5 MINUTES WITH
ARTIST & ILLUSTRATOR FRANKIE PENWILL
May 23, 2023
Welcome to Makers & Lovers, a destination for celebrating our talented makers and those who appreciate their craft. For this instalment, we spend five minutes with London-based artist, illustrator and print designer Frankie Penwill. After starting her career in textile and print design, Frankie now focuses on painting and illustration, creating playful and feminine depictions of flowers and ceramics. Here, we talk to the artist about her latest collection, where she finds inspiration and her dream collaboration.
Hey Frankie! Can you tell us where your journey as an illustrator and print designer began?
I studied fashion textiles at Bristol University where I specalised in print design. After I graduated, I got a job working for a big high street company as a print designer for lingerie and sleepwear, which I loved. I was there for six years, but felt the pull to contine my creativity outside of my job, and that's when I started experimenting with my own style and producing artworks to sell.
"I try to paint or draw something everyday with no restrictions or expectations — I think that's a good way to find your style"
Your works are decidedly feminine, characterised by flowers and ceramics in the most gorgeous colours. How did you find your style?
Ah thank you! I just started painting and experimenting with things that I loved. Being outside and in nature has always made me feel calm and inspired — I'm originally from Devon, by the sea, so I have always loved the outdoors. I try to paint or draw something everyday with no restrictions or expectations — I think that's a good way to find your style and work out what you like.
Can you talk us through your artistic process? What's your starting point?
I often create mood board and colour boards, curating inspiration and ideas that I like. Then I start sketching ideas and see where that process takes me. I often swap and chage colour, there are always endless combinations and ideas going through my head so I like to try it all before I decide on the final outcome.
What inspired your new collection of prints?
My work has always been inspired by flowers, I love the colours and endless different shapes. I have found similar inspiration through ceramics and pottery, so my new collection brings the two together, along with a few other things that make me feel happy — sun, flowers and shells. It's very summery!
You share some lovely corners of your home on Instagram. What does your work space look like?
Usually chaos! No, its not that bad, but I continually like to change where I work, I'm not very good at sitting still, so I find working in different rooms or spaces really helps to motivate me and boost my creativity. No matter how I mix it up, though, I'm always surrounded by inspiration and a fresh bouquet of flowers — instant joy!
What's on your Quinn Says wishlist?
Do you have a dream collaboration?
I would love to do a collaboration with a ceramicist, bringing their pieces to life with my painted florals!