How would you describe yourself – who is Fran Labuschagne?
I’m Fran, an illustrator from South Africa. I’m an old lady stuck in a 25-year-old body :)
What’s your interest about illustration and animation? When did you start?
I have always had an interest in drawing, from a very young age I would spend my time drawing anything that came to mind. My mom and I used to play a game where I tell her what to draw and she’ll tell me and we’d show each other at the same time. I remember how I used to laugh at her drawing abilities.
I eventually ended up studying Graphic design where I realised (to my delight) that drawing pictures could actually be a career.
How would you describe your creative style? And when did you land on your current style?
My style is quite playful and colourful, with a feminine touch. I love drawing characters and finding interesting ways to draw the human form.
When I started working, I couldn’t draw people to save my life and I found it very intimidating. I just started sketching and creating until I somehow found my own voice in illustration. My personality also has a lot to do with the development of my style, in the sense that it always has a humorous and feminine undertone.
Can creativity be learned later, or is it a feeling that is always within the human being?
I think everyone is creative in their own way and apply it to different aspects in life. I may be creative in finding interesting ways to draw a person, someone else might be good at finding a solution to a practical problem. I have found that the more you exercise that ability, the stronger it becomes.
What was the last piece of music you listened to? When and where was that?
I’m listening to Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars, by Oscar Peterson Trio, as I’m thinking of ways to sound clever in my second language.
What is a day in the life of Fran Labuschagne like? Tell us about your daily routine.
I always get out of bed and head straight for the balcony to look at the ocean. It looks different every day. Then I’ll make myself a cup of tea and have breakfast in the morning sun. I have to eat when I wake up, no matter the time. Most days I will go for a walk with my best friend Rosie (she’s an American English Coonhound) either in the forest or on the beach. Nothing quite like morning fresh air. I work during the day, with a lot of tea breaks in-between. After work, my husband and I like to head to the beach for a walk with Rosie or a surf. Evenings are spent cooking, chatting and relaxing.
How much does traveling affect your creativity and the type of illustrations you make?
I love change, I have loved it since I can remember, always re-arranging my room or dreaming about moving to different places.
I like to travel, as it allows me to see and experience things that I am not used to. I have found that my creativity needs change, and the best thing that I can do for myself and my creative abilities is to constantly feed my brain with new material.
What is your favorite thing to draw?
Besides characters I love to drawing food, mostly sweet stuff, to me there’s just something magical about candy :)
What motivates you?
I have no idea actually, I guess it’s just the fact that I am lucky enough to do what I like.
What other illustrators/animators are you digging these days?
There are so many! In the spirit of keeping things local, I’d like to mention a couple of artist from my hood. Frolik Studio, Dayfeels, Hello it’s Matilda, Pearly Yon, Ghostgoods, Daniéla de Lange, Jay Gordon, Wonder Meyer, Lauren Fowler, Koba Niewoudt, Tamzyn La Gorcé, the list goes on, but we’ll need a whole page for that.
Where are your favorite spots in Victoria Bay? Food, coffee, shops, etc.
Victoria Bay is a very small secluded one road neighborhood, the only food you’ll find here is a greasy burger from the Café down at the beach, yummy none the less.
I do however have a talent in sniffing out the best chocolate cake around, so if you are in the area, The Green shed in Wilderness about 7km from here you’ll find the most amazing piece of chocolate cake. You’re welcome :)
The thing you never go without?
Rosie my dog friend.
What would you do if you could start all over again?
I love nature and being outdoors. I think if I could choose again, and Illustration is not an option, I’d like to be an Apple picker :)
Answer these, quick!
Country: South Africa
City: No thank you
Song: The Wolves and the Ravens by Rogue Valley (our wedding song, get the tears running every time haha)
Food: All of it
Colour: Emerald Green
Finally, Is there something you wish interviewers would ask you — but never do?
Would you like a piece of chocolate cake?