Put simply: Billie Francis’ illustrations are based around shapes and textures. According to Francis, she can date back her fascination with textured illustrations to when she was just a teeny tiny child and having come across the Hungry Caterpillar. “I always remember being engrossed in the beautiful illustrations not realizing my love for texture,” she recalled in an interview with Ohh Deer.
But though drawn to this style of illustration, it took some time for Francis to incorporate texture into her work. “Leaving sixth form after doing A Level Art, my work was super traditional,” she explains. “I would create these beautiful realistic line drawings, which would take me days and days to create! I loved the layering process of a line drawing and how you could keep layering on top creating loads and loads of depth. This is something I still do now.”
It was while studying illustration in Leeds at Leeds College of Art that Francis experimented more with her style of illustration. “I then fell in love with traditional print methods again, bringing my work back to lovely hand crafted pieces that allowed me to spend loads of time on,” she notes. Time, as it turned out, was also an issue when it came to her work. “I played with how I could get the effect of the layers and textures of screenprint into my digital work. This is where my work became my work!”
Though mostly digital, her work has a handmade feel to it that makes it all the more personal and relatable. Add to that an overall brightness and you get a portfolio that oozes optimism and cheerfulness. You’ll want to tune in.