FMP-Carisa Swenson


Carisa Swenson of Goblinfruit Studio makes strange and curious creatures who seem to have somehow escaped from a  childrens story. Her creatures are glittering eyed and have strange faces with horns and fanged overbites. Despite their strange and sometimes almost scary looks, these creatures give off no sense of harm or malice. There is no reason to fear them, even if they do look strange. Perhaps the more closely you look at them the more you see something slightly endearing and almost gentle. They give the feeling of being semi-feral creatues from a scary wood in a fairytale yet they seem fairly earnest. Perhaps its the slight sadness they have in their eyes which seems to say that they too want a happily ever after. 

Action figures had always been a huge part of my playtime as a child, but I had little interest in dolls (with the exception of a much-loved Holly Hobbie rag doll) and a tendency to gravitate towards stuffed animals. Oddly enough, my desire to learn more about stop-motion ended up sparking a desire to create dolls. Before then, I concentrated on illustrating, mostly for fantasy card games and children’s books, but sculpted tiny creatures on the side as a hobby. (

Taking a stop motion animation class helped Swenson realise she loved making posable dolls, but also her love of illustration also shines through. Her creations do have a kind of soul about them which is very evident. Her style of creating them also looks like they could have popped out of a fairytale illustration.

 My process of sculpting starts with a vague notion of what a doll will look like, or sometimes what their personality will be. However, the dolls often suggest to me what they want to be as I sculpt— often switching gender, species or disposition halfway through their creation. As somewhat of an introvert, my attraction to the trickster mythos seeps into many of my characters. (

Swenson is quite fluid in her creative process, often letting the character take shape as she sculpts it, this leads to some very natural looking sculptures and characters. She often also keeps characters to be used again later.

Birds and creatures of the forest all work their way into my creations, in addition to the influence of fairytales and classical mythology. Empty, decaying buildings, rooms and houses stir my imagination with their dusty pasts or potential futures. (

I think the idea of abandoned buildings is quite and interesting idea, Swenson’s creations often do look like they’ve been living or trapped in a decaying building, they usually have an ugly side and a lot of the time covered in dust or dirt, as if they’ve been living in the rooms she has taken inspiration from.


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