I stumbled across Holly Francesca while checking out my first Designer-Makers market event back in December that was held at the Hackney Down Studios. It was a cold winters evening and I spotted Holly’s work just as I entered the Warehouse – actually I’m not sure if it was the work that initially caught my eye or the very cold and well wrapped up Holly standing by her stall! :P Anyhoo, we got chatting a lot (she’s such a warm and delightful person!) and I soon learnt that she had only recently emerged onto the craft and design scene…..and successfully too! Like many artists and designers out there, she was clearly passionate about her work (even weathering two evenings in the cold!) which I found very admirable so I was thrilled when she agreed to be interviewed for Made by Molu! I really do think she is inspirational to all creative folk out there including myself, going to show that you need to have a lot of determination, hard work, patience and faith in your work to get yourself noticed in what is such a competitive field! Here’s what Holly has to say:
- What five words best describe you and your style of work? Colourful, Quirky, Londoner, Fun, and Creative!
- What is the main source of inspiration for your artwork? Mainly what surrounds me, for example the local area I live in. I would then go onto create a map of a specific area. For instance, I went to the zoo and then went on to make the A-Z of animals at the London Zoo.
- How would you describe your design process and what part of it do you like the most? Firstly I make my drawings and from these I form my paper cuts (see below)…. then it’s on to the fun part! I scan in my white papers and colour them in digitally. It’s this colouring process and creating the final product that I enjoy the most!
- Is there a craft/art medium you haven’t tried but want to? And why? I have bought a Gocco printer from Japan and I have never got round to using it. It looks like a fun way to print and an easy version of screen printing!
- Have you always wanted to be an illustrator/designer-maker? And what made you choose that path? I have always wanted to be in the creative industry – I knew this from quite a young age. Art was always my best subject. I went on the study BA Applied Arts and once I left I went on to work part-time as well as creating many different types of products in my spare time until I found the right thing, which has allowed me to go full-time and turn it from a hobby to a business!
- There has been a huge boom in the craft and design field in the last few years – would you say its been difficult breaking into this competitive world? It is really hard – you need to get quite a few things in place first. From the beginning you need to work out your figures making sure your price is right and that you actually make money from this new venture. Then you need a unique product which sells well and from this product you start to form a brand. Once you have done this you can sell, sell, sell!
- What do you like most about your business? The creative side – but unfortunately most of the business is about the finance, marketing etc but that beings said once I get my work printed and I get it out of the box for the first time it really is the most satisfying moment seeing the finished product!
- When you are not in designer-maker mode, what else do you enjoy doing? I play the guitar and sing, I love to read and watch films, but the key thing which I am learning is to make more time to have breaks from the business!
- Have you any tips for like-minded creative individuals who would like to one day set up a business themselves in this field? First make sure this is 100% what you want to do and if it is, then start creating! Do what comes naturally to you and just make it. Develop your ideas until you start to get lots of positive feedback then you know you are on the right steps to having a successful business. My top tips is to pace yourself and stay focused!
- Of your current work, what piece would you say is your favourite? For me it is always the last piece of work that I make is always my favourite.
- Are there any designer-makers out there you find inspirational – if so, who? I admire a lot of designers at the moment I’m loving, Maxine Sutton, Zeena Shah, Anna Wiscombe and Elena Deshmukh
- What would we expect from Holly Francesca in the future? Many new designs and more maps of cities so keep an eye out for your area!
- Finally, where can we find more of your wonderful creations? Can we find you at any craft + design events this year? My next events are: The Start Up Showcase which runs on both Saturday 23 March: 10 – 6pm and Sunday 24 March: 11 – 5pm. I will be at Pulse London too so do come visit me at Stand LP29A on 12th – 14th May! For more details about my work or to buy them online, please do visit my website http://www.hollyfrancesca.co.uk
A massive thank you to the lovely Holly Francesca for her time out to answer all my questions and for the lovely photos! I wish you all the best Holly and i’ll no doubt see you at the Start up Showcase event and Pulse! So folks, I’m a big fan of her work and I urge you all to go have a nosey through her beautiful illustrative work and show her your support! Maybe you cuold find something in time for Mother’s Day? xx