These routine flash cuties illustrated by acclaimed artist Liisa Chisholm, are a fun way to show off your love of fruit, animals and your passion for fashion.
Interview with our favourite artist, former neighbour and all around rad person Liisa Chisholm
You think you know everything.
Don’t worry, so do we.
The point is, you start your life with an idea of what you want it to look like. You have a plan, a roadmap, a general idea of what you want to do and where you want to go and how you want to get there.
And then things happen. LOTS of things. Some of them good, a lot of them tough to love. And suddenly plans change, your life changes, and it feels WRONG and confusing and unfair. This is so not what you had in mind. This. Isn’t. It.
Because it’s so much better.
When life throws us a curveball, it’s second nature to fight, to resist, to push back and fight fire with fire and throw the biggest tantrum we can in resistance to the BS that’s fighting its way into our lives.
But what if it’s not BS? What if the universe saw your little plans and decided that you could do better? What if what’s happening right now only feels sucky because it doesn’t fit with YOUR version of the way your life is supposed to be?
What if your life is supposed to be even more incredible than you ever envisioned for yourself?
Meet Liisa: Artist, Skateboarder, Badass Entrepreneur
Liisa’s been there, done that.
Liisa Chisholm had big plans for herself as a teenager. Growing up in Calgary, Liisa started her love affair with adrenaline at an early age. The mountains were her happy place, moving and pushing and building her body were her passion. She was always extremely athletic and had grand plans of continuing to compete in biathlon after high school.
Until she broke her foot. The WEEK after she graduated high school.
Liisa had plans. She had BIG plans. And suddenly, her plans weren’t plans anymore. Her injury was an unusual one that created a painful bone fragment in her foot. In addition to healing from her initial injury, she needed a surgery to remove the fragment and time to recover from that.
Her training regimen changed dramatically, and she was forced to break it up into smaller blocks of lower-impact activity. She was frustrated — the wind had been taken out of her sails.
In pursuit of a change, Liisa took a leap and moved across the pond from Calgary to London, where she discovered an amazing textile design program that wasn’t offered in Canada. She received her BA degree in textile design at Chelsea College of art and turned her artistic ambitions into a freelance career, designing prints and patterns for textile manufacturers in fashion and home furnishings.
Fate to Skate
When she moved to London, Liisa still felt lost from her injury. It had changed her plans. It had thrown a wrench into everything she was ready to do post graduation. She wanted to move, to feel her body work again, but her difficult recovery had left a bad taste in her mouth about her typical training regimen.
Liisa had always wanted to skateboard, and immediately fell in love when she hit the board.
“Growing up, my whole life revolved around what I could do to be a better athlete. With skating, I could just play and not take things too seriously.”
It was through her passion and love for skateboarding that Liisa found her new family in London, a tribe of overwhelmingly creative people who were brilliant and changed her life.
Perched on the edges of half pipes and bowls in skate parks, Liisa had conversations with other skaters and met extraordinary people who pushed and inspired her.
“It was incredible to discover so many brilliant creatives in the community. There were designers, people in advertising, photographers and artists.”
These conversations led to friendships that gave her a couch in every corner of the world to sleep on and career opportunities that built her reputation in art and design faster than she could have imagined.
“I did a mural for North Face this spring — the creative director who hired me for it I know through the skate illustration scene as well. So many things like that aren’t directly skateboarding related still kind of come through skateboarding somehow.”
You can check out Liisa’s mural for the North Face here.
Saying Yes (And No)
Liisa talks about her life with a kind of unexpected glee, like a person who threw a basketball without really expecting to land a three-pointer. As we talk, I’m in awe because this is not what she had planned.
As her life evolved into the adventure it is now, Liisa tells me she has a hard time sometimes saying no to work she loves so much that she doesn’t want to come up for air.
“Along with saying yes, I’m afraid to say no to things a lot of times. Things come in waves sometimes, it’s either massive feasting or massive fasting. It can be really turbulent.”
Self care has been critical to managing the leaps and stretches she’s had to make as her life’s grown larger and larger.
“I love being outside, and I love sleeping, and I love putting good food in my body, and those are all things that are really important. Socializing with the people who I care about and reducing the amount of time that I spend with people who stress me out, doing the best to look after myself really.”
She’s learned to lean into wild, unprecedented experiences that scare and intimidate her and say no to relationships and work that exhausts her and doesn’t serve her.
“It’s definitely a balance, but I’m always trying to get better at it — quality of life over quantity of experiences.”
Lean Into the Unexpected
Liisa has an incredible life, and here’s the real kicker — it’s one that she never planned for.
We don’t know what we don’t know. So when life takes a turn, when something doesn’t go quite as planned, try to resist the urge to let yourself fall apart. Don’t stop moving, don’t freeze.
Open your eyes, stand up, and look around — you might just find that when one wall crumbled, it revealed a world you never even knew you could have.
Liisa’s about to spend several weeks in China on a textile design project, and she’s terrified. Excited, bouncing up and down and CANNOT wait to get started, but totally and completely terrified.
And she’s doing it anyway.
“There are a lot of anxiety-filled days as well. Saying yes is how I learn, so I just think, ‘Yes, of course I can do this!’”
Lean in. Feel the fear, and do it anyway.