Canadian commercial artist Lisa Audit is known for her beautiful watercolors of flowers, birds, and other natural scenes which adorn a variety of home products. Here she shares how she has found professional success through a combination of talent and luck and reveals her dreams for the future. Have you always been interested in art? Art has always been instinctive and very easy for me. When people asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I would say, “I am going to be a painter.” They would look at me like, “OK, good luck!” I studied graphic arts in college in Sherbrooke, Quebec. In a graphic arts course, you learn about illustration, photography, and other skills but I was strongest in illustration. interview with: LISA AUDIT written by: LAUREN KIM Lisa Audit York Wallcoverings How did you start working as an artist? My aunt gave me a clipping from a newspaper for a job at a wallpaper company. I got the job and learned how to create wallpaper patterns. A designer from a New York company came to visit to sell wallpaper designs, and I said I’d like to work for them on the side making wallpaper images. They also had clients in the bedding industry. I would work weekdays at the wallpaper company and weekends for the New York company. Thanks to my aunt, I am where I am today. 42 | GOOD TO BE HOME Sophie Grenier Photographe York Wallcoverings goodtobehomemag.com | 43

How did you make the jump into commercial art? I did a design for a bedspread for the New York company and saw a photo of it in a magazine. I phoned the publication and asked them for a copy of the photo, and they ended up interviewing me for the magazine. My art director came across the magazine article and contacted me, and we started designing images for companies. He knows what clients want and how to keep me from going off track; as an artist, I can easily go into a noncommercial area that pleases me but is not going to sell. The key is to know what’s in style so it will work in people’s homes. I can’t start painting pink flamingos and hope somebody is going to put that artwork in their living room—chances are, they won’t. Lisa Audit Lisa Audit Your art studio has plain, white walls. Why is that? I want to be focused on what’s on my table and not on what’s all around. If there is too much going on in here, I think it would be overwhelming. How would you describe your style? It’s hard for an artist to define their own style. I would say it’s delicate and romantic because I am known for my flowers. It’s not bold and in your face. Even if I try to do bold, it’s going to end up soft. York Wallcoverings Sophie Grenier Photographe 44 | GOOD TO BE HOME goodtobehomemag.com | 45 Do you ever work outside your studio? No. That’s what a fine artist, someone who goes outside to paint or creates abstracts, would do. It’s something I plan to do a few years down the road. In my studio, I can focus on what’s going to sell and what is the most commercial product—if you can put it on plates, a rug, or a bedspread. Have you always done watercolors? No, what I do changes with what’s in style. Commercial artists must stay flexible. We can never say, “I’ll only do watercolors and will never do anything else.” The watercolor style is in right now, but it is going to fade, and I’ll need to

It’s hard for an artist to define their own style. I would say it’s delicate and romantic because I am known for my flowers. go into the next medium. I’ve done acrylics, oils, and pen-and-ink. In addition, I love pastels, which is not the “in” thing, though. It’s an interesting medium. It looks like chalk, and your fingers get messy and dirty. In the 1980s, peach and mint, and pink and gray, were popular colors. They are back in now but have been tweaked somewhat. Everything comes back but with a new vibe. What do you enjoy most about painting? I love the connection I have with nature and the ocean—themes I enjoy painting. Before COVID, I used to go to Costa Rica for two months every winter, and I’d bring my paint brushes, paper, and computer and work from there with the birds. I live in the city now, but I am looking to go back to the country. I need to be in the country and hear the birds. For more info, visit lisaauditart.com 46 | GOOD TO BE HOME Sophie Grenier Photographe goodtobehomemag.com | 47 Sophie Grenier Photographe Lisa Audit

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