Yesterday was International Women's day and it was everywhere, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, just everywhere and it was quite overwhelming. Rather than spitting out a post straight away and jumping on the bandwagon I spent the day thinking "If I could choose 1 woman who really inspires me more than anyone, who would it be?"
This train of thought made me go back in time a little bit to October 2017 where I took part in Inktober. I got about half way through and decided to change the way I was approaching it, to stop following the official prompt list and go with my original idea which was to draw women that inspire me. One of those was Fran Meneses.
Every time I feel inspired by someone, the only thing I want to do is draw them, and whilst I'm drawing them I try and consume as much of their content as possible. I had been a huge fan of Fran's work for a long time and this was a great excuse for me to binge on her creations again.
Fran has a Youtube channel where she uploads insightful and creative videos weekly on illustration and running your own freelance art business. They are shot and edited with the same artistic style that you find in her adorable illustrations. Each episode focuses on sharing a little nugget of knowledge that she has learnt on her illustration journey from inspiration to illustrating and designing your own planning range. I have personally watched and re-watched her videos several times because they are not only full of useful information for someone in this field of work, but they are also very relatable and have a very calming and peaceful tone to them.
Fran is originally from Chile, she then relocated to Germany, then to London and eventually to Hastings where she lives now with her husband Ed and 2 cats, Cereal and Hamburger (how cute are those cat names by the way?).
From where I am standing (which is way up North in West Yorkshire if you didn't know) Fran is one of the most hardworking and creative artists around at the moment. She has created her own books and zines, one of those with her husband as the writer, she brought out a planning range in the last quarter of last year which was unbelievably successful, she has a very well executed Patreon which she uploads content to almost every day. She runs a brilliant Etsy shop where she sells prints, pins, stickers and all sorts of other bits and pieces. She has designed everything from t-shirts to emojis, from temporary tattoos to greetings cards.
The main thing that is so inspiring about all of this is the amount of these projects that are self-initiated. Her instagram feed is perfect with a very personal and autobiographical theme as well as a super cute colour palette, the list goes on. She seems to excel at everything she turns her hand to and that is only through hard work as she started from nothing, moving to England unemployed with English as her second language and creating a market for herself as well as an extremely distinctive art style, all the while being honest about every aspect of her career and not being afraid to show the often unglamorous side to being an artist.
If you have any room in your life for amazing illustrations that are both adorable and funny, you can find Fran's work in a variety of forms here: