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lisa solomon

jan conducted a fantastic mini-interview with lisa solomon on the guest blog yesterday and linked to these great new pieces at the beholder in la. lisa stiches these fun little forms onto behr paint palettes- it's such a simple idea but makes for such a pretty piece of art...click here for more info and to purchase lisa solomon's originals at the beholder. *

[*i've ammended this post slightly, please see the comments section for an explanation]



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um..your joking right?

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are gorgeous with a big old G!! DIY galore, I love it.


Maria :-)

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really lovely, but $400 each (yes, they are framed) seems a little steep!

11:23 AM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

I agree- I think the DIY inspiration is the best angle here ;)


11:25 AM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

Ohh! LOVE that idea. DIY for sure!

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if the paint company gets a cut of that $400...


Sure these are witty, but this is something one would see on etsy for $35, tops.

I have to admire her moxie, but somehow -if one makes art or craft that someone else( with similar skill levels can do,) what original value can it have?

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi grace, thanks so much for featuring my works....

in terms of the pricing - i would just like to offer a bit of an explanation.

for a very very long time i priced my work at incredibly affordable prices - often under $100-200. but then i started to work with some very reputable art galleries and they insisted that i start raising my prices. unfortunately i realize that prices some people out of my work - but i am working on making some affordable prints. my prices are now set by things that are often beyond my total control.

i also want people to know that it takes me a significant amount of time to figure out what colors i want to do and i research my imagery immensely. i do not just use the first picture of chamomile that i find - so there's actually a lot of time and effort that goes into making my work. plus i take my art very seriously. i pay for an outside studio - i am not a fly by night or art hobbiest.

finally - i encourage people to make their own versions of this work - but i think they might find that sewing on paper is not always as easy as it looks.

thanks again grace - it's an honor to be featured on your blog!

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think my favorites are the grasshopper and the fish.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful work!

4:23 PM  
Anonymous mav said...

whether you like them or not these are originals ... there is nothing else out there just like them ... even if you were to copy the idea {but would you want to be a copier?} still these were original art before yours. i think that is part of the appeal of originals. i think one must understand that when purchasing art. lisa, well done!

5:46 PM  
Blogger bugheart said...

i am a frequent visitor
to design*sponge
and enjoy
the talent artists and designers
featured on this blog,
so i was not surprised
to see lisa solomon's artwork
featured today,
but i was very surprised
and dismayed to see it featured
as a DIY or rather
"definitely something you could try at home."

i feel that featuring
lisa solomon's work
and then encouraging readers
to make it themselves
is both disrespectful to lisa solomon
as an artist
but also irresponsible as a blog
that features artwork.

it is true that there are
many an art piece
in the blogworld,
as well as galleries
that you could potentially DIY
but that is missing
the very point of art entirely.
you did not do it.
you did not come up with
the concept,
or initiate it,
or put your work out
in the public eye.
lisa, on the other hand, did.

in addition,
not recognizing the skill
it takes to make these
art pieces,
is an oversight.
the concept
and skill behind the work
is evident and should
not be swept aside carelessly.

when you buy anything handmade
or any piece of art,
you pay the price of not only
the time, materials and effort
they put into the piece itself
but also
years of dedication and training.
it is also a terrible oversight
to think that an artist
does not belabor the price
at which
they sell each piece.
it is not easy to price art
but an artist must price
their work as
a professional
not as a amateur in art.
$35 on etsy is not
a reasonable price
for any work
by a professional artist
trying to make a career in art.

it always surprises me that
those commenters who
decided to write
negative hurtful things,
such as
"I wonder if the paint company
gets a cut of that $400,"
never put their names.
if you have the "moxie"
to leave criticism,
please have the "moxie"
to OWN IT and
sign your name to it.
Those who so liberally
criticize others should
put their own work up
to the same type
of scrutiny.
if they do not produce
their own work,
then they may want to take
a few minutes to reflect
on why they feel so free
to offer their own criticism.

i am saddened
that owners of
design*sponge have
allowed their commenters
to insult or attack
the artists they feature.
it may be prudent
not to encourage
to leave negative remarks.


7:33 PM  
Blogger Abigail said...

I absolutely agree with Mav...a price cannot be put on art, the ideas and concepts behind it, the skill involved in creating it and the beauty and originality of the end product.

