Lisa is a hard worker that did what was necessary to take care of her daughter and her family, but she never gave up on her passion which was art and illustration. So much so that her work resonated with Andy at Stony Creek causing them to scrap the original plans their agency had for the designer and to track down Lisa to meet with them. Her Herons are bold and detailed and have helped to bring Stony Creek's beer and brewery to life. It was a joy to speak with Lisa and learn more about her story, her family and experience her humility and appreciation for art and her fellow artists. This is a great story that I know you will enjoy.

AJK:               Welcome to another addition of this 16 Oz Canvas, pretty usual.  I am AJ, I am your host and on this week’s episode, we have Lisa Sotero who is an independent artist based right here in Connecticut.  We came to learn of Lisa’s work through the great label work and designs that she’s doing with Stony Creek Brewery Company and you can check her work out at her own website, gruntledesign.com.  So, thank you so much for joining us Lisa, we really do appreciate it.

Lisa:               Thank you very much for having me.

AJK:               Excellent, excellent.  So, yeah, like I said, Stony Creek is really, you know, is a local brewery here in Connecticut, that’s really blowing up and expanding their reach.  You can find them in majority of the bars around town and I -- personally, I think one of the main reasons for that is, you know, is through the design and work that you’ve done.  So, I really appreciate you being part of this week’s episode and just getting to learn a little bit more about you.

Lisa:               I really appreciate that and I am glad people are getting to see my art and it still shocks me to this day that it’s out there like walking into stores and seeing it is mind blowing to me.

AJK:               Yeah, right.  That is pretty, I mean I think that’s really cool so I mean, yeah, , when we talked before you said you listened to one and  you checked out the website that to me it was like oh, wow, that made my day right there, so I can only imagine walking into a store or, you know, being at a party and--

Lisa:               My daughter even she loves it, she’ll walk in and be like mommy that yours, I am like, yeah.  It’s just weird, but I do -- it’s new thing every day every time I see it.

AJK:               Well, that’s great.  Now, what’s your story, Lisa?  How did you get into, you know, being an artist and an illustrator, you know, kind of -- your elevator pitch, well -- how would you describe your path?

Lisa:               Well, my path is zigzag, you know, loved art ever since I was little, typical, you know, drawing everything.  My mom wanted to keep me quiet.  She just sat me down with a piece of paper and a pen and a pencil whatever I can draw with and then I would sit there for hours, just drawing and it’s kind of the same now if I’m bored, somebody just put the piece of paper in front of me and gives me something to draw with.  I’ll be sitting there for hours just drawing away, most relaxing thing for me.  You know, I did some art in high school then college.  I went in for graphic design and got a degree in the graphic design, more or less I am still swinging more towards the illustration part, but I always consider myself a graphic designer just because that was my degree. 

I got out of college that was back in 90s, so it wasn’t -- early 90s, I mean late 80s, early 90s.  So, you are talking about computers just coming out with a big box ones, not the nice flat screens you get today and the programs were all basic, it was black and white screens.  So, as far as my education goes, it was more pen and paper than computer, which is how I work today.  It’s -- I only work with the sketchbook and a piece of paper and a marker or I guess, sharpie or whatever I have sitting around.  I don’t really use a computer at all, just to, you know, send it to someone, you know, that’s about it. 

And then when I got out of school I wasn’t really finding the jobs I was looking for in the graphic design.  I still had three jobs that I was working while I was in college so I was still doing those and I ended up never going into the graphic design field.  I sold promotional marketing stuff that was as close as I came.  I got to do some of the artworks for, you know, doing logos that way, you know, promotional market is selling the pens and stuff with the company’s name and logo on it, some companies didn’t have that so I would do that, business cards.  Did stuff on my own for a little while, but again, never really got into it and became a secretary, everything else I could do just to make money and make a living and then my daughter was born.  She was in daycare.  I was still working, doing whatever I could, still doing art on the side, nothing big and then she ended up, you know, graduating her daycare and having to go to school. 

