Solitude Meets Art - My Artistic Journey

Posted by Lisa Ramos on

MONOLISA Handbag & Jewelry Collection Made in California - Picture of an Italian Leather Bag, 14k Gold Akoya Pearl Ring and Argentium Silver Peridot and Topaz Gemstone Ring

MONOLISA Handbag and Rings

Have you ever wondered why some of your most creative ideas happen when you least expect it - driving in the car, showering, during a conversation, folding laundry or laying in bed? I certainly have and wondered about the correlation between great ideas and solitude. A majority of my creative ideas have resulted from solitude and stepping away from work. I appreciate, value and crave solitude - sometimes a little too much.  A full day of quietness, no talking or interruptions is a dream. Having those moments of alone time is much needed for me and the creative process. My independent upbringing has played a major role appreciating solitude and slowly guided me into the world of designing. In this article I am digging deeper into how solitude meets art and looking back at my long artistic journey. The journey was a process, but I finally arrived.

"I fell in love with the creative process because of the unlimited possibilities."
One of Lisa's Drawings From Childhood | A picture from Blog Article Solitude Meets Art - My Artistic Journey
One of my colorful drawings from grade school. 

Do All Artist’s Know How to Draw Well? 

I felt different as a kid and a bit odd. I suppose some may relate to these feelings as well. Self-doubt was a big part of growing up for me. I didn't feel like other kids - I disliked cartoons, sports, burgers, hotdogs and wasn’t much into going to the movie theater. I had learning differences in school and people described me as a hyper active kid. In class I completely lacked focus and always found myself daydreaming while doodling. I did enjoy drawing, riding my bike to my friend Jen's house, reading fashion magazines, shopping at the mall, putting on makeup and listening to music. I also lived for slumber parties, staying up late, lots of laughing, eating nachos, watching MTV and crank calling with friends - something I am not proud of!

Picture from Grade School of Lisa | A picture from Blog Article Solitude Meets Art - My Artistic Journey
Lisa in grade school.

I learned independence at the early age of five. My mother and father both worked full time jobs and commuted to work. That left me alone a lot with my two older sisters. My parents were firm about household rules and chores, which I gladly accepted. I made my own lunches, kept a clean bedroom, completed daily house chores, took the bus after school and tried to get a long with my sisters - not always easy when you are labeled the baby in the family. My childhood independence taught me discipline, how to manage my time, organization and being comfortable in solitude. All valuable skills that have helped me navigate life. 

One of Lisa's Drawings From Childhood - Palm Trees | A picture from Blog Article Solitude Meets Art - My Artistic Journey
One of my palm tree drawings from grade school.

I loved art as a child. I could not draw much of anything. I enjoyed creating simple designs and attempting to draw palm trees. I was obsessed with warm weather, the beach and palm trees. I was not sophisticated artistically, but it kept me busy and entertained in class. I often thought, "If only I could draw really well - I could create so much and have the world at my fingertips. Life would be amazing. I could be an artist." At the time it never crossed my mind that there were other artistic outlets that could satisfy my creative hunger. I assumed all artists knew how to beautifully draw objects and that was a prerequisite for entering the world of art. Fast forward forty plus years, I now realize that is a myth. Today I am living life as an artist in my fifties and I still can't draw well. What does that say?

In My Early 30's | A picture from Blog Article Solitude Meets Art - My Artistic Journey

In my 30's living life in sunny Florida.

Becoming An Artist - My Journey

Looking back at my childhood and early adulthood I now understand I was only in the early stages of my artistic journey. My childhood, college years, early adulthood and job experiences were all part of the process before becoming a handbag and jewelry designer. The one constant in my life, appreciating beautifully made handbags and jewelry. In my teens I worked in a jewelry store wrapping gifts at Granat Brothers in the Sun Valley Mall (Concord, California). When I arrived to work at 8:30am I would admire the glass cases of elegantly displayed emerald jewelry designs, extravagant gold detailed necklaces and ultra large shimmering diamond rings. Everyday I walked by the cases felt like the first time. All that magnificent sparkling jewelry. My appreciation for beautifully made jewelry continued to grow into my adulthood. I was fortunate to have a mother who worked in the jewelry industry. She taught me about fine jewelry, the characteristics of a good work ethic and how to work hard - something I very much appreciate today. 

Fashion was always on my mind even in church during prayer. I dreaded going to church on the weekends, but there was one motivating factor. After church mom would take her daughters to Winchell's Donuts. I couldn't wait to get my hands on those huge apple fritters, but first I had to get through the church ceremony. At church I found creative ways to get through the excruciating long and boring ceremony. While kneeling on the uncomfortable pews I pretended to pray, but my mind was on much bigger things. I was thinking about the world of fashion. While carefully kneeling I would observe who wore what. I watched all the ladies walk by the pews in their fashionable accessories - Salvatore Ferragamo pumps, Gucci loafers, Manolo Blahnik kitten heels, Louis Vuitton speedy bags, Kate Spade totes, Dior saddle bags and Chanel tweed suites. I studied their striking outfits and accessories from head to toe. Then I would shift to another creative outlet, planning and styling my outfits. I would daydream about all my accessories and create different styling options. These creative outlets kept me busy during church, helped time pass and satisfied my appreciation for fashion. 

