Welcome

This website strives to be accurate and complete. It represents a large part of the work I have completed since 1990. Although it is rather vast in scope, there are many pieces in each body of work that are not included. On occasion I accept commissions for private and public collections. Please send me a note if you are interested in a commission.




Coaching/Mentorships


Since 2010, I have worked one-on-one with dozens of artists in my Coaching/Mentorship Program, an outgrowth of my many years of mentoring graduate students in local colleges and universities. The program is tailored to the needs of each artist and includes six one-hour meetings or the equivalent to be completed within six months. Mentorships are renewable.

Artists use their coaching/mentorship sessions to:

  • Critique and develop their work and artistic vision
  • Prepare a portfolio for consideration by galleries or graduate school
  • Prepare for an upcoming exhibition
  • Begin the process of exhibiting their work or broaden their exhibition possibilities
  • Learn to build and maintain a sustained studio practice
  • Benefit from consistent, supportive and stimulating feedback

Mentorships take place in my studio in El Sobrante, CA.
Mentoring fee available upon request, contact me for more information.

Cancellation Policy: To best accommodate my art and teaching practice, I set aside a certain number of hours for mentorship meetings every week. Please let me know at least 24 hours in advance if you are unable to attend a scheduled meeting, and we will reschedule for another date. For less than 24 hours advance notice, we can of course reschedule, but the missed meeting will count towards the six hours of mentorship. Thank you for your understanding.

please Note:
Skype Icon For artists who live outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, mentorships are available via Skype.


wheelchair Studio is wheelchair-accessible.


What artists have said about the program:
Lisa has been coaching me for over three years now. When we first started working together, I had recently moved overseas and transitioned from another career. It was an opportunity to see where I could take my art conceptually, technically, and to stretch for new opportunities. With Lisa's support and wealth of experience, my work evolved to places I had not even envisioned. With her guidance, I got my first gallery contract, completed my first solo exhibition with a catalog, and now have a foot in a market that I continue to nurture. Fast-forward to another recent international move, and I am starting over, this time building off of what we started. Every time Lisa and I meet via Skype for a coaching session, I walk away with a fresh way of looking at the work, actionable feedback, and new ideas. These sessions have been immeasurably valuable for the work itself, as well as my growth as a professional in the art world. Lisa provides the grounding and context to do what fear would otherwise keep me from doing. Her experience and viewpoint are immensely helpful in putting things into perspective. Lisa's combination of thoughtful questions, artistic expertise, tough love, and great sense of humor are the right mix to support an artist at any career stage. Kelly O'Brien, Stanton Prior, England. Kelly O'Brien, Frankfurt, Germany | www.turningpointepress.com



Someone once told me that you can't teach people how to make art; the best you can hope to do is teach them to get out of their own way. Lisa has a tremendous talent for helping a person identify and overcome his or her own specific obstacles. I started working with her to develop a studio practice and cohesive body of work and have found her to be an invaluable help in the process. She is insightful, honest, compassionate, and practical. She keeps me honest, and I leave each meeting reenergized and more confident in my ability to take on whatever challenge is next. Spencer Merolla, New York, NY | www.spencermerolla.com



Working with Lisa has completely changed my practice. I am a self-taught artist and I had gone as far as I could go alone. I had many ideas and single pieces and no idea how to bring them out into the world. I felt like a dilettante. Very respectfully over a period of a few sessions, Lisa helped me focus my ideas and find the one that was most important in the moment. This brought focus and discipline to my practice, which has allowed to create a whole body of work that delights and challenges me. Lisa is both demanding and supportive and has pushed me conceptually and technically. I now feel like an artist who knows when to play and when to work and how to mix the two. Working with Lisa has been a truly transformative experience. Christine Meuris, Oakland, CA www.christinemeuris.com



I have just completed six sessions with Lisa Kokin as my mentor. I hired her to help me transition from my primarily teaching practice, to return to a practice of being a studio artist, exhibiting in galleries. It worked miraculously. Lisa is extremely adept as a mentor. When she puts on her mentor hat she fully enters that professional persona. She held me accountable, and gave me assignments to work on for each session. This kept me on track. Working with her increased my confidence. Lisa had practical answers to my questions. When I started to veer off my intended path towards what is easy and familiar, she asked me pointed questions about how that detour supported my goals. She is a brilliant and gentle task master/mistress who gets results in a short time. Daniella Woolf, Santa Cruz, CA | www.daniellawoolf.com



Stumbling onto Lisa Kokin’s six week workshop was the first step into a small group of artists whom I felt akin to in process. Art-making can be a solitary endeavor and coming into the company of a group of artists in whose reflection I saw the words “yes!” was invigorating. In mentoring with Lisa, her clarity, straight-shooting approach, sharp eye and confidence in what we were discussing made me believe I could do the work ahead of me. Mountains that I had been struggling with for years became molehills and were brought to resolution in a months time. I emerged happy and exhausted from the experience. I look forward to continuing mentoring with Lisa in the future as a tool with which to approach creating my work with clear vision,humor and directness. Sue Bradford, Napa, CA | www.suebradford.com



Lisa is a gifted teacher who listens carefully, with true kindness, interest - as well as a sense of humor! I’ve learned so much from her, not the least of which is a belief in myself as an artist. From the germ of an idea, she makes suggestions, asks questions and provides helpful feedback, allowing me to delve deeper into my projects. Lisa’s warmth, encouragement and creative, constructive insights provide an atmosphere for artistic growth. It’s a pleasure to work with her. Carolyn Beahrs, Berkeley, CA



The mentoring program has been really helpful to me on several fronts. First, I use it as a regular check-in to keep my studio practice on course. Knowing that I am going to see her makes me finish pieces that might otherwise linger on. I am eager to have something to show. Second, it is very nourishing to my art to have the undivided attention of such a talented and trained eye. Doing art can be very solitary and it is so refreshing to get this kind of feedback on my work. Thirdly, Lisa is helping me to see and develop the unique character of my work and this is such a gift for any artist. Melinda Tidwell, Santa Fe, NM | www.melindatidwell.com



The opportunity to receive one-on-one mentoring with Lisa Kokin was just what I needed. It helped me hold myself accountable in applying for a MFA and I received immeasurable benefits far outweighing the cost. I got to know myself better though the process and with Lisa's feedback I was able to see my work in a more constructive way. Lisa introduced me to local artists with whom I've developed exciting new art opportunities and also helped me kickstart my teaching career at a local art center. What I love about Lisa Kokin is her honest, straightforward approach. While preparing for a show, I mentioned to Lisa that I thought I might pick up and continue some older work that I had created several years ago. Lisa made a bold comment about my limited time that helped me realize the importance of doing work that I'm compelled to do rather than what I think others want. This mentoring process was invaluable. I'm grateful for the opportunity to get to know Lisa Kokin on a deeper level and look forward to more of her inspiration in her critique group. Leah Virsik, Oakland, CA | www.leahvirsik.com