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Interview with Isa L. Levy: Actress, Musician, Artist & Author

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

Hi Isa. Thank you for being part of this feature. For our readers, Isa and I met through the Modern Elder, Dieter Langenecker’s online evening philosophical gatherings based in Vienna.

1. What is your earliest memory as a creator?

I learned making faces to laughing adults around me was a good way of getting attention and creating entertainment.

2. What inspires your creativity? Describe your process.

With poetry I sit alone with my feelings. A phrase might come to me that I craft into a shape that feels whole and connected.

The unconscious plays a huge part in my creative expression. Fifty years ago I was touring as an actress with a Riverboat Theatre Company. One evening with the cast I was given the challenge to write a song with words like: aluminum, nuclear, asbestos, polystyrene. These words provided a negative inspiration. This song “Once Upon A Child” represented a climate science topic ahead of its time.

I used my own life experience and absurdity to write my one-woman shows; comedy was built upon that.

As a visual artist in my forties with no training, I created 450 paintings. Meeting a French Italian woman then was a great inspiration; in her garden she worked with her chalk pastels reflecting her feelings. She valued my creativity. In her company I received her praise unlike my father’s disdain. Learning and copying styles like Matisse and Picasso, I persistently painted, later exploring most mediums. It was liberating to find my artist voice. Later came the Slade School of Fine Art in London where I received acclaim for defining my style.

3. How did the publishing of your book, Conversations with a Blank Canvas bring about your awareness as an impactful artist, author, actress, and musician?

Getting my Masters degree at aged sixty was a significant turning point. I stopped wearing my internal feelings of failure from my lacking sense of belonging starting in primary school. That painful badge carried on throughout my life. Negative messages are held within our own ‘blank canvases’ about who we truly are – especially, as reflected in creative expression. The process of writing Conversations with a Blank Canvas gave me integration in discovering my own authentic self. While I was writing my memoir, I had become an Art Psychotherapist both further defining myself and inspiring others within their own growth and evolution.

Find Isa's paintings:

Follow Isa on Instagram: @isalevyaol.com2

—Written by Amanda L. Mottorn, 2022 ©, author of Finding Moksha: One Woman’s Path in Uncertain Times and Artist at Modern Moksha Designs & Publishing.

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