About Vern Fannin
Vern Fannin works with Wendy Hollender, renowned botanical illustrator, author, and instructor. Vern began her work with Wendy as a graphics consultant in 2015 and fell in love with botanical illustration and Wendy's technique. This prompted years of study and practice. Vern is now an administrator and assistant instructor at Draw Botanical, and the two have launched successful online botanical drawing classes and hosted popular drawing workshops in New York and Hawai'i.
Veronica Fannin announces the release of a children’s book that illustrates the alphabet in a creative and humorous way. “A is for Asparagoose” features a page devoted to each letter, with vibrant illustrations of plant/animal portmanteaus, like “tomatoad” and “zebroccoli.”
The book showcases Veronica’s love for letters, plants, animals, and giggles. Wordplay and humor are nothing new for the artist and letterer. “‘Dr. Seuss’s ABC’ was the first book I memorized as a child, and this book is a tribute to the wordplay master,” she said. “But it has a deeper, nerdy element in the footnotes. I think this book creates a fun communication dynamic between readers. You can read it like a guessing game in the middle of the day, or like a non-fiction snoozer at bedtime.”
Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers learning their first letters, the text is short, the letters are front and center, and the illustrations are captivating. Easily adaptable for older children, the footnotes contain fun facts about the creatures. The result is often the discovery of plants or animals they’ve never encountered before. “The illustrations are fun, the design is perfect, and the palette is gorgeous,” says Lee Wade of Schwartz & Wade Books.
“I wrote ‘A is for Asparagoose’ for a few reasons: First, I am very goal-driven, and an alphabet book presents a measurable challenge (exactly 26 illustrations). Second, I love typography, so this seems like a proper homage. And, most of all, I want my friends to laugh and to ask me what a durian is,” says Fannin, who believes the book can inspire folks to learn more about plants and the natural world. She hopes that, through the magic of the book, the reader will learn to combine words in new and playful ways, and of course, to eat more fruits and vegetables. Veronica Fannin successfully raised funds to print 1,000 first-edition copies of “A is for Asparagoose” on Kickstarter.
Written by David Bank
Hudson Valley, NY
Vern Fannin surrounds herself with musicians. She lives in one of the oldest mountain ranges in the country, the Hudson Valley, and has, literally made her mark on this musical community. Rooted in the mountains and founded by the likes of the Band some four decades prior, the artwork of Vern Fannin embodies the depth and the earth of the land on which she has chosen to produce it.
Unlike many that fall under the Rumpelstiltskin variety of craft makers, Vern is not hung up on Puritan values with regards to her process. Rather, she has embraced modern media and all its gadgetry to accomplish her vision. Well known for branding the Hoot Festival, the Woodstock Music Shop, and local rockers the Mike + Ruthy Band, Lindsey Webster, and The Dub Mob, now Vern is crossing into more exploratory territory. She has joined forces with renowned botanical illustrator Wendy Hollender in developing an interactive educational platform. Instrumental in the growth of each diverse project- artistically, spiritually and financially- Vern is now expanding her repertoire to a market outside of the Hudson Valley. (Hello, Italy.)
In the modern world, branding is everything. The record labels that used to exist used to have large budgets for album artwork. Before the Beatles were the Beatles a blonde German dressed them all in leather. There used to be somebody named Jim who was called the Art director. He smoked a lot and drove a Jaguar. He drove this car and smoked his imported smokes because Jim had a concept. Now Jim works at Stole Foods selling organic cheese.
The point is, is that now more than ever one still needs to present himself and herself in an authentic way. This leads to the right opportunities that will limit future pitfalls. Stay focused on one defined vision and discover an enthusiastic audience for your work.
The sensitivity inherent in Fannin's sense of design and space translates to this process, of taking a client's vision and manifesting it into real life through elements as simple as pencil and paper, as integrated as a music video and as visionary as a marketing strategy for a start up. In whatever medium she chooses, Vern can take an artist, a festival, a concept, a venue, and develop it in a profound way. Catalyzing a conversation with the desired market (think dollars here)- thru logos, illustration, product development, art direction, music videos, children's book illustration, company branding, and website design.
Vern Fannin is trained in lettering and deep into building aesthetic story lines of her own. Her world is rich and colorful and complex and quirky and open to all who are nice. You can find Vern making the signs each year at the Hoot Festival at the Ashokan Center in the Hudson Valley of New York.
If you are interested in working with Vern, please fill out this form.
MORE ABOUT VERN
I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida, surrounded by Spanish moss and live oak trees. I loved to burrow into the shrubs and pretend I was in a faerie grotto. I spent a lot of quiet time alone, drawing. I thought one day I would draw for an animated feature film or make my living painting wall murals. My grandfather is an artist, and as a child, I loved observing him while he worked. What amazed me the most about his art was the way he would use unexpected colors (hot pink!) in his beautiful Florida landscapes. I avoided art training in school because I didn't think that I was very good at art, and I bought into the idea that it had to be secondary, or just a hobby. But finally in college, I went for it and had a wonderful art professor who encouraged me to find my voice.
In experiments with materials and themes, I discovered that the art I enjoy making the most incorporates well-developed concepts, text, narrative, illustrative imagery, and intrigue. I like to incorporate music and art, whether it is the soundtrack during a gallery show, a video set to music, or a poster for a musician friend. I believe that music, as aural art, is inextricably linked to visual art, and the two complement each other very well. When I am able to work with a musician or include music in my art in some way, I feel extra excited and complete.
I am inspired by medieval manuscripts, Arthurian and Faerie Tales, and intricate patterns. I think I was a scribe in a past life, because I could be completely content transcribing text all alone in a room for much longer than your average Joe-monk. I remember being a little jealous of kids in grade school who misbehaved and were assigned the task of copying dictionary pages. To me, that was not punishment. I loved handwriting and spelling. In college, I took Ancient Greek and would have failed, had it not been for my well-formed letters-- I couldn't speak it, but I loved to write it!
I am a lover of games: strategy games, card games, video games. Table games can bring people together to play in a way that is rare in our modern society. When I find a fellow Catan lover, I know that we share something special in common. Role-playing and rouguelike video games can weave complex narratives that feel like walking around in my own dreams; they present puzzles, plots, and predicaments that keep me on my toes.
I also get inspiration from street art, graffiti, sci-fi, and fantasy. I enjoy the large scale incorporation of text and the full-scale public impact of street art. And I love the otherworldly perspective of imaginative fiction--from Star Trek to anime to Lord of the Rings; the worlds and environments that writers and filmmakers envision and are able to share with us are astonishing.
I hope that my work inspires you to continue hand-writing, and encourages you to approach the everyday with wonder. The everyday is all we've got, after all. We might as well embrace it, and use our creativity to push us forward as a people.
This is a love letter.
~ I would like to submerge you in a surreal environment; distract you from the monotony of life and suspend your disbelief, so you tap into your imagination. I believe we thrive as human beings when we are able to think creatively and problem-solve in new ways. There is almost always a "puzzle" of sorts in my art. I value the process of problem solving, and I think it is important for us to get some practice, especially in unexpected places. ~
C H M M Y R F N E R S H A ! :)
Here is what I am up to on Instagram: