Storyboard: Lisa Stotska

Nourishing your creative self and not letting life get in the way

My mom was born in Chicago, an only child. My grandmother’s name was Marjorie, but everyone affectionately called her “Honey”. My grandfather, a lifelong smoker, ended up stricken with tuberculosis, prompting them to move to Tucson, where, at the time, people with lung issues were sent because of the clear air.

My grandfather was Edward “Tink” Adams. He was my mother’s dad and the founder of ArtCenter.

As Tink recovered, he found himself with ample time to consider his legacy. He realized that he valued a kind of perfectionist attitude, and he wanted to build a place where those traits mattered. That’s how ArtCenter began.

ArtCenter was my grandfather’s passion. My mother was very young when Tink and Honey started the school. It became what I refer to as her rival sibling – that’s how devoted both of her parents were to the school.

As a young person, my own personal creative outlet came from drawing and painting. It’s still that way to this day. Growing up, it sometimes felt like I was the only creative in my family – my brother became a lawyer, and one sister a doctor. I was drawn to graphic design perhaps because it was an acceptable artistic profession in my father’s eyes. Sometimes I still toy with the idea of going again to get my Master’s in Painting!

During my time at ArtCenter, I learned a lot about my grandparents from instructors who had spent time with them – an entirely new perspective. My grandfather was tough, a true perfectionist. It’s part of the reason why he and my mother oftentimes clashed.

When my mother passed away eight years ago, I discovered Tink’s portfolio under her bed. I tried to gauge its value but eventually realized that ArtCenter was the only place for it. Recently, I donated his portfolio – which encapsulates the entirety of his prolific advertising career in Chicago throughout the 1920s – to the College. After all, ArtCenter was Tink’s home. In many ways, it’s my home, too.

These days, my day-to-day involves running my business, Got All Your Marbles?, with my husband. Among other things, I’m responsible for all the color aspects of what we offer with our jewelry. One of my best semesters at ArtCenter was back in the late ’70s in a class with Judy Crook. She taught a color theory class where I learned about all aspects of color. I discovered that I innately understood this concept. I also had Bernyce Polikfa that same summer and absolutely loved her painting class, where we took real risks with color. That semester was an absolute dream, and to this day it informs what I contribute to my business.

When I was at ArtCenter, my grandfather was still chairman of the board and the legacy of his influence lingered there. Occasionally, I feel nostalgic for my time there, which isn’t to say the experience wasn’t incredibly intense – it was. But it was also one of the richest periods of my life.

Saying the experience of ArtCenter was intense is a little like saying the sky is blue. Not all my memories at ArtCenter are stress-free. Like Tink, my professors were perfectionists.

Now I’m at a reflective point in my life where I want to make time to connect with ArtCenter folks. As a creative, you get caught up in moving forward. Life, as I said, gets in the way. The key is to stay on the path. Make time for the people who matter. Reconnect. These are the things that nourish your soul.

Lisa Stotska
BFA 80 Graphics/Packaging
Founder/Owner, Got All Your Marbles?

As a creative, you get caught up in moving forward. The key is to stay on the path. Make time for the people who matter. Reconnect. These are the things that nourish your soul.

Lisa StotskaBFA 80 Graphics/Packaging
Founder/Owner, Got All Your Marbles?
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