Projects

"...an involving, surprising, gracefully designed, meticulously documented, and picture-rich first biography," writes Donna Seaman in a starred review in Booklist (6/2008), "Kolin is fascinating and evocative, and Thaler portrays her with precision and sensitivity." For Artopia, John Perreault writes, "Look Up is a window to an art world that no longer exists....I would have loved to have invented both the subject...and the author of record. Because the writing style is lean, the text could pass for latter-day modernism." Design: Christian Marc Schmidt

Donna Seaman reviewed Lisa Thaler's book Look Up: The Life and Art of Sacha Kolin (Midmarch Arts, 2008) in the Chicago Tribune (8/16/2008). Thaler "conducted several hundred interviews" and is "eloquent and incisive as she interprets Kolin's unusual personality and the provocative polarities embedded in her work." 

Jacqueline Saper signed a book deal with University of Nebraska Press's Potomac Books for her memoir From Miniskirts to Hijab: A Girl in Pre- and Post-revolutionary Iran (forthcoming spring 2019). In the acknowledgments, Jacqueline writes, "I thank my editor Lisa Thaler, who read my manuscript with remarkable diligence and enriched it with her skill and keen insights." Lisa also helped draft the submission packet to publishers, including a 2,500-word synopsis of the book.

You Heal You by Jane G. Doyle won first place (healing category) in the First Annual Body Mind Spirit Book Awards (3/2017). Jane and 17 storytellers share their heartfelt journeys of recovery from emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges using conventional and alternative methods. Each kick-started healing through self-empowerment. In the acknowledgments, Jane writes, "I am blessed to have Lisa Thaler as my editor. Her patience, hard work, attention to detail, and high level of professionalism made my newest adventure a deeper and more rewarding experience. You are amazing, Lisa. Thank goodness I followed my angel track that led me to her." Design: Jeff Hall

Lisa Thaler edited the wall text for the Bauhaus futures course display at the IIT Institute of Design's End of Year Show "Visible Invisible" (5/2017). Students created future product concepts inspired by the tenets of the Bauhaus. Shown (from top) are a portable lamp, a team chair, and a stand for kombucha. Design: Martin Thaler

During his confirmation hearing in 2013, United States Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman cited his and his wife Vicki's family ties to the country (video 1:57–2:42). Bruce and Vicki had contacted Lisa Thaler to expand her prior research on their ancestors who had immigrated to Canada in 1910 and 1911. Lisa's monumental work, commissioned by the Heyman-Simons family, is Enduring Legacies (1998, 536 pp., 438 illus., 40 maps). The book is lauded for having set a new standard in genealogy, and was included in the exhibition "Jewish Roots in Chicago" (Spertus Institute, 2000). For another local family, Lisa researched and wrote the narrative genealogies A Shared Life (2015) and A Promise Kept (2013).

Yaniv Ben-David, founder of Basic-Naturals plant-based skincare line, believes "Mother Nature knows best." In 2017, Lisa Thaler named the new balm Hand Shake, and has edited select website essays and social media items and all product labels. (Lisa shyly takes a bit of credit, too, for having inspired Clean Face - Purifying Cleanser.) About their collaboration, Yaniv says: "Lisa is prompt and precise and very detail-oriented....She has helped us stay on track and develop better products....Without her help and commitment, the creation of the packaging would've been a painful project." Design: Sophia Georgopoulou

In April 2018, Fotoula Adrimi will release The Golden Book of Wisdom: Ancient Spirituality and Shamanism for Modern Times, a roadmap to spiritual awakening—with a foreword by Sandra Ingerman. In the acknowledgments, Fotoula writes, "My editor Lisa Thaler did an amazing job. Thank you, Lisa, for your dedication, professionalism, and support."

Christian Marc Schmidt won a Print regional design award (for New York City, in 2009), for his cover design of Lisa Thaler's biography Look Up: The Life and Art of Sacha Kolin (Midmarch Arts Press, 2008). Christian is the founder and principal of Schema, an interaction design firm in Seattle.

After witnessing, over 25 years, how the editorial process advances the writer's self-understanding and growth, Lisa Thaler developed a program to assist individuals with personal transformation through writing—regardless of their intention to publish. The effort is tailored to the writer's goals using a range of verbal and visual tools. For example, the tableau shown is a concept cover for a grief memoir. A meditation on impermanence, each heirloom represents one of the Four Noble Truths. The hammered tray symbolizes universal suffering. The frail luxury of the covered Wedgwood dish depicts attachment as the cause of suffering, and the containment/container itself—of greed. The jeweler's loupe suggests the path from suffering: to see things as they are. The bell is the call to the eightfold path. (3/2016)

   

In addition to her archival references and articles on research methods and sources, Lisa Thaler has published book and exhibition reviews on European history, immigration, and genealogy. Selected titles include There Once Was a World by Yaffa Eliach; The Pied Piper of the South Shore: Toys and Tragedy in Chicago by Caryn Lazar Amster; Hidden Sources: Family History in Unlikely Places by Laura Szucs Pfeiffer; Finding Your Chicago Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide to Family History in the City and Cook County by Grace DuMelle; and "Engaging with the Present: The Contribution of the American Jewish Artists Club to Modern Art in Chicago, 1928–2004."

Lisa Thaler continues to collect rejections from the New Yorker for her cartoons. During The-Life-Changing-Magic-of-Tidying-Up craze, in 2015, Lisa submitted her first cartoon. A woman sits in the lotus position in an empty closet. The top of the woman's head is turning to mist. The caption reads: "I don't want to declutter. I want to dematerialize." Undeterred, Lisa has persevered (and practices drawing). In 2017, Lisa was inspired by a local news story of a woman en route to the hospital, who gave birth to twins on the L platform. Lisa drew the subway station with its speaker ablare: "Delays! A woman gave birth to twins this morning on the Chambers Street platform. She plans to name the babies 'Choo' and 'Choo.'"

Alongside developmental editing, Lisa Thaler helps all clients articulate their marketing message. In 2018, with mindfulness maven Amanda Steinken, Lisa refined the project mission as "Be Whole | Live Fully." For Jane G. Doyle's series You Heal You, in 2016, Lisa wrote the slogan: "Take the stairs with Jane." (Jane had described her healing journey as a "stairway to joy.") In 2012, Lisa created the You Heal You tagline: "Inspire / Redirect / Heal," which became the focus for successive books in the series.

Lisa Thaler edited Illumine magazine's launch issues (fall 2013 and winter 2014). Among the articles Lisa edited are Andrew Gurvey's "Music in Yoga Class: A Turn-Off or a Turn-On;" Adam Grossi's "The DNA of Discipline: How Yoga Redefined My Work Ethic," and Ruth Diab Lederer's "Site Specific and Well Proportioned" on the Vaastu Shastra building code.

Among the articles Lisa Thaler edited for Illumine magazine's winter 2014 issue are "Jyotish Astrology Is Stellar!" by Souvik Dutta; "Jewelry with a Purpose" by Kimberlee Ovnik; and "Memorial Tattoos: Wearing and Sharing Stories of Grief" by Nancy Perlson, PhD, founder of behind-the-ink.

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