We couldn't think of a better person to interview on International Women's Day than artist and activist, Frances Cannon. The Melbourne-based creative has garnered global attention for her black and white drawings and messages depicting the female experience. Her powerful illustrations promoting self-acceptance and inclusivity has even sparked a movement of people getting Self Club Love tattoos. We couldn't be more excited to find out more about Frances' journey into art and how she channels her own life into her inspiring pieces.
How did your love of art and illustration first begin?
I've always loved art! Ever since I could pick up a crayon as a toddler I've had a passion for drawing. It has always been a way for me to express my emotions and sort through my experiences. Art has always been a devoted companion to me throughout my life.
When did you know art was something you wanted to pursue professionally?
I always toyed with the idea of pursuing a career that involved art in some way (whether art teaching or art therapy or cartoonist, etc) but it wasn't until I was studying art at university that I decided to take the leap and call myself a freelance artist.
Your illustrations convey powerful messages of self-love and body acceptance. What compels you to create in this way and how did it come about?
I create all my drawings for me. So the work that speaks to self-love and body love are little love notes to myself to remind myself how incredibly beautiful and worthy of love I am. I am so grateful that other people are able to resonate with my love notes to myself and my body.
What is your process?
I carry around my sketchbook wherever I go and my best ideas usually come out of drawing on-the-go, e.g. on a tram or at a cafe. I also work from my studio and my bed and my lounge room (can you tell I'm a workaholic?) I am continuously creating!
Do you plan your artwork in advance or is it more organic than that?
Most of the time my work is unplanned. Sometimes if I draw an idea I like but don't like the particular drawing then I'll redraw it so that kind of counts as planning. Another way I 'plan' is by writing poetry and drawing or painting in response to the poetry.
What is your creative space like?
Usually very messy and disorganised!
What do you love most about social media and what do you like the least?
I love being able to connect with like-minded women around the world and tell them how much they are loved and appreciated. I dislike how addictive it is!
Do you have any advice for budding artists who’d like to follow in your footsteps?
Never stop creating! Practice makes [near] perfect - perfect doesn't exist. If you're turned away or told "no" by a gallery or by a publication - that's ok. Keep trying! Keep applying and keep improving your craft.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Myself and my experiences and my emotions. Also from women who I admire, whether from art history or my best friend sitting next to me.
What’s next for you?
I'm working on more poetry and illustration books at the moment. I'm in a bit of a book phase and want to make as many books as I can churn out!
Check out more of Frances' incredible illustrations via her Instagram @frances_cannon. You can also view and purchase her work here.
Top image courtesy of James J. Robinson.