We were thinking I am not making enough money to, you put her in after school or whatever.  So, we decided that I was going to stay at home and I am like I got to make a living doing art, I have to.  I should give it a try like you were saying, gotta give it a try and I went and I started putting my stuff out everywhere, anywhere I could possibly put it that was free because I didn’t want to spend a lot of money promoting myself and it came out that, from one of those websites, we are still not sure which one, that’s where Stony Creek found me, just one drawing that Andy, the brew master was drawn to and that’s where it all started.

 

AJK:               That’s awesome.  I mean yeah, I think that -- yeah, I think that they had taken their chance, right.  It’s because you’re very talented and I think that you are, you know, like I said the -- that’s what drew me in and I really was glad to be able to connect with you and even just when I reached out to the brewery and they were superexcited to tell me who it was and put me in touch how to find you.  So, I was really -- I really appreciate you making the time to join us.

 

Lisa:               Oh, no, I love it.  And Andy, when they contacted me, it was -- so, it was in my spam mail.  I was going through my e-mails and I saw this spam and it says local brewery is interested in your art, I am like what? I read the e-mail and I am reading and like we’d like you to be our artist for our new brewery, I am like are you freaking kidding me? Really? And they were like yeah, come in, you know, interview with us, we are curious, we like your work.  I am like where did you even see my work.  They were like oh, I am not really sure, Andy saw it somewhere, I am like okay. 

So, I went in for an interview and they were like yeah, Andy saw your work somewhere, he really liked this one fish, it’s this one fish tattoo I did, I used to to enter contests too, that’s another thing I did throw my work out into contests and Tattoodo used to be all about, you know, the contest for to design a tattoo for someone, if you win, you get paid for it and this was the first contest I entered and I won and it was a big fish and Andy loved it because it looked like a tattoo, he liked the tattoo design look and that’s what he wanted for his beer.  He liked the style of it, so we went from, you know, there.  When they interviewed me, I guess they already -- their marketing company already had an illustrator and that -- I am sorry to that person, I think he got kicked to the side and they ended up bringing me in.  I found that out when I went and they interviewed with the marketing company afterward and they were like we already had someone, we thought we were all set and then they said Andy came in, he said he wanted you, I am like great, flattered, beyond flattered, you know, I went in and that turned into a crazy story too that’s the way the whole design went from one to another, but it was cool.

AJK:               That is cool.  And yeah, if you go to the website, you know, gruntledesign.com, there is the tattoo section, so is it one of the tattoos that you’ve featured up on the site?

Lisa:               I am pretty sure it’s up there, it has to be because this -- that’s my baby that got me all going on there, so it’s weird fish.  It’s kind of like flowing and all line work, but it should be the head one..

AJK:               Yeah-yeah.  I think -- yeah, it’s more like a landscape kind of like, you know, the thinner -- I think that’s the one right there.  There’s a few fish though I love the black and white work and your line work and -- I think that’s really great, yeah.  It’s one of my favorites.  There’s a few good ones in there --

That definitely is a good luck charm, I guess, you know, is that fish now.

Lisa:               Oh, it is.  It’s -- the only thing that got me started in this whole thing and actually the person that I did it for, they won the contest, but I am still doing tattoos for him now.  The biggest form of flattery to me is, you know, seeing someone wearing your artwork on their body.  I still to this day don’t have one tattoo on me.  I wanted one for a long time, but I could never pick just one drawing that I, you know, have done that I could say like I get bored of it.  I am still free.  I am going to look at and be like well, I am bored of that now, a new one and I’ll put my entire body covered, but I haven’t figured out that one tattoo yet, someday I will though.

AJK:               I don’t know.  I think the lucky fish, I mean that’s the fish, right, you don’t have the --

Lisa:               I -- well, that’s already his though, you know, I can’t take my friend John’s tattoo now.

