Alisa Burke is a freelance painter and mixed media artist who studied fine art at Portland State University. With a background in painting and printmaking, a desire to explore and push materials, Alisa is always looking for new ways to break the rules and redefine art.  She draws inspiration from street art, graffiti, art history and fashion and it is not uncommon to find her digging through the trash in hopes of recycling something unique to use in her artwork.

Alisa had a desire to be an artist since she was a very young girl. As the child of fine artists who worked from home, she grew up in an environment surrounded by energetic creativity.  Against this artistic backdrop, Alisa became accustomed to the notion that running a creative business from ones household was a natural way of life; and an attainable one as well. 

Growing up, she developed her skills with numerous drawing classes and enjoyed nightly creative sprees at the kitchen table.  As an adolescent, Alisa participated in various art shows, contests and sold her work at craft fairs. It wasn't until she graduated from high school that the pathway to becoming a full-time artist became a reality. While Alisa had always loved the creative process and identified herself as an artist, she fell in love with the notion in college. The exposure to Art History and the thrilling exchange of ideas sold her on the charms of dedicating herself to the creative life. From that point on, there was no going back on her dream of pursuing a career in the arts. 

Like most, she worked many day jobs while at the same time showing her art, taking on freelance jobs, and building up her portfolio.  Alisa landed a marketing position at the University of San Diego that allowed her to utilize her creative skills.  However, the position did not satisfy her craving to make art on her own terms.  After this realization, Alisa set out to quit her job and pursue her dream full-time.  After a long five-year process of inching forward and building her creative business from the ground up, she finally came to the point of supporting herself with her artwork.  After long hours at her day job, plenty of rejection, tears and frustration, Alisa was finally able to make her dream a reality.  Through persistence and hard work, she was able to achieve her long term goal of creative and financial independence.  Alisa quit her job in 2009 and never looked back.

When Alisa and her husband, Andy, decided to start a family, they knew that they had to act on their long term goal of leaving Southern California for the rugged fringes of the Oregon Coast.  A native of the Pacific Northwest, Alisa longed for the simplicity, beauty, and inspiration of her former hometown.  A desire to simplify their lifestyle and focus on raising their daughter spurred this plan into action; and in 2012 they planned, saved, and worked hard to build Alisa’s business.  After careful planning, Andy quit his job as a structural engineer to become a stay at home dad.  Shortly after, they packed up their belongings and strapped 1-year-old Lucy into the car seat and embarked upon a journey to a small town on the Oregon Coast where they now reside. 

Alisa’s paintings have been exhibited in a variety of galleries and her handmade, painted accessories are carried in a number of boutiques across the country. Her artwork has been featured in numerous publications and media outlets such as Better Homes & Gardens, The Huffington Post, Buzz Feed, TLC, HGTV, Bon Appetit, Apartment Therapy, Reader’s Digest, Craft, Brit Picks, Disney and more.  In addition to creating art, Alisa currently teaches a variety of workshops nationwide and has worked as a Bernina Artisan. Alisa appeared as a guest artist on the DIY Network show Craft Lab and Quilting Arts TV on PBS. Her first book, Canvas Remix, was released in the spring of 2008 followed by her second book, Sew Wild, released in August 2011.  Alisa latest endeavor is the newly launched “Heart to Art Remix” fashion accessory line with Demdaco.


  1. Your story is inspiring! I work in marketing now, have a little girl named Lucy and my maiden name is Burke. haha! I hope to leave my marketing job so I can create full time! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Greetings!

    Just want to tell you how much finding your blog means tome. A homeschooling mother of two and frustrated artist. My husband and i imagined ourselves living the way you are with your fam BUT we did not stay true to that vision. 17 years later, kids now 10 & 13, you have given us knew inspiration and the push to still create as a family. Thanks so much and will keep you posted on our new adventures. Ray Wright in Washington, DC

  3. Do you have a "sketch into Fall"?

  4. You are an amazing inspiration to me!

  5. Wonderful :) I'd love to observe your work. I found it very optimistic and creative. Greetings from Poland!

  6. Hi Alisa
    I've made two of your storage bags and both are flops, urgh. Any chance you could email me the measurements of your bags? Height/width of canvas and the measurements of the side triangle stitched area too?? Would be really helpful! Not sure what I'm doing wrong! Scottandshirley@vodafone.co.nz thanks heaps -Shirley

  7. Hi!
    I checked your blog for weeks to see who won your stamp giveaway. Then, Christmas, etc. Who won? Thx!

  8. ¡I would like to be like you!. I was an artists (many years ago) but now only work like teacher. One creative an good art teacher, i love this job but I think that i want to do a radical change. may be I am lazy and I feel fear. Your blog, your photograph and you smile I feel happy. Thank you for all.



Related Posts with Thumbnails