MEET THE MAINFRAMERS | Lisa Nunamaker Mainframe Studios | 06/21/2022

This isn’t your garden variety success story. 

This is a story that takes childhood fort-building and a love for the outdoors to a unique place. Meet Lisa Nunamaker: landscape architect, illustrator, teacher, gardener, and the owner of Paper Garden Workshop; an online company that teaches budding designers about landscape design and garden graphics. 

Lisa says that good design has to have some boundaries, sometimes you need to think inside the box. For her; the box is a backyard. Her designs feature lush beds of soft hand-drawn foliage, under illustrative pergolas and gazebos. She draws stone walkways and lawn furniture in a distinctive style. It’s no wonder she's built a business around teaching others how to draw their own dream gardens. 

Lisa’s journey to Paper Garden Workshop started in 2009 with a simple blog called The Lunch Box Project, a year-long drawing challenge where she illustrated food every day. The Lunch Box Project won her a food blog award, despite rarely cooking and not actually running a food blog. Over the years, Lisa’s experience as a landscape architect, educator, illustrator, and blogger culminated in Paper Garden Workshop.

Paper Garden Workshop offers garden design education worldwide through blog posts, a newsletter, memberships, and her signature course, Garden Graphics Tool Kit. In this course, Lisa teaches the importance of clear graphics to communicate the garden vision in our heads. It includes topics like line weights, plus how to draw plant symbols, elevations, and quick perspectives, but most importantly when to break the rules. When she talks about teaching, you can see her eyes light up. She says “What I’m really building is confidence. I can teach someone the skills, but your drawing is going to look different than mine, and that’s okay!” 

Learn more at