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AJK:               That’s all right, yeah.  I think John will understand it.  It kind of brings it all full circle, but yeah, I -- that’s another thing.  I have interviewed a few folks.  I just -- this week’s episode, episode 9 with Tim Skirven, he does work for The Veil Brewing Company down in Richmond.

Lisa:               -- that he does his own tattoos now that’s amazing.

AJK:               Yeah.  And I have always wanted the tattoo and so the more and more I am speaking to these artists that’s one thing, you know, the guy, you know, Dean who worked -- did work for trade house, he used to work at a tattoo shop and it’s just --

Lisa:               I love Tree House

AJK:               -- when you, you know, you do all the work and you’re listening to the interviews, you know, multiple times, you know, you hear tattoo, tattoo, tattoo, it’s like oh.  So, yeah, I definitely -- Tim and I really had often and I was like I don’t know if we want to hang out with Tim because, you know, in fact he does his own tattoos because I get to see, you know, one thing leading to --not exciting, no, I just really like it I think and I don’t have any --

Lisa:               I have a feeling I would too, but I guess they all thought because of that I was doing tattoos that I would be covered in tattoos.  So, when they first met me, they were expecting this person covered head to toe with tattoos and I walked in, I had none, they were like totally not what I was expecting, I was like sorry.

AJK:               Can’t judge a book by its cover, no --

Lisa:               No.

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AJK:               -- I think it’s great, yeah, yeah.  And so, all those designs are hand drawn and then you just scan those in, I think it makes it really look great.

Lisa:               Yeah.  That’s -- I only use pen and pencil and that’s what -- I am very old school.  I try -- my husband got me the iScan this year, which you can actually draw on paper so it’s, you know, use a regular pencil and paper and it’s right on top of this tablet kind of thing and it will put it on the computer for you and I still have a lot of time doing that because I look at them, I am like well, that one wasn’t really the way I drew it or it’s not as thick as I thought it was.  I just like to have that pressure of the pencil on the paper and the feel, every single line, I just flow with it and it doesn’t seem to work as well on the computer and probably, it’d be easier for me, but I still can’t do it that way.  It takes me a little longer than everyone else, but I get it done.

AJK:               Well -- yeah.  It’s -- whatever works for you I think that’s the key in life, right, but it doesn’t, you know, if everyone had the same -- if life was the same, you know, step by step instructions, it would be pretty boring.  I find it amazing from a technical standpoint, like how folks are so quick to pick it up on a computer and it looks like they drew up by hand that to me is amazing

Lisa:               A lot of people think like it’s done on the computer.  They were like oh, look, you have to do that on the computer, right, absolutely not, I can’t.  I wish I could, but I can’t do it because I had to still teach on everything again because I didn’t have that computer background even in school so everything I’ve learned I’ve had to teach myself.  Well, with the pen and paper, you can do it anywhere, at any time and on anything so a lot easier.

AJK:               Yeah.  Well, that’s encouraging.  I am -- the -- your home,  your parents, so whenever they wanted to calm me they will give you a stack of paper I think in our household, you know, a box of pencils and a ream of paper from the, you know, office mags, it’s just as gold around here for, you know, so that always goes well.

Lisa:               Exactly.

AJK:               Yeah.  It’s good.  Story writing or drawings and they are -- actually, they are getting better so I mean that’s encouraging, I don’t know.  We’ll see what happens, but yeah.

Lisa:               You’ll become an artist for the beer now too.

AJK:               Oh, definitely not, but I am definitely, yeah.  I’ve kind of noticed a trend in my career is, you know, when I used to do radio, you know, I wasn’t a musician so I could play the CDs and know what I liked and then I managed the bang because again, I couldn’t play, but that was good business sense and so I am now -- yeah, so I am noticing a theme.  I have a good eye and ear one could say, but I am not necessarily the most creative.

Lisa:               Then I am hiring you as my marketer.

AJK:               There we go.  Yeah-yeah, definitely.

Lisa:               Get me out there.

