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Freelance Illustrator Frankie Strand

Frankie Strand like many of us finds herself drawn to the darkness in things. In artwork, she enjoys seeing a sense of foreboding, an underlaying sadness or a macabre subject matter.

‘Despite a vibrancy or energy in my work, there is almost always a more sinister or morbid underlaying theme. That’s not to say I want my work to be depressing, I don’t tend to think about the way in which it will be viewed. I am simply collecting my inspirations and sharing them, hopefully for some, in a new light.’

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‘In the past few years, medical history has had a massively influencing factor in my illustrative work. I like to collect sketches from observation, and upon visiting the Hunterian museum, I realised there was a whole world of artistic, as well as scientific understanding in those thousands of little jars. Preserved animal specimens have helped me advance my understanding of animal anatomy; the way their figures float so foetal and still, allows me to gauge the way they look at different angles, in more surreal positions. I enjoy creating images where animals- mostly reptiles, fit around each other in a big, peaceful, sleeping jigsaw.’

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‘After beginning to create more Street Art for personal pleasure, I feel my work, style and enthusiasm has progressed. It is a very motivating form of expression for me. Turning to the streets gives me freedom, I’m doing it for myself. No one will pay me for it, but no one will tell me what to do. Nothing drives me more than the challenge of pushing myself to try something bigger, better and riskier than a previous piece. In times where I’ve struggled to find inspiration, I’ve found the best thing to do, is to simply create something for fun. I’ll paint a big lizard, dissect a crocodile, go out at 4 in the morning and stick up a wheat paste that might get ripped down the next day. When people recognise my work, or see a correlation in reptile related street art pieces, I have my reward.’

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‘I studied Illustration & Graphic Design at De Montfort University. I was awarded a grant upon graduating, to begin my own freelance illustration business. Since then, I have worked on a variety of commissions, mostly large scale wall pieces, for schools, private clients, council funded competitions and local events & galleries. I am currently working on a collection of illustrations for a children’s book & beginning a short term internship at a Graphic design company in London. I hope in the next 5 years my work on the street will receive more recognition & allow me to travel to new cities to do what I do best!’

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Website | Facebook | @frankiestrand