Hailing originally from Chicago, but also spending much of her time in Europe and Asia, Lisa Solberg uses her world travels as inspiration for her paintings and drawings. Her work transcends continuality engaging the moment and expressing with relentless and unforgiving motions. Energy and rawness are a huge focus, as well as the vibrant depiction of optimism and an ultimate realization of the beauty within the void. Lisa took some time out to give me this exclusive interview to us here at The 405. Check it out!

Why do you think you became an artist? Do you recall any specific events that triggered you into exploring it? I don’t consider my being an artist to have any beginning or end. It’s more just me in my entirety. It’s very natural and honest, and it’s really not something I have a say in. Would you say that art has changed your life in anyway?

Again, I can’t really consider another way, that being… a life entertaining something entirely different. I like to think that art changes my life every day, but not necessarily in any specific way. Who or What inspires you into creating a new piece? There is so much that inspires me. In the past few years there has been a lot of far eastern travel and a lot of fashion influence. Within fashion I tune in to patterns, color, and movement. Amongst artists, I love the abstract expressionists, and I am also highly inspired by contemporary photography. I’m inspired by the challenge of creating something, a vision, to which people can see and have a strong response (positive or negative). Either way, it’s the viewers’ emotion and deep inside draw that then inspires them in their own lives. That is what really drives me. I paint for myself in the moment, but ultimately it’s released to the world and for the world. Everything happens for a reason. Living in LA, I haven’t had a hard time actually being inspired enough to consistently be creating new pieces… I try more now to NOT be inspired so I can actually take a break from time to time. Does music influence your creativeness at all? What have you been listening to a lot of recently? Music is a necessity in my work. I listen to everything- upbeat and downbeat. The Muse, Lady Gaga, Beck, Passion Pit, Dance, Electro/Pop, Classical music; whatever I listen to has a massive influence, naturally, on the tone of my painting. Since I rely so much on movement and energy in my process, I can’t create without music. I happened to see a short video of you creating a piece of work recently. In the video you talk about how much energy and activity goes into your paintings and there's a rather symbolic scene where you spray a bottle of champagne onto the finished piece itself. Can you explain how you feel when you've finally finished a painting? I surrender during every piece to movement and energy, and that is how I achieve the rawness and honesty that I always aim for. This is what is most important to me within my process. As my painting style changes, it sometimes becomes harder for me to tell when a painting is finished. I challenge myself to push beyond a system that works- I don’t like thinking that something is ever too easy. I try to force something even deeper out of myself and consequently my paintings are becoming more expressionistic. A painting is finished only when I ultimately feel that it’s done. There is no system to it- it’s completely natural, and when that time does come I am usually quite exhausted. With such an array of colours and different strokes creating your paintings it’s hard to believe that you could ever conceive an idea for a piece before hand. Would you say that a lot of your paintings are a product of being in the moment or do you actually plan out how a piece will go? I never plan a painting out. Sometimes I have magazine tear outs or sketches as references, and sometimes I have a general idea of what I’m trying to achieve in terms of overall composition and movement, but when it comes to the final product it’s always original and nothing that was conceived beforehand. The most important aspect of the “pre-painting process” is where my energy and head are at, because I can’t paint when that is off. I really enjoy the more abstract paintings that you are known for. I think people can get too caught up in the expectation of being able to see a clear and straightforward image in front of them. Many of these pieces have titles that suggest they are about something, such as "Jedi" or "13 Monkies" for example. Are there images in your paintings that only you can see? People do get caught up with the obsession over what they perceive as skill or something that has taken a lot of time. For more abstract expressionistic paintings and painters I think it’s important that the artist sticks to what feels natural and what needs to be purged. I think over time the viewer or the critic respects the staying power- they begin to see an originality or energy that maybe was always there, but begin to respect because it’s consistent. I can’t really say that I care about this stuff. I mean, when I paint I honestly don’t think about what is expected or what is wanted to be seen, I create for myself and eventually it becomes a product for everyone else. My titles are so fun for me. A lot of the time the title comes in the middle of the painting, and that drives me. It sets a secondary tone, and I like how the word or words create layers around and within my paintings as I create. “Jedi” is merely a name that I love and that I want to name one of my children some day. I named it “Jedi” so I wouldn’t forget it, since I have absolutely no memory. “13 Monkeys” was titled after the sci-fi movie, 12 Monkeys, I just have an OCD obsession with odd numbers, so that’s why I changed to 13. I wanted to create what I observed on the walls when Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis are in the Ward. There are always hidden images that reveal themselves over time- but I do not plan that. A lot of your art work, if not all of it, is very bright, up beat and happy - as apposed to being dark. Would you say that your art work is a reflection on your own life? I’m an overall optimistic and positive person for sure. I have demons that come out though… and I think that’s apparent in a lot of my work. I think when one really delves beyond the exterior layer of a piece, a more sinister and creepy undertone reveals itself. I like that people see an odd and maybe unexplainable element beyond the neon colors, because that is what would truly reflect me as a person. I often feel quite schizophrenic and detached. With that said, I do not try to create dark or bright pieces, I only surrender to what color the brush picks out and what stroke is delivered. Something that I think a lot of artists experience is critics looking at a piece of art and making the generalization that because it looks "easy" that any one could do the recreate the same idea without any amount of skill or effort. What would you say to those people who make these types of assumptions? A lot of this answer is in #7, but I’d also add in that I think the time before and in between paintings is just as important as the time when the painting actually happens. For me, the times before and in between the physical paint strokes is taken with the utmost concentration. I know where I have to be mentally in order to create what I envision in the moment, and therefore I could argue that despite the actual time I am painting, I am in fact always “painting”. Finally, what is next for Lisa Solberg, in terms of any new projects you have or any aspirations you have in life that you would still like to work toward and achieve. Is there anyone you'd like to give a shout out to? My aspirations are endless. I look forward to creating even bigger and more enveloping paintings, to creating enormous outdoor installations, to collaborating with a driven company like Red Bull or designers like Alexander Wang, and to having more solo shows around the world to inspire as many people as I possibly can. I shout out to everyone… Be sure to check out more from Lisa by visiting her Official Website here