Laura Fisk Thumbnail

Laura Fisk

“I make silly and strange paper and household goods,” declares Laura Fisk, the brains behind Fisk and Fern in Brooklyn, N.Y. Take one look and you’ll agree: a pig in a pink tutu hums on a card that hopes you “Have an Oink-rageous Day!” And “Pancake Monsters” and “Bacon Monsters” rule over brightly colored aprons.

Laura Fisk of Fisk and Fern offers “Have an oinkrageous day!” and “You Octo-pie my thoughts!” cards (top). Fisk’s blue flowers napkins set off any table (above).

When Fisk was a child, she aspired to be a cartoonist and adapt her drawings to cards. Although art school wasn’t in her future, a job at a stamp shop in Westport, Conn., helped her adapt her illustration skills to handcarved stamps. “It basically sealed my fate for my love of print making,” she says. After graduating college, Fisk worked in the advertising industry, slowly taking classes in illustration and print making, launching her business in 2006.

“A couple of years ago I made the big leap and left my job to focus on the business full time,” Fisk explains. Only then did she start homing in on a complete product line, growing a world of “silly creatures” that now appear on greeting cards, note cards, napkins and aprons.

Suit up your favorite “Bacon Monster” with a Fisk and Fern apron.

Design ideas simply strike Fisk. And since she always carries a sketchbook, she’s prepared. “The idea just comes alive in my head and I have to make it,” she says. “I’ll stop in the middle of the street if I have to.”

No matter how eccentric the character, Fisk always uses reference photos when she starts to draw. “There’s so many amazing details you might not catch if you don’t look at the source,” she explains. It also reveals why her botanical designs are so appealing—no matter how outlandish the colors.

Fisk is careful to source recycled paper and cotton for her products, and uses water-based inks that are non-toxic on all of her hand-pulled prints. The appeal of her designs and color pairings have proved irresistible: “My customers are definitely not an age group,” she says. “I want to make people happy. I hope my work brightens someone’s home or just delivers a moment when they really need a bit of joy.”

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Claire Patterson Blome

About the Author

Claire Patterson Blome is the associate editor of NICHE and AmericanStyle magazines. She is also the founder of the NICHE Blog, which launched September 2010 to bridge the gap between print issues and offer more frequent editorial to our audience of retailers and gallery owners. When she’s not editing and writing, Claire can be found at her home sewing machine, in the kitchen prepping farmers’ market vegetables or on her bike exploring new and familiar neighborhoods in Baltimore City with her husband Justin.

View more posts by Claire Patterson Blome

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