For our special August issue, it only made sense to reach out to a special illustrator, Lisa Sterle, for the cover. Gaining attention on Tumblr for her quirky, illustrative works, Sterle’s whimsical aesthetic has become synonymous with beauty, culture, and nerdom. So, we thought we would show her some love, and ask her some stupid questions. Enjoy.

Where the hell are you from?

I’m from a kind of boring little suburb outside Dayton, Ohio. Bellbrook. We had llamas across the street from my parent’s house.

What inspires you to create?

The hardest thing in the world for me is to stare at a blank page, because I just can’t conjure ideas out of a void. So, I’d say just art. I love looking at art, comics, watching movies, reading! I pretty much have this giant moodboard/blog that I scroll through whenever I’m feeling blocked and more often than not an idea will jump out at me. The most recent thing that’s inspired me is Leslie Hung’s illustrations; they’re these moody sketches of girls wearing very fashionable clothing.

Judging by all of your illustrations, it is clear you are a huge nerd. If you could live in any fictional universe, where would it be and why?

Ok so I’ve thought about this before and honestly my go-to answer would have been Pokémon, but we’re kind of already living that world now, right?

And a lot of my other favorite fictional universes are terrifying and I’d certainly die, so those are out of the question.

So stay with me…

I’m not a huge fan of this fictional universe but I think I’ve gotta say Animorphs because hell if there aren’t days I’d just rather be a cat and take a 12 hour nap.

You are a sheep and love Japanese monsters. Who is your favorite Pokémon and why?

Flareon. I honestly don’t have a good answer as to why other than that it has been my favorite Pokémon since I was like 8. Sylveon is a close second though. I guess I just like cute things. You didn’t ask, but my least favorite is Electabuzz. He is a doof.

What was your favorite thing about being a new coming freshman in college?

Freedom! My parents were pretty strict when I was in high school, so it was kind of a crazy year for me as far as being able to do whatever I wanted. (I’m laughing thinking about my parents reading this. I was still a good student though, Mom.)

What about your least favorite thing?

Not having a car! I hated walking and riding the bus everywhere, it was exhausting. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been so bad if I had been biking, but I was too scared to bike on the streets at that time.

How has art school jaded you?

I think most colleges do this, but I sort of felt fed this idea that once you get a degree everything will be fine and dandy and you’ll be able to instantly achieve all your dreams, and of course it’s not that easy. I was a bartender for almost a year after I graduated. Art is one of those careers that doesn’t end at a 9 to 5 job, you’ve gotta find time every single day outside of that day job to continue improving your skills and pushing your career and dreams forward. It takes way more self-motivation and dedication than I realized when I was in school.

How does it feel being a Tumblr queen?

I honestly really do love Tumblr, it’s such an amazing way to directly connect with people and they love art there. It’s really inspiring and encouraging when you feel your work is appreciated. <3

To see more of Sterle’s work, check out her tumblr at If you would like to collaborate with 1870 Magazine, email your submissions to

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