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Meet Lisa Stefaniak

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Stefaniak.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I grew up on the south side of Chicago into a creative family. I started drawing and painting at a very young age. When I was a teenager, I took an interest to my mother’s film camera, which she then gifted to me. This propelled me to lead my life as an artist and a creator. I enjoyed the different processes involved in the creation of making only one image. It inspired me to take more thoughtful intention with each piece I create. Since then, I have become heavily involved in the arts as a way to develop my learning and to meet others who are just as passionate.

Please tell us about your art.
I first began taking self-portraits as a way to practice portrait shots. I discovered different lighting techniques and dynamic compositions and became infatuated with the idea of storytelling. My artwork is heavily based on concept and encompasses a narrative quality. To expand on this, I began to incorporate surrealism elements and dream-like imagery by experimenting with digital and traditional photographic manipulation, often intertwining the two. I do this by merging organic and inorganic matter with the human body.

With photography, and expanding my skills of self-portraiture, it became very therapeutic as I struggled with low self-esteem and body dysmorphia. It allowed me to see myself in a new perspective and provided the space needed for healing. I learned to accept myself, to recognize the beauty within, and to identify my progression as an individual. This led to understanding myself and others in a deeper way. I have an appreciation for experience, observing the details of life, and being open to vulnerability. Since I started this journey of self-discovery through daily practice of meditation and applied metaphysics, I integrate my spiritual evolution into my artwork.

What I want people to take away from my art is to recognize their own self in the imagery. The ideal is to create work that I am passionate about because others can observe that and resonate with it. My work promotes the idea of connection as it requires the viewer to move beyond the surface to receive their own interpretation that instills a sense of goodness, honesty, and dignity.

We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
I suggest artists to join communal studio spaces that promote ongoing critiques and discussions and inspiration. Collaborating with other artists on projects, sharing the joy in creation, making it readily available and engaging others about it can improve the often-solitary process as an artist.

Participating in group shows is a great way to promote yourself and to meet others in the local community, which can aide in building friendships and lasting professional relationships. Being active and consistent is essential.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
People can see my work by visiting my website (lisastefaniak.com), following my artist page on Facebook (fb.me/lisastefaniakartist), or following my Instagram (instagram.com/lisastefaniak) to receive updates. Also, people can support my work by coming to my gallery, Studio Oh! that I facilitate with my partner, Erwin Overes.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Gallery Headshot by Alec Thorsen
All photography by Lisa Stefaniak

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