AJK:               Yeah.  I mean I think that’s, we’ll see where this goes, you know, I think there is, you know, as long as it’s sustainable for, you know, a while, you know, there’re some ideas I have of, you know, art shows or trying to do, you know, do something with different breweries and showcasing the artists, you know, with the beers so something like that and that we kind of cool like an art shows/beer fest --

Lisa:               Well, I think it’s fantastic.  I am amazed by all the other artists out there.  I love reading about them now too from the art, your podcast and everything.  It’s inspiring to me because I see what they are doing and how they are doing it, I mean my story is just I got found luckily and I cross my fingers every day.

AJK:               See Lisa, I think that you have a thing common with a lot of the other artists.  One thing that as we talk I think all of the artists -- I don’t think that everyone, you know, puts their whole story or their path in perspective, right.  I think that, you know, with your, you know, your daughter being at home, you’ve -- obviously, you send -- maybe you want to back this work at corporate gig because it paid more or something like that and, you know, whatever, but you have the intimacy of, you know, being home with your child and you are doing something creative, you know, your daughter loves seeing you work so that encourages you more, you know, not, you know, financially, but, you know happiness, yeah and so, I think there’s, you know, I think there are people -- I think that’s one of the things we are trying to do is kept people realize, you know, how amazing they are and, you know, a lot of the folks said people always -- people always talk about how great the beer is, but yeah, we’re beer agnostic, you know, we are -- it’s not about the beer, you know, I do enjoy Stony Creek, but, you know, I try -- and I try more of it because there’s new ones that are coming out and it’s like okay, there’s a new design and there’sa  new look to it and it’s very --

Lisa:               I have one, I know coming out that I can’t talk about, but I have to sit quietly, wait for them.

AJK:               Maybe we’ll get it out here by the end so this wouldn’t be live for another like six weeks or so, but how would you -- we talked about your tattoo work,  your line work.  How would you describe your aesthetic?  Now, I do hate asking this question, but I’ve asked it to everybody else so now it’s kind of like a common like awkward question where I feel like I have some sort of art terminology so I always ask it so I look like --

Lisa:               That’s a good one. It’s such a blend of so many different things.  Everyone always thought I do tattoo work.  You are a tattoo artist.  You are -- I am like I am not a tattoo artist.  I did a couple of tattoo contests.  I guess my style looks a lot like a tattoo, some say it’s looks like wood cut -- linoleum blocks, I can’t get that word out, the block cuts and everything and I used to love that back in the 90s., that was like my big thing.  I was always trying to make everything look like it was woodcut, so maybe all that came back out again, just like flow of lines just my basic thing I follow all the time.  If I want to put my lines to just flow like you can feel the way everything is going and, you know, you can move through the entire picture that way that’s -- I don’t really follow any one artist.  I just -- I go on this -- every time I have to go do something I go and look at every single artist out there and find something I like, out of each one I’ll pick and choose and put it altogether.  I am like a trash can of artists.

AJK:               Well, yeah-yeah.  You are like a transformer, you know, you kind of just comes altogether.

Lisa:               Yeah.  I put it all together and make it works and most of my stuff is accidents.  When I am drawing, I’ll do something and like oh, shit, I didn’t want to do that and I am like well, it actually looks pretty good and works out somehow.  I try to tell my daughter and when she tries through everything out and I am like no-no, just change that line that’ll be fine.

AJK:               Yeah.  It’s been -- especially, if you are doing on paper, you can’t, you know, and so that is one of the things --

Lisa:               It’s so easy --

AJK:               -- it’s not forgiving, but you can definitely make adjustments on the slide by necessity.

Lisa:               Oh, yeah.  And every heron that I have done has an actual photograph that goes along with it.  They are based off of a photograph of a bird or heron and then I just changed around so it looked like whatever it is that the beer supposed to look like Andy and my brainstorming stuff.  He comes up with -- I really don’t know what I am looking for, but, you know what to do, right, sure.  He gives me such a great sense of what he’s looking for by his excitement and his beer.  He’ll tell me about the beer and the flavor and the look he’s feeling like for the heron to have like, you know, edgy look or angry or whatever, so we go with that he goes show me what you got.  So, I think it gives me free range to do whatever I want, which -- that was a relationship we started way in the beginning where he said I want you to make it look like you think it should look, I am like okay and I did and that was it, we were good.

