The Intersection of Art and Law with Sally Higgins – Episode 8

June 2, 2021 by

The intersection between art and law with Sally Higgins, lawyer and artist for our podcast cover art background, “Brave Enough.”

In this episode of Trying 2 Win Sara Lincoln and Tricia Derr talk with Sally Higgins, a lawyer turned artist turned painter, who created the podcast’s cover art background, “Brave Enough.”

“Creative” is not a word often associated with lawyers or the legal system. In society, many view lawyers (and those in other legal positions) as people driven by logic, precision and persuasion. While they are not wrong, there is much more to it. In addition to delivering perfectly worded closing arguments to the courtroom, successful lawyers possess creative skills that are crucial to the job.

With every case, comes the hard facts; but the case you get is rarely the case you try.  Lawyers are challenged with considering the personalities, pressures and situations of everyone involved in the case: the judge, jurors, witnesses, opposing trial lawyer(s), and of course, the client. Based on the people involved in the case, a lawyer will have to shape and reshape the argument to prove the point in a way that’s relevant to the audience.

This type of problem-solving creativity is what makes a successful lawyer, and to keep these skills sharp, it is essential to engage in a creative outlet. Whether that takes shape as exercise, shopping or art, Sally Higgin’s advice is to choose something that allows you to expand your perspective, your communication styles and most of all, keep the “youness” about you.

Sally’s journey into painting

For Sally, painting has become her outlet. While she has always flexed her creative muscle in one way or another, she landed on painting about 10 years ago. When a trial unexpectedly settled, she was left with three weeks open in her schedule. Instead of diving back into work, Sally thought she would take this time to do something new and unexpected. She landed on a painting class at the McColl Center, where she fell in love with painting on her first try: “I knew I didn’t know what I was doing, so I was so free to just play and try something new. Not too long after, I thought, ‘If I’m going to keep doing this, I don’t want to be terrible at it.’”

How our cover art was born

In the thick of 2020, Sally began working on a painting, which has become our podcast’s cover art, “Brave Enough.” Sally’s process when painting is a simple one: Start with whatever strikes her that day. Much like the year itself, as the painting progressed, its direction became brighter and more hopeful. During the presidential inauguration, Sally was overwhelmed by Amanda Gorman’s poem — so much so that Gorman’s closing line, “Brave enough to see it, brave enough to be it,” became the inspiration for the painting’s title and final direction. Through light, yellows and abstract path stones, Sally felt the piece was finally complete.

When asked “Are you brave enough?” Sally’s answer is one we can all learn from: “It depends on the day. I want to be — we all do — but there are still insecurities that break through, and in the end, those make us better, too.”

Sally Higgins Fine Art

Interested in seeing more from Sally? Check out her portfolio here and her Instagram account here.

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Sara Lincoln and Tricia Derr are the co-founders of Lincoln Derr and serve at the helm of the firm leading all practice groups through active counsel, litigation, and advising. They are seasoned litigators specializing in innovative multi-media communication, practical business-minded advice, and speaking to audiences in a “real”, non-technical way. 

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