I am honored to own a piece of Lisa's art myself and delight in looking at it every day....I hope one day to own one of these too. They are *truly* stunning!!

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Molly said...

I just love these, congratulations Lisa.

8:27 PM  
Blogger poppy said...

well said mav and grace! orignal art is important and valid.

lisa - i know how much thought goes into your work and it's your originality that intrigues. i love these new pieces!

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like these - they're quite enchanting. I've made and sold lots of artwork with paint samples too, although what I've done is quite different from Lisa's work. I'd love anyone who is interested to take a look at some of the work I posted on 9 and 13 November in my blog archives.

1:35 AM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


the "owners" of d*s allow people to criticize any post on this site (including d*s itself). as long as that criticism is voiced constructively.

the point of this site is to maintain discussion openly and allow people to freely speak their mind. not to shield people from differing opinions. it would be a disservice to both the artist and the community at whole to only allow "positive" comments. this is a public forum and artists are a part of that- commentary (good and bad) is part of that.

that said, i do filter comments that use profanity or engage in gross personal attacks. the comment about the paint company was so funny (meaning: ridiculous) that i left it up. i thought we could all get a good laugh.

the artist herself commented above and i think you'll find she doesn't feel that she's been wronged or taken advantage of. pricing, especially when it accompanies an objectively simple object is something that artists and their managers will always have to answer to. as supporters of independent art i think we all have the right to voice whether something is fairly or unfairly priced.


8:08 AM  
Blogger stephanie s said...

someone who thinks they can replicate a room after seeing it in a magazine, or a dress after seeing it on a reality show or art they see on a design blog is the same person that then stands back and wonders why it did not work. don’t underestimate the amount of schooling, experience and creativity it takes to make something simple. if i thought your blog was about considering the cost as an expression of value I would have stopped reading a long, long time ago.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous gracia said...

I feel that to say that these works are "such a simple idea... something you could try at home" is to, sadly, miss the point of these beautiful, new works by Lisa Solomon. This new body of work by Lisa is wonderful and I only wish I could see these works on a gallery wall in Melbourne. I feel confident that I will someday, sooner rather than later.
Thank-you for the interview. It was a joy to read.

4:46 AM  
Anonymous Nichola said...

Yes 'Anonymous', why not put your real name to your ridiculous comments? I totally agree with Bugheart.
Lisa is an amazing artist and i'm lucky enough to own one of her fabulous pieces.

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really surprised that you would advocate others doing a DIY version of Lisa's work. I can see from above that Lisa does not mind, but this would not be the case for all craft/artists. I think it's irresponsible to suggest people do this, many of us would not particularly relish others doing copies of our precious work.

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, it's stitching on paper. I agree, I would never pay $400 for it. I can't imagine it's possibly worth that much. Come on people, it's stitching on paint chips. Give me a break. It's pretty but it's not worth that much money. If Lisa were Jackson Pollock people would pay that much but she's not a hugely famous artist, objectively speaking. So I think the price tag is fair to question.


7:41 AM  
Anonymous branycbur said...

i have walked by paint chips thousands of times and never thought to use them as art...so when i saw Lisa's work i was blown away. i think it's incredibly thoughtful and inspiring work. and as a "DIY" person, i would never think of this as "definitely something you could try at home." i agree that d.s did a huge disservice by suggesting this.
as a supporter of independent art, i think that what dave suggested above, that art is only valuable if the artist is "hugely famous," is very sad and wrong.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous John said...

While I agree that constructive criticism should be voiced, I am not convinced that the anonymous “paint chip” royalty post was constructive or funny (no one laughed). Nor do I think an artist's price for their work is fair, unfair or up for debate. Either you pay for it or you don’t. You speak with your pocket book and not via a blog.
Design*Sponge is a valuable forum to herald a developing world of art and design. It seems that with such a responsibility, that it would be best heed the constructive cricism of Stephanie S and Gracia and stay away from DIY endorsements.

1:41 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

After speaking with the artist I decided to remove the portion of the post suggesting a DIY project.

When I suggested a DIY version of Lisa's work I was merely suggesting that, if the price range is out of your reach, that it would be a fun weekend project to recreate. I was by no means suggesting that you should re-do this to a T and sell it for a profit. I strongly feel that if you can't afford an expensive piece of art that there's no harm in trying to attempt something similar for your own personal enjoyment- surely not to re-sell on your own. I stand by that, but I agree that the comment needed some clarification.


