well hello there!
I'm Laura Fisk, and I'm an illustrator (obviously!)
Through my work I’m always trying to convey joy and humor with the undertone of real care and love. Even if that character is a dancing apple, they have an epic story to tell! If I could illustrate/write a book as hilarious, touching, and full of life as “The Monster at the End of this Book” that would pretty much be everything. My background and true art love is in printmaking, especially screenprinting.
I'm thrilled to have my first book I illustrated out with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, "Sleeping bags to S'Mores: Camping Basics," a fun family camping how-to book.
My work has been featured in Buzzfeed and Parade Magazine amongst other wonderful places, and am so happy to be represented by Rachel Orr at the Prospect Agency. I live in Austin, TX with my husband, young son, and our dear pug-mix, Figgy.
professional recognition & involvement
Illustrator Coordinator - SCBWI Austin Region, 2021 - current
Finalist - 2023 Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award
Presenter - Austin SCBWI 2023 Marketing Workshop, Understanding the world of printed materials
Honor Winner - 2020 Austin SCBWI Conference Portfolio Showcase
A little more about me
As a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a "cartoonist" and make greeting cards. Pretty specific, huh? And both of those did happen in their own way! As a kid, I drew and wrote so many stories about characters, not even fully realizing that it could be a job I could really do. I don't remember a time I didn't draw.
...And what about now?
I’m most interested in telling illustrated stories and creating worlds for characters to live in. That could be a picture book, an illustrated classic like Alice in Wonderland, or a grown up book with all sorts of illustrations. It also means something like a board or card game. There’s so many stories to tell in so many forms, and it’s really cool to be able to solve the visual and creative "puzzle" of what the work should be.
What are some of your other interests?
I've loved reading since I was a kid and am happier when a book is nearby, and love collectin old picture books especially with limited colors. My favorite book I’ve read in recent years is The Starless Sea. Rarely have I met a craft I don't like and have been into quilting lately. And I'm kinda a big nerd and love podcasts, TV, and movies. Being in nature as a family is a big thing for me too.
What are your favorite mediums and tools?
While I mainly create my work in procreate these days, my background and true love is anything printmaking, and found that screenprinting really fits with my work and have been at it for over 15 years. I also love soft dark pencils, acryla gouache, and am forever searching for the perfect pen.
Where did you grow up and how did you end up in Austin?
I grew up in Connecticut, spent a few years in PA, graduating from Penn State, and loved living in New York City for about 10 years. We moved to Austin in around 2011, when my husband moved for work. Austin is great, except it is very hot. For way too much of the year.
I'm currently the Illustrator Coordinator of the Austin chapter of SCBWI and was on the board of ASPCO, screenprinting co-op studio for many years. Both these places have shaped my art, career, and given me such rewarding friendships, and it's pretty cool to shape decisions and give back to them.
What jobs have you had?
My career path to an illustrator has had a few twists and turns. My first job was at a rubber stamp store. It's where I found a home as a maker and was introduced to printmaking by carving way too many rubber stamps. I worked in advertising in "strategic planning", which meant I went to a lot of focus groups and tried to understand what brands mean to people. While at the agency I started getting serious about illustration, taking evening classes and starting my business Fisk and Fern, and just became more and more drawn to creating books.
Who are your creative heroes?
Sandra Boynton, James Marshall, Jim Henson, Sister Corita Kent, Steve Martin, and Leo Lionni - all of these folks I loved so much as a kid and their work still inspires me so much today.