For this month’s Creative Spotlight, we had to opportunity to interview Lisen, the creative behind By Lisen, a freelance digital illustrator and graphic designer from Norway.
Hi, Lisen! It’s my absolute pleasure to interview you for our July Creative Spotlight here in ATOW. I love the raw honesty of the illustrations you create! Do you mind introducing yourself to the ATOW community?
My name is Lisen and I’m from Norway. I’m a freelance digital illustrator and graphic designer. I also work freelance for a local newspaper in my hometown. I love to write and make illustrations and graphics. In February of this year, I decided to start my own small business. I thought I would make a living out of selling prints, but now I mostly do graphics and custom social media posts for small brands. I can’t wait to see where this journey will take me!
Where do you find inspiration to create?
I have been struggling with anxiety and I still sometimes do. I find that creating calms me down. Also I feel inspired when I see how I can turn a blank sheet of paper into art. That’s amazing!
What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired or unmotivated to create?
I listen to podcasts a lot. Also I know that creativity comes in waves. I know I just have to wait. You can’t force creativity.
Which creative do you look up to and why?
I love being part of the art community on Instagram. I have met so many good people here that I today can call my friends – even without ever have met them! My favorite creative must be Female Inspiring. I have followed her from the beginning of her journey and it’s amazing to see how fast she has grown.
What is your creative process?
I always have a lot of ideas in mind. I use to write them down on my phone. 99% of the times I use references photos of myself. I then do a sketch and overline. I love every step of the process but adding colors is the most fun.
Do you have a morning routine? What is it?
Coffee. Lots of coffee.
What are five things we can definitely find on your desk?
My iPad, my laptop, coffee, lipbalm and post it notes.
What advice would you give to creatives that have just started their own page on Instagram?
Post whatever you want to post. Instagram should be fun. Engage in what you really want to engage in, not because you think it will give you lots of followers. If you show a genuine interest in other people, you will receive the same back.
Do you have a shop? When and how did you decide to open it?
Yes I do! It’s on my website. I’m still working on adding more stuff here. I first decided to open it as I thought I would get a lot of sales. I didn’t. My income as a freelance illustrator is mostly from helping brands with their graphics etc.
Were there challenges in starting your own creative business? What were they and how did you overcome them?
I just woke up one day and started a shop basically. I did not have a plan. I just did it. Then my thoughts and what I wanted to do changed over time. I still don’t know where this journey will take me.
What advice would you give to creatives that have not started their own shop yet but are looking to do so soon?
Don’t wait. Just do it.
Do you mind sharing one of the moments you were most proud of yourself? What was it?
I’m just really proud of how far I’ve come already and for believing in myself. I no longer think about what other people might think when I post.
Stay tuned for Lisen’s IG Takeover this July!
Categories: Creative Spotlight