Work as Play by Lisa L. Cyr

PhotoThis is the first of a new column that I am writing for Artist’s Market Online. The overall spirit of the column will be geared towards artistic inspiration, exploration and self-promotion. My “Work as Play” insights will be of interest to artists of all levels who want to evoke the power of curiosity and play as a way to add that magical spark to both their creative and promotional endeavors. To start our journey of experimentation and exploration, I’d like to share with you an excerpt I wrote as an introduction to my book Experimental Painting.

Creativity is a gift that we are given and express instinctively as children. Without self-doubt or fear of rejection, the inner spirit soars, embracing new experiences wholeheartedly. Eager to learn and always willing to try, children approach everything as if it were for the first time. Sensually aware and stimulated by even the most inconsequential things, the untempered mind explores the world in a way that is awe-inspiring to witness.

Oftentimes, as we move into adulthood, the inner realm gets overshadowed by the constant pressures, demands and distractions of the external world. We lose sight and no longer trust in the spirit of play that makes our unique gifts and talents shine. Easily bamboozled into thinking that doing something for the pure joy of it has no apparent purpose, we no longer see play as a relevant part of our process. In time, we become stagnant and creatively blocked.

To break free from the chains of self-induced boundaries, we must again dare to give ourselves the freedom to play, transcending to a time where the creative spirit reigned in a vast and seemingly limitless field of dreams. We need to remind ourselves what it feels like to be inquisitive, bursting with imaginative faculties. A pilgrimage back to a child-like, playful state of mind reunites us with the soul of our work: a bright, flickering flame that has always been present within. Without fear of mistakes or pressure to perform, we begin again, challenging ourselves to reach for new heights in our work.

As artists, our legacy lies in the ability to approach aesthetic endeavors with an authentic voice and vision, maintaining an intimate connection with the divine spirit that resides within. The expression of our gifts and talents is our unique contribution to world. To make an everlasting impact, an extraordinary mindset that is genuine at heart is needed to persevere, triumph and succeed with great rewards. The more we approach our work with insight, vigor and passion—continually cultivating creative play, exploration, experimentation—the more we are able to see and reach our full potential and inner greatness as creative beings.

Watch a video on the artist’s work!


As artists, the act of play holds an integral part in the creative process. With our focus on the journey and not the destination, we enter into a world of discovery and invention. When we begin to play, we open the door for the imagination to take flight. I’d like to share with you work that has been created by artists who have attended my Artist Network University online mixed-media workshops. They generously share their insights and techniques. You can see more of their work here.

Artist Network Webinars & Online Courses by Lisa L. Cyr

PaintingTechniquesTransforming the Surface with Mixed Media Painting Techniques Webinar Tuesday May 7, 2013 1:00pm to 2:00pm EDT

This webinar will cover a striking array of creative approaches in which to alter and transform the mixed-media painting surface. Lushly painted passages and rich transitions employing resist, blotting, lift-off, dissolve, marbling, sponging, distressing, aging and printmaking techniques will be shown in inventive combinations. Utilizing both traditional and unconventional tools and techniques, this webinar will certainly ignite the creative juices.

AssemplabeAccentsAssemblage Accents Webinar: Employing Faux Finishes & Patinas
Tuesday June 4, 2013 1:00pm to 2:00pm EDT

This webinar will cover creatively customizing found objects, assemblage accents and sculptural creations with unique finishes and patinas. To enliven the mixed-media landscape, a diverse array of techniques and materials from repurposed and custom treated natural and man-made elements will be explored. With the addition of faux finishes and decorative techniques, the everyday object can be transformed into a one-of-a-kind accent, communicating a concept or illuminating a subject in a unique way.


CollageTechniquesCollage Techniques for the Mixed Media Artist

This webinar covers an array of exciting collage techniques from gluing, sealing, tearing, scoring, punching, die-cutting and custom inlays to wrinkling, creasing, burning, peeling-back, stitching, weaving, embossing and debossing handmade, custom treated and machine-made papers, foils and ephemera. If you love working in collage this workshop with artist Lisa L. Cyr is for you!




Exp PtgWithin the Layers: Inspirational Mixed Media Art Techniques

This online workshop will investigate exploratory methodologies, techniques and approaches in mixed-media art. Throughout the workshop, exciting in-depth demonstrations will be shown, providing an extensive array of visually-stimulating possibilities for artists to explore. Both two-dimensional and three-dimensional techniques will be covered. For artists that are looking to push their work to a new level, this workshop will be a valuable resource and an ongoing source for creative inspiration. Course registration comes with a digital download of Experimental Painting by artist and author Lisa L. Cyr.





ArtRevolutionCreative Explorations in Mixed Media: 2D, 3D and Beyond!

This online workshop will explore alternative, innovative ways of conceptualizing and creating content-driven mixed-media art that is on the cutting-edge. Throughout the workshop, insightful and thought-provoking profiles of leading artists and illustrators accompany exciting in-depth, step-by-step demonstrations, shedding light on signature processes and techniques. The workshop also provides insight into the historical influences behind contemporary thinking and approaches, investigating the origins of alternative, unconventional picture making throughout the decades. Offering a wide range of possibilities for exploration and experimentation, this workshop will reveal how alternative, mixed media aesthetics is uniting the disciplines of two-dimensional, three-dimensional, digital and new media art in inventive combinations. For those wanting to venture outside the norm, this workshop will be a valuable resource and an ongoing source for creative inspiration. Course registration comes with a digital download of Art Revolution by artist and author Lisa L. Cyr.


Lisa L. Cyr  ( is an accomplished multidisciplinary artist and author with a content-driven approach. Her highly imaginative, fantasy-inspired works use layers of metaphor and allegory to stimulate curiosity, provoke thought and encourage further inspection. A poetic, rhythmic synthesis of drawing, painting, collage and assemblage, Cyr’s visually tactile, mixed-media work is composed to collectively create a new reality with a more expressive, symbolic arrangement. An artist member of the Society of Illustrators NYC and the International Society of Experimental Artists, Cyr’s work has been featured in numerous magazines, books and online. She has authored seven books on art and design and writes for many of the creative industry’s leading art publications. In addition, Cyr gives workshops across the country and teaches in several of the top MFA graduate programs.

Go to the Create Mixed Media Interview with Lisa.

Read Lisa’s complete 2013 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market interview here.

copyright 2013 Lisa L. Cyr, Cyr Studio LLC


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