2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an artist, I work craft shows and spend 10 hour days listening to people say "I can do that. I need to go home and (insert project of choice here)." It's simply and blatantly insulting. Where they might actually try it, though I think they rarely do, as Bugheart and others have said, art isn't simply the action of making, but the experience, the thought, and the individuals behind the action.
Style is the fingerprint of the artist, and the integrity behind the making of the piece is part of what makes it interesting. Lisa's work is not only asthetically interesting, it is conceptually interesting and to get behind her work one must understand that.
Someone who would make a one-off of lisa's work simply doesn't understand the intrinsic value of piece itself or the motive of the artist.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, where were you guys when other artists got attacked for having work that was "too expensive". Fair-weather fans I guess....I don't care if you think things are too expensive or not (and it's beyond amatuer to suggest that pricing and ethics aren't up for discussion. Get out of art if you can't handle people's opinions) but at least be balanced about it. I'm sick of the people who complain about expensive things on this site. No one's making you buy it. Just read on if you don't like it. Then suddenly someone makes a $400 paint card and you all support it? Seems a little odd to me.

And since when is a DIY project a horrible thing? No one said that you should rip this off and sell it at a store. My daughter makes pictures inspired by Picasso in our kitchen, does that make her a thief? Unethical? It seems like everyone who supports DIY on this site assumes that DIY can't be inspired by something. Make up your minds...I wonder how many of these people would honestly pay $400 for this piece? It's nice, but would you pay that much? I'd like to see a discussion about pricing in here- something of substance for once.


3:35 PM  
Anonymous lwm said...

I have always heralded this blog as being professional and current, but was disappointed in this original post. Why feature an independent artist then demean the work by inferring that it can be easily done at home? I'm not sure how a comment such as that is constructive. Especially if the meaning behind it is to criticize the pricing, a separate topic for discussion that has the potential to be interesting if initiated in a constructive way. If pricing was the issue, the discussion should have been lead clearly in that direction (perhaps independent of a specific artist), or nothing should have been said at all.
d*s - I commend you on editing the original post.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Vivienne Percy said...

The person above mentioned the very father of invention with regard to modern art and the notion of invention from what we see around us - Picasso - how many people have looked at his magical creations and said" hey I could do that" or "anyone could do that" - ever tried it and make a success of it??? No, I didn't think so - arrogance has no place in the world of art - we should respect and enjoy the variety of creativity and invention that artists struggle to bring to our notice and discourage the insulting and inconsiderate vocalisation of those who are simply jealous that they didn't or couldn't think up these amazing ideas themselves. I am the mother of an artist, like Lisa, who has worked, struggled, studied, learned and embraced the work of others, and all the while has never condsidered COPYING or TRYING THAT AT HOME... no matter how SIMPLE or FUN as a WEEKEND PROJECT these images may initially appear.

Lisa is perhaps not a household name - YET - as Jackson Pollock may be - but nevertheless is an artist in her own right and deserves recognition and acceptance for her delightful and valuable contribution to the world of art - thanks Lisa - don't ever let these negative remarks get you down....

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Well said bugheart. I'm shocked that a blog that supposedly is interested in the design and art community seems to be very ignorant of art in general. I am an avid reader of design sponge but now have to reevaluate whether, as an art student, I can justify reading a blog that seems to undervalue artist and original work in general. Encouraging readers to re-make an original piece of art is unacceptable. I'm saddened that such a noteworthy blog has undercut so much hard work by Lisa Solomon in one swift swoop.

10:55 PM  
Blogger sonia said...

when i see art like this i think 'why didn't i think on that before?'. that's why i value so much this piece of art or any other that gives me such thoughts. it's so difficult to produce something that likes so simple. it's the concept behind the piece, the idea.
too sad that lisa stopped her blog because of such post and diy sugestion.


