We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Botto Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey? How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
Perseverance and dedication. I had challenges in my life and pushed through them to find my way back to my art. Life can come at you pretty hard when you are not looking. Sixteen years ago, I lost my husband suddenly when my children were very little. I was devastated and my art career came to a screeching halt. Looking back, I am grateful for the time I spent with them and I couldn’t be prouder of who they have become. The circumstance made us stronger as a family and as they grew older, I slowly seized back my passion. Without perseverance and drive, none of this would have happened. It takes a lot of hard work and a strong will. To live an artist life, you must be extremely passionate about wanting this as a career. There are many hills and valleys. I constantly challenge myself to grow to a level of excellence and evolve my art to its greatest truth. I love what I do every day.
Please tell us more about your art.
I am a representational artist. My mediums are oil, charcoal and graphite. I paint and draw a variety of subjects in a realistic manor. Portraiture has always been my first love. People and wildlife are my main subjects. Capturing the spirit of the human experience and the beauty of wildlife is what drives me as an artist. Although I don’t limit myself to any one subject, if it moves me I want to paint or draw it.
What keeps you busy professionally?
There are many facets of running an art business that keep me busy on a daily basis: research, project planning, photography of subject matter, commissions, client meetings, networking, social media, newsletters, exhibitions, competitions, photography of art, giclee reproductions, framing, teaching and of course the actual creation of the work. Last month, I was scheduled to go to the Portrait Society of America’s conference in Orlando. Unfortunately, it was postponed due to the global pandemic. So, I looked for other ways of learning and started taking weekly classes via Zoom from one of my favorite artists, Alyssa Monks who lives in New York. I love being connected to other artists and grateful for their generosity to share knowledge. I also teach art in my community as well as private lessons but it has been on hold due to the pandemic. Soon, I will also join the ranks of teaching online.
We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about?
My art is a culmination of everything I am and have experienced. Personal style does not happen overnight and it takes many hours and years of training to hone your skills. Artists are so very individual as no two hand writing styles are the same. It’s true what they say ‘there wouldn’t be so many stars in the sky if we all had the same dream.’ My signature style has always been realistic portraiture and last year I added my love of wildlife and Western flavored art. I like working with different textures, fur, and warm earthy colors. Nature is so beautiful. I want to help bring awareness for the conservation and preservation of animals. Commissions, exhibitions and competitions keep me busy as well as working on my first solo exhibition.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite South Florida spots is Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami. There is a lot of art & history and worth the trip. From there you can go to Coral Gables and pick from an array of fabulous restaurants. To top the night off, drop by Books & Books as they always have famous authors. You can sit in their courtyard and listen to a band over a nice cappuccino and dessert.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, I would like thank my parents Meg & Richard Botto who set an amazing example of loving, kind hearted artists and mentors. Thank you for instilling in me this wonderful world of art. To my children…you are my greatest gifts. To my significant other Alan Philipson for his everyday love, patience and support of my art career. To all my family and friends, many thank you for your endless love and support. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. To my art friends. You are my tribe and I am grateful to have such a wonderful art community of friends who are so supportive. To Renee Philips @ Manhattan Arts International, A true champion of women in the arts. Thank you for your tireless support.
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Credits: Quantum Multi-Media Sunrise FL., Color Reflections Hollywood Fl., All Art Framing Weston, Fl., Complete Frame Distributer Fort Lauderdale, Fl., Manhattan Arts International