Lisa McLymont: Black Voices
"I feel positive. I feel surrounded by love. I share a lot of love. I make Art in love. And I'm designing aggressively for a positive future at this organization. I'm really, really excited about it.” - Lisa McLymont
Lisa is a ray of sunshine and I wanted to photograph her in that light she seems to carry wherever she goes.
I had the opportunity of speaking with Lisa McLymont (McLymont pronounced (Mc-lime-mont) for those of you who need clarification), a Columbus Visual Artist, a couple of years back, and got to learn about her vision for her art and business, as talked about in my previous blog post, which you can find here.
Lisa came back into the studio to update me on her life as she balances her role as the Director of Creative and Brand Marketing Strategy at Equitas Health and artistic endeavors. She said what’s most important in her art is showcasing love and sharing it with others. A lot of her art relates to social justice, and it’s been featured at the Ohio Theatre. Check out her website to see her array of artwork!
What has changed for you since the beginning of the pandemic?
“Where I was then is very similar to where I am now. At that time, I was still working on being a full-time artist first off, and then the Dispatch came out with this article profiling, Equitas Health, and I had left the job, because I was told there was no room for me in Management for Leadership. So I decided, well, there's nowhere else to go. So I'm just gonna make my way outta here and say goodbye to Design for once and for all. Three years later , I was invited back after this Dispatch article came out, and I'm floored and I don't take it for granted. Because I know something like that doesn't happen very often, that you would call an organization out and be invited back to help heal it.
Now I'm at this job, and I feel full of purpose and really, really excited about what's going on. I have a lot of plans and desires, and I feel like the team is behind me. That's all wonderful. But I'm maintaining my Artist self. So it's just as important. It's Mental Health for me. I could get a counselor, but I feel like I get a lot out of my art-making and it's cheaper, way cheaper. I feel like I'm in a really good place. I feel positive. I feel surrounded by love. I share a lot of love. I make art in love. And I'm designing aggressively for a positive future at this organization. I'm really, really excited about it.”
Who is a part of your support system?
“My wife(Borat voice), Cat Sheridan, as long as my life. We got married two years ago and you took our wedding photos. And that was another room of love. I mean, you can see our support network. That's what powers me. You saw it all. My niece, my twin sister, my mother, my brothers, my bonus Mom-- my bonus moms! Phil is great...”
What can people expect from you in 2023?
“I have a show in Portsmouth at the Southern Ohio Museum that goes until March 18. And that show is actually celebrating the wonder of Ohio's landscape, celebrating the mounds and Native Americans that came before us and shaped the Earth. It's like the essence of all of that 'thank you', is what I put into that show as a different way to approach mounds.
I'm a child of immigrants. I was born here in America, I'm still learning a lot of the [American] history. So to find out that the mounds were built by Native Americans who have been pushed out of Ohio. And then to find out that Ohio is rife with stops on the Underground Railroad, and how like, you know, generations after those mountain builders were here. They created safety in that sense. So for people like me, because you know, I'm a Maroon? Yeah, from Jamaica. So this show is really an approach of a new way to have a conversation about what we are here to do together, you know, as people".
So how do you stay grounded? And you know, if it's setting boundaries, what are those boundaries for you?
That is big because you know, running the department, it's a very busy life. And it's very easy to give away all your time to something day in and day out. But I set boundaries by keeping a tight schedule at work. I will try very hard not to schedule meetings before 10 AM. And I always leave the office by 4 PM because I always know I'm checking my mail, email, getting messages, and doing all that the rest of the time. And then around 6:00 PM or 6:30 PM, I shift into either opening a book or going to the studio.
What is something you’re wanting people to know, to understand who you are better?
“I've shared a lot, historically, on my Facebook. It's my visual journal besides Instagram, I let people know quite a bit. I feel like the big thing through my art and ultimately through the Design work is I'm driven to showcase a love of people, not just "I love" and it's not the toxic positivity of like, love everybody. I'm not even saying that. It's just, it's just such a powerful thing that happens when you recognize that in a person and you make a connection that way. And I can see when I talk about my art with people that they feel that and when they see my art, if they don't know me, I can see some of them seeing that. That's an amazing thing.”
Lisa, I appreciate you taking the time to come in and allow me to photograph you. Are there any parting words or is there any mantra or intention that you've heard recently that has resonated with you that you'd like to share?
I want to say thank you for all the work that you do because I find a connection to you. I feel like what I'm driven by I see you feeling similar and I love connecting with other creatives like that. So thank you for inviting me for this time, but I've loved you for years."
Please be sure to check out Lisa's work! You won't be disappointed.
Lisa, thank you for your time and energy. It's always a pleasure to have you in front of my camera. I appreciate you!
All photos are taken by Emma Parker Photography
For more information, please contact Emma at email@example.com.
Follow Emma on Facebook | Instagram