Vivienne Flesher was raised in Brooklyn, New York. She studied at Parsons, and after graduation, began trying to boost her portfolio by working at Atlantic Monthly and the soft porn magazine SWANK. One day at SWANK, she was looking for her editor to get an illustration approved. When he let her into his office, she found him with a fully naked woman, all the blinds drawn. After that incident, she decided her portfolio was more than ready and quit SWANK!
Flesher’s first big break was with the first American Illustration Annual, which featured more than a dozen of her pieces. After this, work came easily and her career set off. Although there is little information about her, Flesher is still living and working. Her list of clients is impressive and extensive and includes the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, O Magazine, Criterion Collective, and even a US postage stamp.
She began her career working in pastels, enjoying the looseness and freedom of the medium. Later she switched to charcoals, to gain more control as well as a new approach. Now she works with a combination of digital and traditional medias, using photography in combination with her drawings. Her work is light, colourful, and alive. Her amazing sense of proportion, line quality, and deft handling of various mediums helps her blend realism and abstraction of portraits and figures to the perfect degree.
Flesher now lives with her husband, painter Ward Schumaker, in San Francisco. The two work closely together in their shared creative pursuits and have held shows internationally.