We had the good fortune of connecting with Crisinda Lyons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crisinda, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’m a fused glass artist working out of The Studio Door art gallery in the Hillcrest community. I first found my calling for fusing glass 45 years ago during a art workshop. For years, work took precedent until a decade ago when I returned to seriously explore the art of glasswork. As I retired, I let my artistic calling come to fruition. I began taking more workshops and began exhibiting. The success of my artistry and craftsmanship began to take off. I decided to develop my artistry as a new career and set up my first studio at the San Diego Art Department on Ray Street in North Park. There I had the opportunity to meet Patric Stillman as he was establishing The Studio Door. He became my mentor on the business side of art and together we developed a business plan to grow my art sales. I have received national acknowledgement for my art and have established rewarding relationships with patrons who collect my work across the globe. I continue to expand my knowledge of my art and look for new outlets to introduce my art to a wider audience. Doing glass is necessity for me and having people find beauty and value in my work is so rewarding.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am challenged to keep my work relevant and interesting to my client base. I have many ideas and visions of pieces to create and strive to make the actual piece match the perfection of my vision, knowing this perfection is rarely completely achieved. This involves experimenting with new processes and keeping aware of trends in my field but not limiting my art to those trends. If the piece completely fails to embody my vision, I force myself to do something else and avoid dwelling on the failed piece. After some time I will revisit pieces that did not work to see what I can learn and change to make the piece more successful. I am very lucky to be in a creative environment and to have friends and contacts who are very encouraging and supportive. I am always looking for new and innovative techniques to keep patrons anxious to see my next creation.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love Balboa Park and if they are here after the pandemic, we would spend a few of the days exploring the galleries, museums, Spanish Village and the zoo at the the park. Maybe walk around shops in La Jolla and dinner at Humphreys and catch a play at La Jolla playhouse. I would take some time to walk around Hillcrest and visit the shops and The Studio Door Gallery to show them the gallery and my studio. Some favorite restaurants are Curryosity (Indian) and Mazara (Italian) in South Park, Jimmy Carters (Mexican) in downtown. I would take a day to hang out at my house and a casual dinner at Crazee Burger. Definitely a day at Pacific beach walking and shopping with lunch at Cafe Bahia. Maybe a day for a nice walk around the bay downtown and lunch or dinner at Brigantine or Miguel’s. If they are into it maybe a visit to Seaworld or Wild animal park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a big shout out to Patric Stillman and the entire art community at the Studio Door Gallery at 3867 4th Avenue, San Diego, CA. Patric has been a mentor to me for several years. He is a great teacher and offers astute guidance both on the business and the artistic sides. He has created a great art community in the 16 studio artists in the gallery. This community is very inspirational and creates a fabulous environment to grow and experiment in your medium. I also am very grateful to my glass teacher Michael Millsap of Blue Dolphin Art Glass. Through the fused glass classes Michael offers, he brings glass artists together to share and learn from one another. He has a great depth of knowledge about glass techniques and a patient teaching style that encourages experimentation and pushing boundaries. I will forever be in debt to Bonnie Dull and her glass classes. She is so knowledgeable about glass and has a great way of giving you the courage to go for the unusual and different in your work.
Personal Photo – Patric Stillman Glass images – Leah Sarah Bassett