Cover Photo by Rita Rhodes
Lisa Marques, commonly known as Lizzy, is a growing artist based in Peniche, Portugal. Through her colourful illustrations, Lizzy transports us into a world where adventure and freedom are the priority. We could define her work as unique, but the most important aspect of it is the creator behind it all. Lizzy is one of the kindest free-spirited souls I’ve ever encountered, following her passion not for money, but for the joy of it. She’s slowly making her way into the surfing world by creating artwork that is both unique and representative of her down-to-earth values.
Lizzy is the kind of girl you would have loved to be when you were younger; driven, passionate and most importantly, never taking no as an answer. Inspired by both her illustrations and words, we’ve decided to showcase her work while asking her a few questions about the place the ocean has in her life and her art.
Being inspired by the ocean and surfing, we can easily see the world of a salty soul in your art. How did you develop your skills?
Illustration came once I’ve finished my degree in tourism. At that time, I just realized that I could eventually make a job of drawing. I drew since I was a kid, then I had a graphic design course during my high school. That class taught me about vectorial work, which is a very important thing to know.
The ocean and nature has always been part of my inspiration. Illustration shows my search for answers and depending on my mood, I usually draw the “Believer” or the “cute surfer girl,” which are my main characters.
The believer is the “wonderer:” he believes that we come from the stars and he is constantly asking questions concerning our origins and our great purpose on Earth. The cute surfer girl is a harmonious girl who finds joy in surfing and by living close to nature. He searches, she has found.
It’s not about the world of surfing, it’s about how I feel in these environments. My inspiration comes from inside and not outside. The characters are my biggest mirror, they speak for me.
When did you realize you wanted to be an artist for living?
I didn’t decide it, I just realized it was heading that way. I truly believe we are meant to discover what we like to do the most and it should be our mission in life. I usually say that “your destiny is where your passion is.” I only started doing what I love the most and I still can’t decide between drawing or surfing. In the end, I think they both complement each other.
You already sell in many different stores around the globe and you even create t-shirts with your artwork on it; congrats! What else are you printing on?
I’m usually printing the illustrations on paper for decoration and that’s one of the best sellers. The price is fair enough for everybody to change their wall decor anytime they want. I want to make it accessible to everyone.
I rather share my art with more people instead of keeping it for people with money. It’s not fair, in my point of view, to make it available for only those with a higher salary. I truly hate the meaning of money and this is why I have lower prices: I want more people to enjoy it. I also print on t-shirts and I’ll be doing some collaboration with surf brands in the upcoming months.
What is your favourite thing about Portugal?
The ocean and the sea culture. We have brave people that travelled the unknown sea just by believing that there was more beyond the horizon. We are a small community on this Western Beach, but so big in spirit and hope.
The coastal line is amazing. We are confined on this piece of land surrounded by stunning beaches, mountains, green forests, castles and historic buildings.
Surfing is really popular in Portugal and it seems like you prefer the authentic surf lifestyle. How would you define that specific lifestyle?
The authentic surf lifestyle is as simple as living with simplicity while respecting nature and recognizing that we are part of something bigger. The surfing lifestyle is to learn by observing, caring and sharing. It’s respecting the environment, promoting our deepest values and being grateful for what nature gives us. That may sound a bit hippy, but I guess we can consider ourselves the “new hippies.”
As any surfers, I am sure you spend your time dreaming of travelling to countries only to chase waves. Which country would you want to go to?
My hometown is the most consistent surf spot in Europe all year long so when I travel, it’s usually not for surfing, it’s to experience other lifestyles and cultures. I love history and art history so my last trips were to Peru and Bolivia. Luckily for me, I combined the cultural side of things with surfing. I surfed several surf spots from Mancora to Miraflores. But by far, what I loved the most, was being in the Amazon Jungle. I was totally connected to the nature and the level of energy was incredibly unaccountable. Everyone should go there once in their life, it will change you forever, I promise.
So, as you can see, I prefer to go on alternative trips not because of surfing but to discover authentic places.
As for the winter time, I like to travel to recharge my batteries and get inspired for a new season of work. I want to explore Borneo so badly, with its rainforests and its clear waters. Perhaps trying to surf the longest waves of Marrocos too.
Did you follow some artists while growing up to get inspiration from?
I check illustration works on Pinterest and Instagram pretty randomly and it’s so beautiful to see what people can create. Art is not only to be seen, but mainly to be felt.
I totally believe that the “great” things have to come from inside and not from outside.
I don’t search other’s art for my own way of thinking because the only thing that deserves to be shared is our vision, that is both unique and special. It is the verbalization of our intimate being and I believe it’s the “aura” that makes people enjoy our work because it has the certain energy they need to take for themselves.
What do you do when your mind is totally empty and you don’t know what to create? Any tricks to go through that creative blockage?
Being creative can’t be a job because you can’t force it. You are creative when you are clear and empty enough to express yourself through art. If you are concerned about timing, deadlines and money, you are searching outside the inspiration to create and you only end up creating something that you once saw before.
In my point of view, if you are blocked but still insist to work, you are building a big wall in your mind and doing the opposite of what you’re wishing for. If you have a creative block, just stop and allow yourself to have space between you and the need of creating. The creation will come, you are only the vehicle who canalizes the universe’s energy.
Sometimes I can’t draw so I know that I need to express myself through other ways, like writing, cooking, or just cleaning around and changing the decors. Other times, I just need to get away from the noise and listen to the silence of nature. Mother Nature is our best counselor. Having an empty mind is the best you can have.
Where can we expect to see your artwork next?
I’ve been doing some collaborations with some brands lately so you will soon see my patterns and drawings on bags and with a new alternative brand coming out with a “chic surf” touch. Some new projects are coming and I’m grateful for these opportunities. Furthermore, I will also continue to produce my own collections and limited edition illustrations.
Want to learn more about Lizzy Artwork?
Watch this video by The Outside Crowd.