AJK:               So now, how -- now, because you had drawn the fish so I mean that just drew you in and then it just kind of went from there, I mean it was a decision they made creatively that there was always going to be the heron and the birds, you know, on all of their packaging?

                                               Early Heron Sketches

                                             Early Heron Sketches

Lisa:               Oh, yeah, the heron was their idea.  They came up with a -- that was a weird part in the beginning.  At first, I was working just with the marketing company and Andy would relate to the marketing company what they were looking for.  Their marketing company had, you know, their, you know, plan of how it’s supposed to look and they would listen to Andy and then translate it to me, it was like that telephone game work.  Something in the middle was getting mixed up, you know, like you whisper in someone’s ear and then the next person says the wrong thing --

AJK:               Yeah, passed down the line doesn’t always go so well.

Lisa:               Well, it was going okay, I mean, but someone, you know, they just -- they kept saying they wanted a Chester Cheetah, you know, with the Cheetos guy kind of look and I was drawing stuff like that, but then I wasn’t hearing what Andy was saying, I was only hearing what’s, you know, they were like no, he wants something a little more this or a little more that and finally Andy -- Andy and I never talk, we e-mail or text, which is beautiful for me.  I am not a good phone person or whatever, but he would text me, he’s like look, I don’t know what they are telling you, this is the fish I liked that you drew, this is what I based my decision on having you, just draw something like this, but make it a heron, I said okay.  So, within an hour or maybe two, I came back with the design that they actually have for their logo now and he was like that’s it, that’s the one.  I am like oh, my god, that was easy that was like three months now.  We finally got it and it has been so easy ever since and he tells me something and we get it, it works.

AJK:               That’s great.  Now, do you do the coloring also? 

Lisa:               No, that -- they let that go to the marketing guys because they have an idea for how the whole packaging is going to look.  I basically just do the line work.  I do all the background images like the -- you’ll see the hops in the background or the barley or the Sun, the big orange, all that stuff that’s me --

AJK:               Yeah.  And I just thought -- and you should -- they should do a coloring book if you are -- with those because that --

Lisa:               That's what all my friends say like I think you should do a coloring book, you feel great, don't color any book, I would color the whole thing in.

AJK:               Yeah, I mean that's like the whole new trend I know and I bought a couple for my wife, they are pretty relaxing.

Lisa:               I always say there’s so many out there, who is going to want mine?

AJK:               I mean at the brewery, you know, I mean people are having a cup of beers, you can do --

Lisa:               Oh, that’s true.

AJK:               I definitely it’s like a starter set, you know, you just have --

Lisa:               I think you guys have a little there  now -- 

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AJK:               Yeah.

Lisa:               -- you know, pitch them on it.

AJK:               Yeah-yeah.  Pitch before the episode comes out, act like it was -- yeah-yeah.  No, I am just there, I am just looking at them, I am just -- I mean, their -- the line work is so strong, but it’s like intricate and then they definitely with the -- they do a good job coloring in that must be a -- is that a weird thing for you like having somebody else --

Lisa:               It is.  It hurts so much to give that up, but I had to learn in the beginning, I mean it’s been years now -- a couple of years now so I am used to it, but, you know, it’s like -- I am like here you go, what you’re going to do with it, I don’t know.  It’s worked out well, I mean they’ve done a really nice job with it.  I am -- I can’t say I am displeased with it.  Some things that I maybe I would have done a little different, but I don’t know what their feel was that they were going for, they might have, you know, gone back and forth and that’s what they came up with so.

AJK:               Yeah, it’s very vivid, which I really like -- I think that’s -- you know, that’s really cool -- and that’s what I like about it, but I don’t think those colors work without having as much strong -- like the strong lines and the definitions so I think the -- I think it’s complementary in that regards, but I guess in a way you’re designing tattoos, right, you are not drawing that.  I mean I know they probably make a stencil and they trace over it, so in a way you kind of do, but -- so that probably helped a little bit.

Lisa:               Yeah, yeah.  It’s -- yeah.  It’s tough because I can’t see what’s going on with it and I don’t know.  I have no info whatsoever, but it really -- I’ve -- again, I have no complaints with the way it comes out, I think it comes out beautiful and it’s nice teamwork.

AJK:               Yeah-yeah.  I think -- yeah, I think you -- you’ve a good partnership there so definitely they should -- that agency should use you more, you should -- spin that off too.

Everyone should be checking out the website, gruntledesign.com.  There’s a lot of stuff up there, you know, not only, you know, your photographs are really great, you know, there’s other illustrations even done some custom guitar work which is really cool, yeah-yeah.

Lisa:               Oh, yeah.  That’s my favorite and the friend of mine from college, he builds the guitars and I do the artwork on them so that’s a lot of fun work.

AJK:               Yeah.  It is pretty awesome.  So, have you been to a performance where they’re using like the guitars you’ve built?

Lisa:               No.  Jeff had the one that built has been there.  I missed that one so I wasn’t in the town the same day that they were doing it so I missed it.  He got some pictures of it, but I never got to see it

AJK:               Yeah.  That would be pretty amazing, I mean art helping art, get created though, it is always kind of cool.

Lisa:               Oh, I know.  And the band work is fun too.  The Underwater Tiger that was one of my favorites with -- the scissor hands with the heart.

AJK:               Yeah.  I can see and that’s pretty --

Lisa:               That was cool.

AJK:               Now, that’s in your tattoo section too, so someone is rocking that as a tattoo?

Lisa:               While he was going so I don’t know if he ever did it, but their poster have it as -- it was very personal song that he wrote about, you know, his life and his marriage or his divorce I should say and he -- that really -- he said that was just spoke volumes about what the song was.  I do listen to the listen over and over just to try to get a feel for what the, you know, image should be and that’s what I came up with and he said it was absolutely perfect for what he was thinking so.  I hope he got a tattoo, I don’t know.

AJK:               Yeah.  You should -- yeah.  So, you should do follows-up with these tattoos I think that would be pretty awesome.

Lisa:               Yeah, I know.  I have John’s leg tattoo picture of the big so that’s the only one I have.

AJK:              That’s crazy and amazing at the same time.  It’s just kind of, you know, like somebody you don’t know and don’t know has your work on them

Lisa:               I know.  Someone is wandering around with all of my artwork on their body and I someday may walk into them and I’ll be like well, I did that

AJK:               Yeah.  That’s what I was thinking like you just be somewhere and really like oh, wait, you are -- okay, that was me like yeah so --

Lisa:               Yeah.  I did that.

AJK:               That’s best, yeah, that’s awesome, so you can stare a little more, not freak them out too much, you know, so if you are out there -- if that’s -- if you are out there and that was you, you know, we can definitely get in touch, let us know, really awesome.  And you’ve done some in the Hangout Festival, I mean I have friends who went to that, they said it was incredible so you did a poster for that?

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Lisa:               That was just a contest I did for that, yeah, poster contest that was fun too.  It was just, you know, whatever contests were out there I told you I just joined them all.  Demon Hunter that’s one of my favorites that’s on there with the skulls and the beard and I was showing my daughter my old neighborhood once and we went.  We were driving through and I seen my old neighbor, she is still, you know, living in the house and she’s, you know, getting on in years and I stopped by to see her, show her my daughter and she was like oh, my god, you have like daughter now and now, she was like what are you doing, I said I am doing artwork and I just showed her some of my stuff and she was like just all that skulls and the zombies and all that so she goes oh, Lisa, you need to go to church, I was like no, no, no, it’s an image.

