Making it Happen: A Mixed-Media Artist to Admire

When my children were toddlers I wondered how I could possibly continue to work full time, take care of my family, and find time for creative pursuits. There are still days when that mommy guilt creeps into my mind when I’m taking time for myself to be creative.

But then I look around at the women in my office who are mothers and continue to rock the industry. I admire them, and I know that because they are doing it, I can, too. Among artists, women like Alisa Burke inspire me and make me feel empowered. When I read about her in Studios magazine (Fall 2014), I felt joy that she has her family’s support, and admiration for taking the plunge into a full-time art career, setting a wonderful example for so many of us. Here’s a peek into Alisa’s world.

Mixed-media artist Alisa Burke in action

Mixed-Media Artist Alisa Burke by Jane Davila

Art journaling by mixed-media artist Alisa Burke
Art journal pages are frequently
featured on Alisa’s blog.

Alisa Burke’s to-do list is a long one. The artist’s days are filled with any combination of blogging, painting, teaching, and designing, plus mom and wife responsibilities. “There are times when I really miss the freedom to be selfish with my time,” she says, “but those moments are thankfully fleeting.”

The Oregon-based Burke has built a substantial following from her books (Canvas Remix and Sew Wild), her blog (which often features DIY projects), online and in-person classes, and products (she has an accessories line with Demdaco®). Her art business is expanding, which means she’s often juggling multiple projects simultaneously, projects which may be changing and evolving. With no employees– yet–she does the bulk of the work herself, but calls in backup from her mother, who helps out with managing her online shop, and her husband Andy, who assists with social media.

She accomplishes tasks in two-hour chunks of time, trading off childcare with her husband. “Everything from checking email to filming online classes to making art are typically done in small blocks of time in my studio,” she says.

Luckily her studio is only five minutes away from her home. The 1,000-square-foot space doubles as studio and classroom/retreat space. Burke and her husband created moveable walls to divide up the large area, allowing her to dedicate space to suit her needs. An office and storage area are upstairs, and another office in the house allows her to stay closer to her family. “Depending on my schedule,” Burke says, “my time at the studio varies. Fifty percent of my duties involve creating, and the other 50 percent is on the computer.” She adds that while it would increase her productivity to keep work and home spaces separate, “I actually enjoy having the flexibility to go back and forth between the two.”

Her greatest pleasure, she says, is spending time with her two-year-old daughter Lucy, “and being a part of her daily schedule. I love being at home and incorporating my daughter and my husband into my daily creative projects and tasks. I also love being available to drop everything and go play with my family. I’d gladly work late into the night in exchange for a day of adventure.” ~Jane Davila

The full feature article on Alisa is included in this exclusive collection of celebrated magazines for artists. Score a four-issue set of Studios and Artists & Makers here. These include tips and advice on the business of art, art studio organization and decor, and so much more.

Live inspired,


Art Business, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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