Lisa Ferber is a New York City artist with a non-stop creative output of paintings, plays, short stories, songs and video. In every format she chooses to work in, her creations tend toward the light-hearted and whimsical, celebrating life's eccentrics and a bubbly vision of 20th-century Manhattan. Her screwball plays have been produced at La Mama, the Duplex, and the Brick; her story "Advice From Someone Using" was just published in Three Room Press's new anthology, Have a NYC; and her paintings will be shown this June at the National Arts Club.
She is currently writing and starring in a 1930s-themed Web series, The Sisters Plotz with Lisa Hammer (The Venture Brothers) and Eve Plumb (The Brady Bunch and Love, Loss, and What I Wore on Broadway). The energetic, native New Yorker maintains her ceaseless output on top of working day jobs and leading a full social life. She makes it look easy, even effortless, which can be confusing to those of us who find it hard to do everything we'd like with only 24 hours in a day. Here, she shares three tips for staying prolific and successful that she's learned in launching and sustaining her artistic career.
- Explore. Don't feel a need to stick to just one method of self-expression. "You are not just a writer or an artist -- you are a creative person, so don't limit yourself to a particular medium, such as painting, writing, or performing," says Ferber. "I love being multidisciplinary. I see myself and all people as unlimited creative forces. I always create out of joy, whether it's with a pen or a brush or in front of a video camera."
- Stay organized. If you want to make a career from your self-expression, you need to take care of the business side of things. "I keep a list of everyone I've sent work to, when I sent it and how they have responded. This way I know what is going on in my life. I also update my arts resume as soon as I have a new accomplishment. I balance between treating my art career like, on the one hand, I'm a six-year-old who just wants to sing and play and put her paintings on her parents' refrigerator, and on the other hand, like I'm running a business."
- Find the time -- you do have it. "People often tell me they want to write or make art but that they just can't find the time," says Ferber. "But, when you're passionate, there's no such thing as not having the time. When I started my visual art career, I was also working full-time, plus living with and caring for my elderly mother. What I found is that if you're overworked, making art can revitalize you. Once you stop using time as an excuse, you can figure out what needs to be cut out. Find something that can be cut out just to give yourself a full hour. You owe it to yourself to celebrate that creative world inside you."
Work by Lisa Ferber is currently on view at the Mayson Gallery in New York City. Learn more about Lisa Ferber and her work at www.lisaferber.com.