It took some time, effort, and spunk for Billie Francis to embrace her artistic passion. Based in Birmingham, she now works full time as an illustrator, creating whimsical illustrations that revolve around texture and pattern.
“My work really developed during my studies,” said Francis in an interview with Ohh Deer. But, like a lot of creatives, she had a sort of love-hate relationship with her art studies. “I found the education aspect so fabulous and without studying illustration I don’t think my practice would be the same as it is today. Saying that at the time, there were a few stages during my education where I really struggled.”
“Being in a small class and surrounded by fabulous work did affect me, mentally,” she admits. “There was a huge amount of self-doubt I had as an Illustrator and didn’t think I was good enough to, later on, have a job in the creative sector. This was a big struggle for me in the second year, where I was stopping myself from progressing, then getting annoyed that I wasn’t progressing creatively.”
Overcoming her self-doubt was a huge challenge, but judging by her eye-popping Instagram page, it was wholly worth it. “I love everything tactile so for me, texture just creates this depth and interest to an image,” she says. “Since when I was teeny tiny, reading the Hungry Caterpillar I always remember being engrossed in the beautiful illustrations not realizing my love for texture.”
Check out some of her work in the gallery below: