Today we’d like to introduce you to Lizi Phoenix.
Hi Lizi, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My family is very creative and exposed me to a lot of art and architecture growing up. As a result, I’d find myself painting, drawing, collaging, taking photos and everything in between during my spare time. I have always known I wanted to pursue an artistic profession, but I wasn’t sure exactly what that would look like. During my school years, I gained work experience in a range of creative fields from graphic design and creative concepting to furniture and interior design. Through these various experiences two major points became clear to me. 1: I wanted to have an ever-evolving career that was not limited in what I could dip my creativity into; and 2: I wanted to work for myself.
In college, I studied Studio Art and Entrepreneurship in an attempt to make this combination a reality, still not exactly sure how it would all begin. A few years in, and unrelatedly, I decided that I wanted a cool denim jacket. I couldn’t afford any of the ones I really liked so I decided to paint my own. I loved how it turned out and so did my friends, who began asking for their own custom versions. In addition to being stopped on the street when I wore it, friends of friends started coming to me for jackets too. As my network of clients grew I began introducing other custom-made products inspired both by what I wanted to make and what I noticed my audience would want to purchase. Today I have a constantly-evolving selection of custom products.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In every way other than creatively, it has not been a smooth road. I found it difficult to balance both a business and something that I was deeply passionate about alongside college courses, a social life, and my part-time jobs after I moved to LA. I would struggle with the guilt of not working while I was out with my friends; burnout if I were to only work; and feelings of frustration when comparing my life to those with more stable careers.
When the pandemic happened, I was let go from my restaurant job and somewhat forced to do this full-time, even though I didn’t feel ‘ready’. Working as a full-time artist was my ultimate goal, but I never envisioned it happening this way. This very sudden and unpredictable change of events led to more balance struggles both financially and emotionally. I stayed focused and determined and finally feel comfortable in the swing of running my own business. However, the original struggles I mentioned never really go away. I love the fact that I work for myself and I wouldn’t change it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its fair share of hardships. Sometimes I wish I had a dedicated team to bounce ideas off of. Without a manager to check in with, I’m still working on finding ways to measure my progress, get honest feedback, and feel confident when it comes to committing to my next steps.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a fine artist specializing in creating custom hand-made pieces including abstracts, portraiture, architecture, landscapes, collage and drawing. One of my goals is for my pieces to act as tangible forms of nostalgia for my clients. I love the idea of people being able to immortalize a memory or a chapter in their lives through something I created. A lot of artists don’t enjoy commissions because they feel they lack passion and meaning for them personally, and these are key elements of the creative process. I feel that seeing myself as a medium for the preserving of a memory sets me apart. I have so much fun working one-on-one with each client to understand their life and story behind their piece. Harnessing a specific moment in time via a unique combination of colors carefully pulled from someone’s memories and images is a challenge I really look forward to. I am most proud of how much people trust me with their ideas and how happy they are when they receive their 1 of 1s.
What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
LA is a wonderful place to be a creative. Although I may not have an official team, I have so many creative friends who are around for support and encouragement. Many have their own schedule like me so I can always find someone to get a random smoothie with in the middle of a workday when I need a break. I love the nature here too, LA’s palm trees, cacti, hibiscus flowers and sunsets specifically always keep me inspired. When I am feeling flat, I have the luxury of walking around my neighborhood to see the Spanish-style architecture along with this nature, and I always return home happier and ready to get painting. Finally, the food in LA is incredible and I rarely return home from these walks without a little snack.
- Customizing sneakers and bags is roughly $200 depending on the design.
- Custom Abstracts range from $500-$950 depending on size.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: liziphoenix.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liziphoenix/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liziphoenix
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizi_Phoenix