Artsycraftsy interview: Fran Alvarez

I think I was blog-hopping when I first saw the artworks of Fran. I listed her as one of my fave local artists in my listography site. Months later, much to my surprise and delight, I actually got to meet her in person in some event, where I fangirled like a creeper haha. I love the way she combines color and layers images. I like staring at her detailed artworks and admiring the meticulous brushwork. They’re all so lovely and inspiring!ImageImageImageImageImage

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your art/craft.
Hello I am Fran and I am a restless graphic designer and illustrator who likes merienda time, likes making things, and who is trying to do everything.

2. What are your favorite tools in creating art and why do you love them?
Watercolors, in different opacities. I love the medium first because of how it looks on paper: sometimes it’s barely there, sometimes it’s really heavy. I used to hate it and couldn’t handle it to save my life but it taught me how to be patient. It’s one of the most challenging mediums I had to teach myself to get used to but I love it now.

3. Can you tell us about your daily routine or your artistic process?
I work as a graphic designer at Studio Dialogo, so I guess my routine generally revolves around this. Having a day job has helped me become more disciplined with my work and manage my time better. Bonus talaga na sa creative field ako nagtatrabaho, with wonderful people I really admire.

When working I like having music on, preferably an album or artist I haven’t heard before, or an audiobook. Basta bago, so I don’t fall asleep haha! I work the best when the sun is out, right after I’ve had my morning Milo fix. When I’m stuck in a creative block, I do something non-drawing related para ma-reset utak ko. I play a song on the guitar, kahit isa lang. Or I read something with no pictures at all. Or I eat *whistles*.

4. What inspires you? What makes you excited?
I always get something out of traveling, kahit jeepney rides lang. Natutuwa ako sa iba’t ibang combination ng mga tao at a given place and time. My friends inspire me, their dedication to craft in the different fields they’re in. I also like nature very much, especially flowers and leaves, because every one is different.

5. Who are the local and foreign artists you admire the most?
Naku, how do I even mention everyone haha. In no particular order:
local: Robert Alejandro, my work mates at Dialogo Rommel Joson, Liza Flores, Abi Goy, Electrolychee’s Bru Sim and Marcus Nada, Serg Bumatay, Riel Hilario, Farley del Rosario, Marina Cruz, the talented Santoses Soler, Mona, Luis and Carina, Nona Garcia, Geraldine Javier. A lot more!

For foreign, Brecht Evens, Chris Ware, Oliver Jeffers, Jon Klassen, Lisbeth Zwerger, Shaun Tan, Carson Ellis, Chris Van Alsburg, Wolf Erlbruch, Chun Eun Sil, Albrecht Durer, David Wiesner, Louise Fili, Christopher Corr, Ernst Haeckel, Paula Scher, Maira Kalman, Sara Fanelli, Aya Kato.

6. Most inspiring place in the Philippines?
Wherever the ocean is.

7. If you were stuck in an island and could only bring one art/craft tool with you, what would it be and why?
Depende, may wilderness ba sa island na ito? Haha. Unstretched canvas, to keep me warm, to catch fish, build a fort, climb trees. And…I would eat some if I needed to.

8. Favorite snack/s while creating art?

9. Earliest childhood memory related to arts/crafts?
When I was in kinder they made us color pages off coloring books. My cousin, who was also my classmate, colored the atis page on his book all black. Also, when I was four, I used to watch Grease everyday in the morning. Grease is a piece of art, right? Right?

10. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Whatever I thought would make everyone happy.

11. What’s your current job now?
What I do best, and what makes me happy. 🙂 I do graphic design, sometimes illustration, most of the time crazy shenanigans at Studio Dialogo.

12. Favorite books and/or movies?
“You Shall Know Our Velocity” by Dave Eggers
“Strange Pilgrims” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“Fruitcake” by the Eraserheads
“Smaller and Smaller Circles” by FH Batacan
“Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Caroll
the GoT series.

Sukiyaki Western Django
Chunking Express
Rocket Science
The Town
Spirited Away
Sandalang Bahay

Grease. :p

Bonus uncalled-for music favorites: The Eraserheads and Leslie Feist.

13. What is your philosophy when creating/making art?
Do all things with great love.

BONUS question:
The Universe starts from scratch and you’re given the chance to be reincarnated as a famous artist. Which artist would you choose and why?

Ang hirap! Can I be a bougainvillea instead?

Where can we see your awesome work? (plug away!) is where everything is at, awesome, ugly, in progress, ramblings 🙂

Thanks Fran!

All photos are taken from Fran’s website (


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