When I was a kid, turning nine probably, I told my mom I wanted to have a Lisa Frank birthday party.
My mom said, who is Lisa Frank?
I said, she’s an artist.
My mom said, Does she do parties?
She so wanted to help and give me what I was asking for, but . . . she didn’t get it.
I barely thought of Lisa Frank as an actual person, I thought of her as the world that the vibrantly colored characters took me to. I especially liked the unicorn. The bubbly artwork and neon colors painted a magical place that I wanted to be a part of.
Nostalgia is one way that I soothe myself when I am sad or stressed. So, I periodically look up things I liked when I was a kid. I looked up Lisa Frank, the person, and I found some interesting things.
One reason I loved Lisa Frank was that she is a professional artist, and I wanted to be an artist when I was a kid. She studied art in college in the 1970s then started her own company creating merchandise for kids with her artwork.
I cannot find a photo of Lisa Frank herself. It seems that this is intentional, she wants to maintain privacy. In fact, she did a collaboration with Urban Outfitters, and in an interview with them, she requested to have her face obscured.
I can no longer find the reference, but years ago, I read that they method she uses to get the very vibrant, psychedelic colors is proprietary.
I still admire Lisa Frank, but now mainly for her entrepreneurship. She found a way to make her art her career. The right trend, the right marketing, the right time, something made her successful. And I love that her insistence on privacy is a way she lives on her own terms.