Birmingham-based illustrator, Billie Francis, describes herself as being quiet on the outside but bursting with ideas on the inside. Those ideas spring to life in her quirky illustrations which she shares on Instagram.
“I love to throw shapes around whilst working with lots of texture,” she writes on her website. And indeed, her work is a constant exploration of textures and patterns.
“I’ve always had a big love for texture,” she admitted in an interview with Ohh Deer. “I love everything tactile so for me, texture just creates this depth and interest to an image. Since when I was teeny tiny, reading the Hungry Caterpillar I always remember being engrossed in the beautiful illustrations not realising my love for texture.”
“Saying this my work didn’t start off this way, for me my work really developed during my studies,” she adds. “For me my studies were a love hate relationship. 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. 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 second year, where I was stopping myself from progressing, then getting annoyed that I wasn’t progressing creatively.”
Thankfully, she has learned from her struggles and is now fully committed to being an illustrator. Here are some highlights from her Instagram page: