Meet Liss, The Artist Behind This Year’s HBD LA 5K Medal
Since starting the Happy Birthday LA 5K, BlacklistLA sought to knock down the conventional ways associated with hosting a race. Our love for street art meant that the task of creating the finisher’s medal we couldn’t go the standard cookie-cutter route. No medals that resemble metallic postcards of Los Angeles. The challenge is always to create something that won’t live in your junk drawer.
When searching for the artist of this year’s medal, we looked no further than one of our own. Liss has been running with us for some time. She’s trained for marathons with us! Her art caught our attention a while ago, but we’re embarrassed to say it took us long enough to extend the invite to collaborate. The timing could not have been more perfect. Look no further than her playful, straight up HAPPY design of this year’s medallion.
Born and raised in Los Angeles before spending a chunk of her childhood in Mexico before returning to finish high school, Liss shares a unique perspective of getting to see LA from the perspective of a native as well as from the lens of a transplant.
“For me, what makes LA special is the diversity,” she says.
Her art could be defined as playful and in-your-face but that description does not do it justice when considering how nuanced it is. Often featuring big eyes, lines that squirm and squiggle to form letters and…monsters! Yes, monsters.
“I listen to music and there’s lyrics that I like. For some reason, I also love typography. So I’ll draw and write these monsters within these lyrics…all these feelings about love and happiness. That’s how the monster was born.”
She loves art because there are no limits, “When I discovered that I could create anything, no matter how small…out of nothing.”
Her inspiration for this year’s design for was simple, “I think…the key component of that medal was happiness. Happiness, inspiration, and hope. And also, just being silly, honestly.”
“I wanted something that people would be able to see and then smile,” referring to the medal.
The race isn’t even finished yet but we’d say mission accomplished.
Check out Liss’ blog for more of her art. Stay tuned for video interviews coming real soon!