THE SPA IN ME
Interview With Lisa Hamlyn Field, Founder and Director of Lucky Star Art Camp
Lisa Hamlyn Field is one of those "creative types" who can get things done. She loves living life with her family on a ranch in the Texas hill country and has a passion for helping women realize their dreams. You'll never see her pass up good food, lively conversation, a farmer's market, or a trip to a National Park. Her hot husband, five awesome kids, and her desire to learn something new every day keeps her life very interesting, and she wouldn't have it any other way!
Thanks so much for doing this interview. Our readers and listeners would love to get to know you better. Would you share what inspired you to create Lucky Star Art Camp? Were you artsy as a kid?
Sometime in my early to mid-twenties a spark ignited for me. I knew I loved hosting events, and I was starting to realize that I wanted to do something to help women realize their dreams. I had the idea that I'd start doing weekend retreats, but I didn't really know yet where, or what the focus would be. Years went by... I found a job, got married, and had kids... yet that stir inside never quite went away. Then one night I discovered a women's art retreat and I immediately registered and flew across the country to attend. This was it for me. I knew from that moment on that grown up CAMP for women was the thing, and ART would be the "focus" I'd been searching for. The funny thing is, I never really considered myself artsy, and certainly not an artist. I loved making things. As a kid I was always making mud pies, shrinky dinks, paper dolls, plastic "needle" point wall hangings, and woven potholders. And as I got older, I was always handy when it came to creating something from nothing. But what I liked about art as a focus for my grown-up lady camp (besides color, texture, and all the shiny things!) was the amazing community that comes with it. Creative people are my people. Makers are my people. And it does not matter to me what kinds of things the maker makes. It's all ART to me! Lucky Star is a celebration of creatives, makers, and all of the people like me who see creativity as a lifeline— a way to heal, a way to thrive, and a way to connect with others.
What type of art activities do you offer at Lucky Star Art Camp?
I offer workshops in all kinds of fun things like jewelry making, abstract painting, sewing, hand screen printing, shibori dyeing, drawing, canning and preserving, quilting, embroidery, crochet, container gardening, how to play the guitar, leather crafting, apothecary, tamale making, songwriting, photography, weaving, how to raise chickens, goats and alpacas, and even how to make dryer balls with alpaca wool. For REAL!! There is something for everyone here.
Pre-COVID, how many retreats did you offer each year? When will you offer your next retreat(s)?
I normally host at least two retreats each year and sometimes more. A few years back I started having pop-up events that ranged from one evening of a craft, some great food, and live music at one of my amazing camper's homes, to entire weekends of the same at various locations in Texas and beyond. Of course, COVID put a damper on all of that, but we all stayed in touch online, and even did a fun Virtual Campfire Sing-a-long during the week we would have had camp. Austin singer and songwriter, Mandy Rowden, is a Lucky Star staple. She's a legit Americana rock star and has been with me from the start. She's such a great sport about trying new things and it was very cool to see the familiar faces of campers from near and far in the glow of candles and campfires on Zoom in such a challenging time. Our Lucky Star community, or "Galaxy" as we call it, is a special bunch!
My first post-COVID event happened on a weekend in Round Top, Texas, on June 18th - 20th. I rented out the Junk Gypsy's gorgeous Wander Inn for a small gathering of about 30 women. We mixed, mingled, and ate queso the first night, all while wearing vintage caftans, because Jennifer Perkins, the craft queen herself, hosted one of her infamous "Caftans and Queso" parties to kick things off. Then on Saturday we had creative workshops all day— Tiffany Schreiner started us off with "Root Down to Rise Up," a gentle yoga stretch and reflection exercise, then I taught an "Alcohol Ink Coasters" class, Emily Jacks taught "Fresh Floral Crowns," a floral design class, Jennifer Perkins taught "Junk Journals," a simple and junky twist on crafting a journal, Kathianne Williams taught a mini version of her "Zen Embroidery" class, and Kate O'Brien led us in "Throwin' Hawks," because she's a trained tomahawk thrower and it's dang fun! We ended the day with dinner under the live oaks and music around the campfire. The perfect ending to the perfect day!
How would you describe the venue(s) where you host the retreats and what makes it(them) special?
No matter where we gather, the thing that is the most important to me is that there is a feeling of extreme WELCOME that I want every single person to feel when they set foot into one of my events. So... it could be a longtime camper's living room, or the Cypress tree lined banks of the Guadalupe River, or the cow pastures of Gypsyville... you can rest assured that the place has that special quality and the energy of the women who come always make the place even better!
Can you share any special stories about what the retreat has meant to the women who attend?
I've had several women say they were looking for something in their lives, they just didn't know what it was until they found Lucky Star. I think so many women do so much for others in their lives, but rarely take time for themselves. Lucky Star is a time where you can leave it all behind... the job, the kids, the cooking, the cleaning, all the STUFF... and just show up for YOU. We take care of your meals (and they're scrumptious!) and we give you a nice, safe, BEAUTIFUL place to rest, be your authentic self, connect with other women, and CREATE to your heart's desire. Especially after a year like 2020, we need this kind of connection!
What does Lucky Star Art Camp mean to you? How has it enhanced your life?
Lucky Star has been the best surprise I could ever have asked for! It isn't just a business to me, it's my passion... my life's work. I have a "real" job that I love, but THIS feeds my soul in a way I never expected. The women who enter the gates of camp each year hold such a special place in my heart. We all live different lives, in different places, and have different life histories and trajectories, but for the brief moment of time that we get to spend together, there is MAGIC that happens. All our differences fall away when we're together in almost a collective SIGH on the first night of camp. The walls come down, the expectations go by the wayside and pure JOY swirls into the room, wrapping us in her arms and she stays with us until, reluctantly, we say our goodbyes and drive out of the iron gates back into the real world. It almost makes you wonder if it was just a dream. Well... It was. It was my dream. And I'm doing it. And I hope I get to keep doing it for many years to come!
You can learn more about Lucky Star Art Camp by going to its website, Instagram page, or joining the Lucky Star Galaxy Facebook Group.
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