AJK:               Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Old people liked to say like I’ll pray for you like that’s basically like I don't approve what you’re doing --  Lisa, I’ll pray for you.

Lisa:               -- that’s why I was first showing her some, you know, cuter stuff and she was happy about that, but then she thought I have gone to the dark side and really needed to be saved.

AJK:               I will pray for your Lisa.

Lisa:               Things I find easy to draw.

AJK:               Yeah.  And well, keep doing -- yeah, keep doing what you’re doing.  Now, from like a packaging standpoint, how is that the first time, had you -- any experience in that trying to, you know, with your art making you fit kind of around the bottle or the can.  How is that experience?

Lisa:               Not at all.  I never did anything like that.  I really don’t even now, it’s -- basically, I hand them.  They told me what elements they want within the background I guess with the sun or the hops or like my favorite was -- we want hoopoes that look like they are blowing on the wind and tumbling around, I am like oh, okay, sure, no, I’ll -- we do that art, smokey weed that was the other one, like we want something that represents smokey weed, I am like yeah, sure, let me just come up with that and it has to always been the same style as the heron, same line style so.  I would give him all those elements and they figure out how to put it on the label, which is why sometimes they’ll have to, you know, they’ll say make sure that the head isn’t, you know, too high up or something is not too far down, the wings aren’t too -- up too high and that’s all they’ll tell me and then they put it on there.

AJK:               Okay.  Now, how -- yeah.  How is the, like the planning, like you said you worked on one now that’s going to come out in the future.  How is that -- how much time are you given or how do they describe that to you?  Did they just give you the name or, you know?

Lisa:               Oh, yeah.  They give me name, tell me what kind of beer it is and they will give me a, you know, definition of what’s in there, what kind of beer and then he, you know, like -- plus even take Stony Joe, I can talk about that one that’s out already.  Stony Joe was -- it tastes like a dark beer, looks like a light beer so it’s like a trip in the eyes kind of thing that’s what he was saying to me and he goes I wanted to be a heron, but not look like a heron, you know what I mean, like no, absolutely not and I usually have maybe about a week to two weeks to come up with it and finish it off and get it to him and it goes all from there because there’s a lot of red tape that they actually go through to the government and everything to get a label approved, so my artwork is just a part of what goes on the label.  It was all the wording and everything else, so I have to get my stuff to them as quickly as possible.  It’s usually trying to decipher for whatever Andy is telling me at the time and turning it into something and Stony Joe got to be one of my favorite herons because his actual body is a -- what do you call it, coffee bean if you look at it up close and his head kind of comes in and everything that’s actual bird picture again, another photograph and he is -- I don’t know.  He’s got to be -- he was supposed to be kind of like not angry, but whatever he gives me just different descriptions of what it should look like and the face or his expression or whatever and that’s what it comes up with like the newest one had to be, you know, after the name of the beer that would bird will represent so I can’t again take it that out but --

AJK:               Andy, come on Andy, you are killing us Andy with all these secrecy.

Lisa:               I know.  Everything is always like now Lisa I am telling you, but you cannot tell anybody.

AJK:               I try every time. Looking at Stony Joe now, he is a cool looking guy.

Lisa:               I love Stony. There is a coffee bean because it is coffee.

AJK:               Yeah.  I see that and even on the feathers, right, I think the feathers you can see the subtlety of the coffee bean.

Lisa:               Yeah.  So, that was the first thing when they -- first thing, their first bird, the logo design.  Very last minute I kept staring at the heron and the top of his head, you know, if you look at picture of a heron, it gets ruffled up on the top and then on the top of his wing there’s a -- it’s look like a hop to me so I am like I am going to make that hop, I am going to make the barley on the top of his head, it’s really, you know, I could go one way or the other.  It could have been they hated it because it looked too, you know, I don’t know what the word is for it, but it didn’t -- it looks too hokey or they could be like I love it because I try to make it as subtle as I could and they loved it and that was like oh, my god, because you never know if you’re going to go over the top one way or the other, I felt lucky.