Boca Raton Beach in Florida | A picture from Blog Article Solitude Meets Art - My Artistic Journey
Sunday's at the beach in Boca Raton, Florida.

As a teenager and young adult my fashion icon was Audrey Hepburn. Her grace, beauty and elegance was infectious. Audrey Hepburn could make a pair of blue jeans and white t-shirt look fabulous. After watching her in the iconic 1957 American musical romantic comedy film, Funny Face I was hooked on her style. I watched the film over a dozen times - just to get a glimpse of all the gorgeous outfits she wore. I was mesmerized by the detailed costumes Audrey Hepburn wore by the American female designer Edith Head and the lavish custom pieces by Hubert de Givenchy were unforgettable. The glitz and glam continued throughout her movie roles. Audrey stole the show in the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany's. The perfectly fitted black satin Givenchy dress paired with satin opera gloves, a decadent pearl necklace and mysterious dark oversized sunglasses she wore was simply magnificent. What a fashion icon she was and still is in the world of fashion.

Lisa and Tracie
Lisa and Tracie in Florida.

As an adult in my late twenties I was busy working in the internet world. It was exciting times - the world wide web, stock options, living in South Florida, parties, Sunday at the beach and getting dressed up to go clubbing with my friend Tracie. Living in Florida satisfied my obsession of warm weather, beaches and palm trees. I was finally living in paradise and having the time of my life. I had an active social life and fulfilling job at Although, the company I worked for centered all around sports and not fashion I still enjoyed the work. The job taught me about technology, marketing and how to work long hours. 

Lisa Working at  | A picture from Blog Article Solitude Meets Art - My Artistic Journey
Working at in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Having access to the internet at work was a huge bonus. During my busy work days I would fulfill my artistic hunger in solitude at my desk watching the latest runway episodes on Fashion TV. As I streamed the online runway videos in awe I couldn't get enough of the exquisite crafted Haute Couture Dior gowns, pink tweed Chanel suites, Valentino bags and bold colored avant-garde designs by legendary Giovanni Maria "Gianni" - Versace. I watched hundreds of runway shows - Fall, Spring, Winter and Summer Fashion Shows from the 80's through the 2000's. I admired the designers behind the luxury brands. It felt exhilarating watching the Parisian style models strutting the runway wearing handmade Italian leather stilettos and perfectly fitted lame dresses. I craved fashion and couldn't get enough, but my demanding work tasks seemed to pull me away far too soon.
In my mid thirties my focus shifted to solely family, work and pets. I was living in the San Francisco Bay Area now, quite a departure from Florida. With more responsibilities I found less time for solitude and exploring fashion. I was working remotely for an online marketing company that kept me very busy. I found myself working both east and west coast time zones managing customer accounts along with sales. I did find some time to get in a dose of fashion every now and then. I satisfied my creative hunger reading lots of fashion magazines. During the evenings before dinner I would sit by the fire skimming the latest fashion trends in Vogue, InStyle, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and W magazine. During my days off I would sit outside and read through my twenty monthly fashion magazine subscriptions exploring the latest designs in women’s apparel and accessories. My fondness of pink and crystal embellished designs kept me busy searching for my next dream handbag.

Designer Lisa Ramos Making Leather Handbags for Her Company, MONOLISA | | A picture from Blog Article Solitude Meets Art - My Artistic Journey
Behind the scenes of making a MONOLISA handbag.

When my mid forties rolled around that is when my creative journey started to really open up. I had more alone time. I became interested in learning about patterns, working with leather, studying crystal elements and metal materials. I dove into learning independently as much as I could – reading books and researching. Once I started creating with my hands that is when everything changed. I had finally entered the world of art. I simply couldn't stop creating and knew this was what I was meant to do. I would eat, breath and sleep thinking about creating pieces - all during solitude. Creating with my hands has satisfied my hunger for art and fashion. It has provided the incredible gift of peace and patience in life. The designing process has diminished the chatter in my mind and has gifted me the joy of solitude. Maybe we all need a dose of art in our lives?


"Inspiration happens when I least expect it!”


Handbag & Jewelry Designer Lisa Ramos from California | A picture from Blog Article Solitude Meets Art - My Artistic Journey
This blog post is written by
California Handbag and Jewelry Designer, Lisa Ramos  

Other Articles about My Art Journey
Evolution of Design - Part 1
Evolution of Design - Part 2

 All blog articles

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