The Art Biz ep. 73: A New Direction in Your Art with Lisa Goren

We all seek success (whatever it means to us individually) but aren’t always prepared to deal with it when it comes along. That’s okay, because, as you’ll hear in this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, you learn how to deal if it’s something you really want.

My guest is Lisa Goren, an artist whose work took an unexpected U-turn when the pandemic hit last year, and she went for it.

Watercolor painting Iceberg from our zodiac antarctica artist Lisa Goren watercolor on paper 22 x 30 inches
©Lisa Goren, Iceberg from our Zodiac, 3 Antarctica. Watercolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches.

You’ll hear Lisa talk about artist residencies and the serious work she was making that had echoes of climate change. And then Covid struck. She was no longer able to travel to photograph and paint the wildlife and melting ice around Antarctica and the Arctic Circle.

Instead, she delighted in the animals that were visiting museums, aquariums, and towns. She was more surprised than anyone about what was coming from her paintbrushes. And then equally surprised that people wanted to buy the finished paintings as soon as they were finished.

After feeling like the success of the animal paintings had become a runaway train, Lisa is now taking back control over where the work is going while being open to whatever the future holds.

Music by Wildermiss.


  • Lisa Goren details the path—and thick skin—that led to her successful art business. (2:25)
  • Painting ice, bones, and deep blue colors in Antarctica, Alaska, and Iceland. (6:04)
  • The importance of creating artist support groups in your art business journey. (9:07)
  • Lisa reflects on the plans she had for 2020, how the pandemic changed it all, and the pivot that led to new success. (12:17)
  • Inspiration can come from anywhere, including free roaming penguins in museums. (17:47)

    Modern art visitor watercolor painting of penguin visiting Shedd Aquarium artist Lisa Goren 11 x 10 inches watercolor on paper
    ©Lisa Goren, Modern Art Visitor. Watercolor on 300 pound paper, 11 x 10 inches.
  • Creating and pricing high-demand art that you didn’t intend to sell. (19:45)
  • Responding to a call for art during the pandemic created additional interest in Lisa’s work from The Washington Post. (22:16)
  • Handling the “problem” of success and why you might consider selling low-priced originals instead of prints. (26:45)
  • Making connections with buyers and offering hope through art. (31:24)
  • How to adjust your pricing to better control your schedule. (33:33)
  • The assignment that led Lisa to return to painting penguins. (34:41)
  • Transitioning from the artist you may be known as to the artist that you currently are. (36:54)
  • Lisa details her marketing channels, how she connects with the photographers that inspire her work, and whether she replaced her lost income in 2020. (40:31)
  • If the pandemic ended tomorrow, would Lisa continue painting animals? (45:24)


The best art created by Washington Post readers during the pandemic article

Shedd Aquarium in Chicago

Expeditionary Art by Maria Coryell-Martin

Lisa Goren Quotes

“I want to be managing my business as opposed to being managed by my business.”

“I don’t take things very personally, which can be a real issue for a lot of artists.”

“Success isn’t always about the sale. It’s about getting your name out there and being a person that people see.”

“It’s a bit of treasure for someone to own an original, even if it’s an inexpensive one.”

About My Guest

Artist Lisa Goren and her watercolor work

Lisa Goren was born in California and raised in New York City, and yet she has dreamed of Polar landscapes since she was in her teens. Her first trip took her to Antarctica where she was inspired and captivated by the landscape. She chronicled a 2013 Arctic Circle Residency in an article she wrote for the New York Times; the residency led her to the next phase of her Polar work.

Her watercolors question the nature of abstraction and our planet as many of her pieces are representations of unfamiliar, threatened terrains.

Follow Lisa on Instagram: @LisaFGoren.

Music by Wildermiss.

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3 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 73: A New Direction in Your Art with Lisa Goren”

  1. This interview was one of my favorites. Lisa’s energy is calm yet determined and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next!
    Since that first day of thanks on January 20th, the world feels like a better place for most of us.

    Thank you, Alyson

  2. Thank you Susan and thank you Alyson for this opportunity! This was such fun to do and, yes, I feel much more hopeful. Looking forward to my second Thanksgiving when I get the vaccine! 🙂

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