AJK:            I think there’s, you know, that’s a creative choice and I -- yeah, I think if you didn’t say anything, I mean I can see it and looking at it but it’s subtle, you know, it’s like -- yeah, it’s subtle and so I think that works and -- now, do you name these -- I mean obviously there’s one Stony Joe so you could argue to just call it Joe, but do you name the birds, like do you have kind of like referring to them or just you more refer them by the name of the beer?

Lisa:               No, it’s more just whatever the beer is.  There’s the one that they use for Black Water that has -- I drew -- I have just -- I was drawing many birds at once when I was trying to -- when I first got started.  I gave them like probably about 12 different herons because there was a whole of bunch of beers they were going to be produced when they first opened or coming up.  So, I drew a whole mess of birds and one of them was just one-legged bird.  He just looks so beat up and nasty and feathers were all over the place and he was just angry looking and he had the one leg I just loved him so I did that and they finally used him for Black Water, which was great.  I love that bird too.

AJK:               Yeah.  I think somebody -- yeah.  Has anyone gotteh then tattooedt?

Lisa:               I don’t know.  I know Andy was going to do one or he was think to do whatever he wants me to do one, I don’t know, which one.  He -- La Garza was going to be closed to the one that he was thinking of doing, but I hope he picks a different one.  I like La Garza, not one of my favorite birds, but he said he wanted to do a personal one for himself some day so --

AJK:               That’s cool.

Lisa:               -- and they are doing wall art now.  I did entire the brewery process that should be going up on their wall I think this summer that’s from what I understand.

AJK:               Oh, that’s very cool like a mural?

Lisa:               Yeah.  The entire wall of the tasting room.

AJK:               Oh, wow, yeah, I have to get up there --

Lisa:               They haven’t done.  Last time I was in there, they haven’t done it.  My daughter likes going in there because she calls it my art gallery because they have all the different prints around there so she just goes around, takes pictures and puts it all over Instagram, yeah.  She’s always putting beer pictures up.Really great for an 11 year old.

AJK:               Yeah.  It’s like okay.

Lisa:               She wears all my stuff to the school, I am like I don’t know what the teachers think about beers or --

AJK:               Yeah.  Sure, yeah.  Parent-teacher conference just gets a little interesting.

Lisa:               Yeah.  I know.

AJK:               No.  It’s not that what you think.

Lisa:               There are a lot of things obsessed with beer.

AJK:               What do you mean?  Does -- she likes herons, yeah.  What are you talking about?

Lisa:               Yeah.  Yeah.  I know that has nothing with the beer and she told all her little friends and they like it too.

AJK:               There we go.  That’s like the -- yeah.

Lisa:               I have a huge following with 11 year olds.

AJK:               She's huge on the playground, yeah.

 

AJK:               Yeah.  It would be good to go.  Well, I thank you again, Lisa.  I thought we’ll be able to get out of here what you are working on now so -- there is a proof to, you know, Andy that you are, you know, like a vault, so we do appreciate it, but we’ll look forward to see what that is and we’ll be in touch.   We really appreciate it and now love that you’re local and love that you -- how you discovered and I think that’s really great so, yeah, keep doing what you are doing, it’s awesome.

Lisa:               I appreciate you doing this too for all the artists out there.  I think it’s great and hopefully a lot of other people get to notice too, it will be great.

AJK:               Well, I do appreciate it. Thank you so much and now we’ll be in touch and maybe we’ll connect alone, reach out along heading up to the brewery and maybe we can go and checkout your - as your daughter calls it your art studio so we’ll check it out.

Lisa:               There you go.  Wonderful, thank you.

AJK:               We have a great day Lisa and yeah, we hope your brother is doing better and look forward to catching up soon.

Lisa:               All right.  Great.  Thank you.

 

LISA SOTERO BIO
Website: Gruntleddesign.com
Facebook: Gruntled Design Art

Instagram: Ownwurld
Stony Creek Brewery