6:28 PM  
Blogger natasha said...

geeeeez! first, i think anonymous posters are punks. losers. next, i think the point of suggesting this as a diy project was to give your own spin to it as an idea, not STEALING the idea to compete with lisa's gorgeous originals. it frustrates me that people are so quick to jump on both design sponge and lisa for anything they don't agree with, despite the fact that they clearly spend a lot of time and energy bringing us wonderful ideas, beautifully laid out for NOTHING. is that worth anything to you? when you buy something handmade, whether it be art or craft, you buy something that is one of a kind. you have something really special. the worth of it is up to you. the value is not based on the huge fame of the artist, or rather it shouldn't be, its value has to do with what it is worth to you, or me, or whoever buys it. maybe i couldn't afford a piece, but that doesn't make the price unreasonable. the same people jumping on lisa for the price of her work (which pays for her to eat, mind you) probably have nike sneakers or a little box full of wires that cost as much as some of her pieces. many people would argue that artwork is worth more than sneakers, no?

i just wanted to say to both designsponge and all of the artists, designers, etc, that work with them, that you do an incredible job and clearly, you wouldn't be so broadly known and loved if you didn't. i hope you won't let the few mean people with big mouths and nothing of any value to put into the world make you feel put down at all. losers.
not anonymously,

natasha fialkov

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the person who posted, "Come on people, it's stitching on paint chips. Give me a break.".....let me say this - you obviously don't see the irony in Lisa's work.
I bet you didn't really get most of Warhol's work either...or Jasper Johns....or Willem DeKooning.

- derek s.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

I don't see how stitching on a paintchip is blowing all of your minds, and also don't see why so many are frothing at the mouth to defend or attack.

I think the artist's work is lovely, but I've seen similar things from crafty people. Does that make it any less lovely to me? No. I like it, and EVERY handmade item is always a bit original (even if I were to try my own poor stitching skills on a similar paintcard -- and I wasn't here early enough to see evil D*S's evil suggestion that I try it out. *EYEROLL*). And if she can actually sell them at $400, then good for her. It's nice to make a living doing what you love - I mean that sincerely. :-D

Speaking of doing what you love... I believe that's the motivation of the D*S blogger/s, too. I've only been here a few times, but I like what I see on this blog. I just think, perhaps, I'll never bother to read all the ridiculous feedback again. ;-) Thumbs up to you, D*S! And two deaf ears to your negative readers! ;-D

1:43 AM  
Anonymous Anke said...

If you discuss the "worth" of a piece of art, you clearly don't "get" what art is in the first place. Why not try to paint your own Mark Rothko? Just some multicolor stripes on canvas, right? Wrong.
Lisas art is amazing. All her works have that special twist and are so beautiful and clever I dare you to try and make something just remotely similar.
She may not be a household name yet, but think of other famous artists...you might regret the day you didn't pick up one of her works when they were still affordable.

As for posting anonymously...sad what jealousy makes you do.

3:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of you, NONE OF YOU are prepared for being an artist in the real world. If you were, you'd be able to handle criticism without freaking out like this. Seriously, who are you people?

YOU don't get art if you don't understand that dicussiong an artist or an artists' work's worth, cost, meaning, etc. are ALL PART OF BEING IN ART. Wake up, it's no different than being in any other field that is part of the public discourse. Questioning worth isn't offensive, it's free speech and it's part of art. You should NOT be an artist if you can't handle criticism and questioning. I don't think any of you really "get" art if you think it exists in vaccuum where people can't question it. Maybe you should stick to little indie circles where everyone pats each other on the back and can't handle someone saying they don't like it. Heaven forbid someone thinks it's overpriced. You've got to have a tougher skin than that.


9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous and Proud of It said...

yeah, I think those of you who are all bunged up over this are looney tunes. How many magazines or design programs do you see where the producers offer DIY alternatives for people who don't have big budgets to do originals??? It's the inspiration that counts. And so that person tries a DIY and all the while is saving up their pennies for the original, or tells people "I really WANTED a Lisa Solomon, but couldn't afford it, so I tried this..." It's not like Grace's post is going to CONVINCE anyone to NOT buy Lisa's work who would have bought it anyway...


12:53 PM  
Anonymous Mary Anna said...

How many readers does this blog get? Over 15,000 or so? It seems like the bulk of the people reading this site went to see Lisa's work so perhaps you should all calm down and recognize the attention this work has gotten. You're all missing the forest for the trees. If you can't handle negative reviews you can't handle being an artist. It's not all one big pat on the back. No one did anything bad here except make a dumb comment about the paint company getting a kick back. Take a deep breath and get over it.

