After the Jump: Lisa Congdon

by Grace Bonney

One of the most difficult parts of running a creative or arts-based business is just that – the business. From pricing and licensing to negotiating gallery shows and agent fees, the world of being a full-time artist can be incredibly complicated, confusing and isolating. Thankfully Chronicle decided to tackle the fine art world for their latest Inc. series book, with artist Lisa Congdon at the helm. Lisa began her fine art career in her late thirties and was able to draw on valuable work and life experience when it came time to build her fine art practice. Through hard work, planning and with plenty of drive, she’s become a huge success and Art, Inc. is brimming with advice drawn from not just her life experience, but the experience of many artists within the contemporary art and illustration world. I was blown away by all of the practical, useable and easy-to-digest information and think I’ve pretty much found my go-to holiday gift for all the new and aspiring artists in my life. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Lisa to discuss her life, her work and her new book on the radio this week and was so impressed with her openness and passion for what she does. Her answers were a great inspiration to me and hopefully to all of you listening as well. Just click the links below to listen and click here to check out Art, Inc. online.



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  • I was so sad to miss the talk at Powerhouse due to a migraine, so it was great to hear this talk.

    Lisa is really wise…I love how all of her experiences seemed to come together in her answers. I also liked her advice about ‘showing up’ and the insight from her rep, ‘what’s good for one is good for all’. As a solo entrepreneur, those things can be easy to overlook, or to be a little anxious about…it was a good reminder. : )

    I’m excited to read her book, and to add it to my Inc library!

  • I loved this talk. Lisa’s story is so inspirational, especially about starting out after doing other things and not necessarily having formal training. Great lessons for a budding entrpreneur.