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Check out my lecture on Symbolism: Anagrams and Visual Puzzles where I discussed artistic concepts using symbolism, anagrams and visual puzzles in my mixed-media, message-driven paintings!

Lecture Description: In the artist’s non-linear, pluralistic approach to storytelling, pictorial elements transcend their graphic posture to undertake multiple roles in the recitation of a tale. Unlike a monolithic presentation of a slice-of life scene, a concept-based, message-driven work presents fragments or hints to a story rather than a literal regurgitation. Sights, sounds, aromatic references and tactile sensations abound, stimulating curiosity and thoughtful observation over time. A rhythmic synthesis of thought-provoking imagery, symbolic iconography and hidden anagrams and visual puzzles creates a breeding ground for the mind. Taken out of their ordinary chronological order, elements are recomposed with an entirely new choreography: one that is much more poetic and symbolic in nature. By challenging the intellect, evoking the senses and igniting the imagination, the viewer is invited to play a cognitive role in the overall messaging, looking deeper into the work to discover the mysteries that lie beneath the surface.

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I had a wonderful conversation about art, the creative process and everything in between with artist and author Addie Hirschten on the Alchemy of Art Podcast! Listen to our conversation where I speak about living a creative life, the artistic process of combining imagination with realism, using symbolism in a provocative way and so much more!

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Updated: Sep 18, 2020

The interview was originally done in 2009 as research for an artist profile entitled Content-Driven Approach featured in my book Art Revolution: Alternative Approaches for Fine Artists and Illustrators originally published by North Light Books, an imprint of F+W Media Inc. For purchasing a recent copy of Art Revolution, contact Penguin Random House

“Over the years, I've had the privilege to speak with Marshall Arisman not only about his creative process and approach but also about the industry at large. His work, words and insights are an inspiration to us all.”

What has always impressed me the most about Marshall is his ability to work from a place that is genuine and authentic, inspiring many to follow that same path. Throughout the interview, entrepreneurialism and authorship abound: an approach that has allowed Arisman to create a multifaced career as a painter, illustrator, author and teacher. He also discusses storytelling, playing music, making videos as well as chairing a department, teaching and his approach to working with students in the MFA illustration program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Most importantly, Arisman talks about his subjects, work in series and his unique process and approach and how it has evolved over the years. “Follow the work”, says Arisman. In three simple words, he reminds us all of the importance of letting our work guide us to where it needs to go.

The audio interview and the content are copyright of Lisa L. Cyr Cyr Studio LLC all rights reserved. For permissions contact

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© 2020 Lisa L. Cyr, Cyr Studio LLC, all rights reserved. Figure of the Imagination is a trademark of Cyr Studio LLC

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