Mary Anna

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FWIW, I went to a show in 2002 that was based on embellished martha steward paint chips.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok wait, everyone's all riled up about someone who's copying something that was already done in 2002? Sounds hypocritical to talk about reproductions and copying then....


5:13 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


Can you provide a link to the Martha Stewart show you mentioned? I try to verify claims like this- thanks.


5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For once there is some debate about the work of an artist who seems used to being told by a gang of worshippers on her blog "your work is soooooooo amazing". And now because of what, a simple discussion between decent people on art, pricing and DIY she decided to close down her blog ??!! This just means to me that many artists-crafters-bloggers or just followers need to take themselves less seriously and accept open dialogue ! I actually really like what Lisa creates but sometimes I can't figure out if it is art or craft, if I'd pay 35 or 350 dollars for it. Is it a crime ?


11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you choose to place the label "craft" onto an object it has only 10% the worth/market value of the same labeled as "art"? For goodness sake, can't we move beyond this tired diatribe? If you can't figure out how to place a work into a labeled category, doesn't that answer the question? Don't get me wrong, I believe in wholeheartedly in Craft (note the Craft::craft distinction). I believe in the power the hand contributes to a Craft object. This does not, in any way, mean this same object is not Art. Craft techniques and methodologies are becoming more and more prevalent in contemporary art. Are you paying attention to what is going on around you?

I do not know Lisa Solomon and can remove myself from any personal opinions I have regarding her work, but I have read her blog on a regular basis. Many of you seem to want to point a finger and claim Lisa Solomon cannot take any criticism. It's hard for me to believe someone could have recieved an MFA without having any critical dialogue imposed upon her work. Much of the dialogue above has gone beyond a critique of her work and has now begun to attack her character.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone with an MFA should be mature enough to handle 3 out of 40 comments saying that her work is overpriced. When she shut down her blog I just shook my head. It doesn't sound like she's ready to be an artist. Did you actually read the comments above? There are maybe 3 comments saying they don't like the work or think it's overpriced. The bulk of these people are fawning all over her (rather suspiciously) and she closes her blog?? Overraction of the year. End of story.

She chose to make it a bigger deal by flipping out on her site. If she wanted a "controversy" she brought it on herself.


9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are people still talking about this?? Who cares- move on! Stuff happened, get a life!!


9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm so sorry you had to deal with this. This is one unfortunate trait of the indie community- we seem to rally around each other before thinking about the bigger picture. I consider myself part of this community and I'm ashamed that people would attack you for not supporting or understanding artists and art. It's simply not true - please consider this one indie comunity member who's ashamed of her counterparts.

If we want to be taken seriously we need to act like professionals. I wouldn't want to deal with "negative" opinions either but it's quite simply part of life as an artist- not a reason to gang up on someone who's done nothing but support this community.

I see Lisa has resumed blogging as well- perhaps she's mellowed out about the "controversy" now.

Becky Schmidt

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone read her blog that has suddenly reappeared? Apparently she sold several of these pieces last week. Interesting that everyone left that part out of the anger fest.

* Martina Vasquez *

10:27 PM  
Anonymous cimba said...

Well. I'm not english mothertongue, so I'll better avoid getting deep in the discourse.
The only thing I feel to say it that I'll look at the design sponge blog and collateral operations with a new and different pair of eyes from now on.
Sure this is not of public interest, but I just feel better after having wrote it!

p.s. I do not know Lisa Solomon or anyone

6:34 PM  
Anonymous alyssa ettinger said...

as a fellow artist, i certainly know what it's like for people to come up to my table at craft fairs, ask how much something is, and then look at me like i have nine heads... sorry, aside from materials and time involved, there are studio costs, etc. and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

as an artist, would i spend for these lovely pieces? likely not. then again, i'm a poor artist. talk to me in a few years.

what grace orig. said about copying, well, who didn't think of it themselves? i constantly see things i like and make them for myself. the people at the lucky-brand jean store hate me, because i come in with my digital camera, then hit the salvation army to get the same look (oh yes i do).

lisa's work is lovely. if galleries can price and sell her work this way, more power to her. art very often isn't about what the materials cost.

and didn't someone mention jackson pollack? i seem to remember, somewhere, that in the recent past there was a pollack copy made by a child that took experts ages to figure out if it was the real deal.

if you want to spend $5, go to the k-mart. really, you can find nice things there. but as artists, we're not big-box stores

10:24 AM  

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