Fran Forman

visual artist
Location: Wellfleet and Watertown, Massachusetts.

All images are copyrighted and strictly for educational and viewing purposes.



How did you become an artist/designer?

As a kid, I loved to draw. But it never occurred to me that I could make a living as an artist. Then I discovered the field of graphic design. I was living on a kibbutz and painting murals on bomb shelters. An art teacher from Jerusalem wandered in and told me what graphic designers do. I knew immediately that I would become a designer, as it seemed to afford a convergence of all my interests (art, communication, sociology, psychology). It took a few years to develop a portfolio adequate enough to gain entrance into an MFA program, but I was young and in no rush. As a graduate student, I studied photography and graphic design.

Where are you from originally?

Baltimore, and I still talk Bawlmerese.

Who were your main influences growing up?

My brother Bob introduced me to the worlds of great music. My high school friends taught me to laugh at their jokes. My parents showed me the good life and encouraged me to draw. My English teacher taught me never to split an infinitive. My dog and cats taught me that animals are sentient creatures and to respect and treasure them all.

Did you go to art school/college for design or are you self-taught?

I studied sociology and anthropology in college but eventually got an MFA in graphic design. The artwork I do now is self-taught.

Any advice or tips to novice artists/designers?

Study art: drawing, painting, and art history. Study history and read alot. Stay away from the computer.

What has been the most rewarding and challenging project you have worked on?

Raising my two daughters, who are bright and lovely and involved in the arts, and they still talk to each other and to me.

What is your favorite portfolio piece? Why?

I don’t have a favorite piece. I like what I’m working on at the moment, and then hate it when it’s finished.

What American art or artist inspires you most?

The surrealist Joseph Cornell, by far, whose assemblages and collages have inspired me since I was a kid. I also love the photography and poetry of Duane Michals.