Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Lisa Frank- Hunter
My terrible secret- this is the artist who basically inspired me to draw when I was a kid. I can't even tell you how many stickers, stationary sets, stuffed animals, and all kinds of random crap I owned from this artist. This here is a sticker sheet of Hunter, one of her characters. It's inside a journal that is also a pop-up book, and like all of her products it's marketed for preteen girls. Lisa Frank really marketed her art well to kids- it's extremely vibrant, cartoonish, and she puts an emphasis on making characters, not just always pretty pictures. There's no cartoon show or anything to go along with the merchandise, but kids still got a sense for who these characters were just by a little blurb on the back of the packaging, or like in this image you see many different poses to describe the way the character might move if it were animated, giving it a sense of personality.
Lisa Frank is a pop artist, and she started her company in the late 70's. According to her girlified website, she creates the basic ideas for different designs and characters, at which point a team of illustrators takes over and draws them in marker. Then there's market research (talking to kids), and plenty of tweaking and redrawing, and then it goes to the computer where the computer painting "takes a long long time." So every part of this process is planned and engineered and calculated specifically to be consistent with the brand, and also to be desirable to kids. When I was growing up, it was pretty much mandatory to have several products of hers in your school supplies. Stickers and school supplies are meant to be used, and therefore disposable, and so you'll need to replace your Lisa Frank stationary set with another one after a while. So on those terms I think their illustrations and the whole corporate art factory is extremely successful. The company still seems to be going strong, so these illustrations still seem to be successful, though I don't know if Lisa Frank stuff is as "necessary" to kids as it once was.
Posted by Solange at 2:26 PM