Multidisciplinary artist Frances Cannon’s prolific work, primarily illustrations and paintings, have a huge following online. Frances is from Melbourne, yet her art is imprinted on women across the world with her ‘Self Love Club’ tattoos. Her highly personal work explores body-love and body-loathing, anxiety, relationships, sex and sexuality, gender and bodily functions.
An Interview with Frances Cannon:
When and how did you discover your passion and place as an illustrator?
I’ve always loved drawing! Ever since I was a little kid, drawing has had an important place in my life. Whenever I was lonely (which was a lot as a homeschooler) drawing was my best friend! I decided I wanted to pursue a career in art when I was having my gap-year after finishing high school, so I went to uni and studied fine arts and the rest is history!
What advice would you give your younger self at the beginning of your career?
Keep doing what you’re doing!
Your work has a clear and distinct message. How did you find your voice as an artist?
I draw about what’s important to me. My voice as a human and as a woman is my voice as an artist. I can’t imagine creating work about anything else.
Your work touches intimate aspects of womanhood with which many of us identify. Has the feedback from your fans ever inspired new works?
Most of my work is about my own life experiences and emotions. They are very personal and intimate depictions of my own life and feelings. I think people who see my work relate to the honesty I bring to it.
In what type of work space do you create?
I have a studio space where I paint and keep all my art supplies, but I take my sketchbook and a pen everywhere with me.
Have you had any experiences at university in terms of gender inequality in the art world?
Oh absolutely. The art world still has a gender bias that gives big shows and big spaces to artists who are men (and mostly white men too).
Before you started your “self love club” that became a huge online movement, were you able to find any community online with which you identified? Through what outlet?
Yes, I find the community of women artists on instagram to be extremely powerful and supportive. A lot of my best friends in real life I met through following each other on instagram and loving each other’s work!
How has the internet shaped you as an artist?
I’m more aware of global issues because of the internet, which shapes my beliefs as a person which in turn shapes my art.
What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism means everyone getting the same opportunities in life. And by everyone I MEAN EVERYONE.
Where would you most like to see your work in the future?
I’d love to have some big exhibitions overseas, maybe in London or New York! That’s something I’m hoping will happen in the next few years.
Photo credit for opening photo: Tatanja Ross