Some artists have a hard time putting their style of their work into words, but not Francesca Iannaccone. The London artist and illustrator easily sums it up in a sentence. It’s about bright color palettes, layered textures, and sharp, clean graphics with a Mid-Century influence—breaking down the detail into shape, color, and pattern. Her process is distinctive as well—she usually creates by hand and colors digitally, although recently she’s been drawn to traditional methods, including paint and paper collage to create abstract works.
Minted: What kinds of materials do you use?
Francesca Iannaccone: If I’m illustrating something, I will always start with pencil and paper. I love working on my Wacom drawing tablet, but for early sketches, you can’t beat a pencil. My abstracts usually start like that too—making shapes on paper. With my original pieces, I use paint, pencil, crayon, pen, and I spend a lot of time moving cut shapes around a piece of paper, taking tons of photos as I go so I can always revisit something. It’s a long process, and I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to shape, space, and composition.
How did you develop your distinctive style?
I think style takes a very long time to develop, and it’s important to keep moving. Inspiration comes from all around—ceramics, photography, architecture, pattern, sculpture, nature, and things my kids say. It’s important not to have tunnel vision with just one medium, or you miss out on a lot.
Mostly you develop a style from working, working, working—the 10,000 hours thing—and over the years, filtering out and finding what you’re left with. Although funnily enough my style for my abstract art is much different from my illustration work. With my illustration, I really like filling the paper with lots of objects and pattern, and my abstracts are very minimal. What’s the same, though, is my desire to draw in the eye of the viewer to explore and find something new.
What do you love most about creating your art?
My son loves drawing and often sits next to me with his sketchbook while I work. I was saying to him the other day how amazing it is that you can start with a blank piece of paper and look at it an hour later and see that you have created something wonderful, from absolutely nothing. I think that will always be a kick. I’ve always said, too, that accidents are my friend, so much of my work comes from experimenting, and I’ll end up with something completely different from what I started with. It’s always exciting to wonder what you’re going to end up with.
I never get complacent about selling work either—when I get that ding on my computer that tells me someone has bought something I made, it never gets old.
Ideas tend to wake you in the middle of the night. What kinds of ideas tend to wake you up, and what do you do with them?
I get up and I either scribble in my sketchbook, which is hopefully by the bed, or if not, I’ll type it into notes on my phone and hope it makes sense in the morning. It’s usually greeting card ideas and things I think are witty.
“At Lucie’s Table” by Francesca Iannaccone
About the Author: Amy Schroeder, Minted’s Community Content Manager, founded Venus, the magazine about women in the arts and DIY culture, and has written for Etsy, West Elm, Pitchfork, and NYLON. Connect on Instagram @thevenuslady.
Published February 16, 2018No comments