The latest in our series of creative profiles focusses on Fran Meneses a.k.a Frannerd.
We meet the queen of ‘Illustubing’ to talk Studio Ghibli, motivation and baking.
Artwork by Frannerd
Interview by Emily Beard
Tell us a little about yourself for anyone who hasn’t seen you/your work before.
Uhm, I guess: hello there! My name is Fran. I’m a chilean girl living in London, nice to meet you! Would you like a cup of coffee? I think I have cookies in the kitchen, if you like.
Right now I’m working as a freelance illustrator from home, but when I’m not drawing I’m probably watching movies or series, reading or baking something sweet.
We love how you often feature an illustrated ‘you’ in your work. If you could drop your mini me into any other cartoon, which would it be?
Probably any movie from Studio Ghibli. I see myself as an extra working at the bathhouse in Spirited Away or Satsuki and Mei’s friend in My Neighbor Totoro. Adventure Time also applies to this question.
You seem to find inspiration everywhere! What do you do if you feel creatively blocked?
If I feel blocked the first thing I do is stop trying. I stop working and take a walk, read, watching something on youtube, take a bath/shower, scroll tumblr or talk with my husband Ed. I realised the worst thing you could do when you are frustrated and blocked is to keep pushing.
You’re really active on your amazing social media accounts, what are your favourite youtube/instagram accounts to follow?
You also just moved to London! What do you like to do when you’re here?
Yes, I moved! So far I’m kind of new in terms of the city and its wonders, but I’m enjoying visiting all the museums: Tate Museum, National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery and the British Museum. But I think that’s it for now. To be honest, I’m still getting used to the idea that I’m actually living here; every time I see the Big Ben or the London Eye I feel tingly and excited. So give me a couple of months and I would have a must-visit-places list.
Is there anyone/publications etc. you would love to create for that you haven’t yet?
Oh god, Emily. Tons! But let’s dream together, shall we? I would love to publish with Nobrow. I would love to some day publish the classic fairy tales (Grimm’s, Andersen’s). And last, but not least, I would love to work with J.K.Rowling. Yep, I know, quite a list.
What advice would you give to your younger self if you could?
Oh that’s a tough one. And it’s hard because I don’t want to sound cheese or cliché. It’s difficult to give an advice without saying the classics: be you, keep working hard, it’s okay to be nerd, draw until you drop and etcetera. But I think a very important advice is to take initiative and be proactive. If you don’t know something (how to use photoshop, how to draw hands, how to sew a button), do some research and learn. Usually we complain about things but we don’t really do something about it: finding a good internship, how to find our own illustration style, how to edit a video, how to cook. And I know, it’s BORING and we prefer to spend our time doing other stuff. But right now we live in this amazing time where we can find (almost) all we need on the interwebz: tutorials, free online curses, documentaries, amazing and supportive communities and so on, the list is endless. But in order to get that, we need time and motivation, and that’s the first step my friend. Go to the kitchen, make yourself a huge cup of your favourite beverage of choice and start doing and learning amazing things!