Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the person behind the product.
What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Lisa Fida, the designer of Clifford the Copper Eating Caterpillar™ and friends.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Hmmmm…. That’s a good question, because I don’t consider myself an “artist”… more of a crafter. When I think of an artist, I think of someone who can draw, sketch, paint, etc. Or a sculptor… or the eccentric person down the street that makes all sorts of weird kind of stuff and calls it art. Ha, ha! I spent 20 years as an accountant and always thought of myself as purely analytical, but never “creative.” However, now that I think about it, I was creating/designing, somewhat, my whole career, e.g., spreadsheets, reports, databases, procedures, processes, etc. Now, I create/design “whimsical representations of nature’s flora and fauna!” And I love it!
What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?
Doing my very first craft show and seeing that other people actually enjoyed my work and wanted to pay good money for it! What a day! We had a pop-up tent, a fold up card table with a white sheet over it, and some galvanized buckets for displays. And it was very cold and very windy! Every time the wind kicked up we had to hold the tent to keep it from blowing over! We’ve come a long way from that fateful day but it still surprises me even after 5 years that people still like what we make.
What does your typical day in the studio look like?
Have you ever seen the movie “Twister”? Ha, ha! No, it’s not like that, but sometimes it feels that way. I have a morning routine; reading the news, checking Facebook and email, etc., and if I don’t get my routine out of the way first thing, then I feel kind of discombobulated. Then I check what I have for upcoming orders and plan out my work week. I have a dry erase board (don’t mind the hearts left by my husband) that I write tasks out on and that seems to keep me and my Critter Creators™ on track.
Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
I don’t have one particular thing. I find inspiration all over the place; from nature, other artists, in the middle of the night in a dream. I can be anywhere and my head will be swimming with ideas.
Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?
They’d all get a kick out of Clifford the Copper Eating Caterpillar™ holding onto his copper leaf! I imagine the girls would like the Ladybugs and the boys would think Freddie the Fly Catching Frog™ was cool. And then, when they saw Suzzie the Sunday Strolling Snail™, they would pick her up and start making her crawl all over the place!
What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
Being my own boss. My husband says I can only work for a handful of people and I think I’ve already gone through that handful. Sorry to all of those bosses over the years that I’ve frustrated or driven crazy!
What are your most essential tools?
Not what? but who?- My Critter Creators™: Nicole, Ciana, and Steven. And my husband. There’s no way I’d be able to produce the quantity of product needed to keep up with demand without them. My husband constantly encourages me, tells me I’m doing a good job, and hides love notes in the shop for me to find throughout the day. And my Critter Creators™? Well, they don’t leave me love notes, but we all work well together and they do a fantastic job!