL LIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?
LISA: My mother always told me “Just keep moving. It’s when you stop that you’re done for”. That comes up for me a lot. When I sometimes feel like giving up, I’ll force myself to move – something as simple as doing the dishes or walking around the block. It helps re-center me.
KUEL LIFE: What woman inspires you and why?
LISA: Mother Teresa. She is a woman who found a way to be completely happy just by doing what she was called to do. She was absolutely beautiful, not because of her physical beauty, but for what was more important- her love for humanity. Her faith inspires me.
KUEL LIFE: Are you grown-up?
LISA: Unfortunately, I probably am.
KUEL LIFE: What do you do for self-care?
LISA: Long hot baths. Naps.
KUEL LIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list? 
LISA: Travel to Greece, get published with a killer children’s book, and take an extended artist retreat for a whole season.
You can see Lisa’s work on IkegamiArt  or follow her on FaceBook and Instagram:

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