Fran Labuschagne is a professional illustrator and animator based in Victoria Bay, South Africa. Her work is know for its pastel colors, playful vibe, and a gentle aesthetic.
Can you tell us a bit about your Candy Series? How did it come about?
I started the Candy series as something fun, a way to experiment and express my love of all things sweet. It became a way for me to use my personal interests as inspiration, and who doesn't love any excuse to do a little treat tasting as "research".
What are your biggest inspirations for your work? How did you find your look/aesthetic?
I usually gain inspiration through thinking about relatable elements in my life, and how those can translate into illustrations. I love food, so most of my self initiated work is some how centred around that. The character interaction came later...
When I started working as an Illustrator I could barely draw a decent looking human, but I loved how you could make it your own and convey humour through characters. I started illustrating them more often and worked at developing many different ones and eventually found my style through that process.
What is your favorite illustration that you’ve made?
The LetsRide illustration definitely has to be one of my favourites. My husband and I recently travelled through Europe in a Campervan, which in itself was an unforgettable experience. We ended up buying bicycles as a way to easily explore the cities and it was love at first site. I ended up with the most beautiful vintage black bicycle and refused to part with it. We eventually built up the courage to take our bicycles over the Amsterdam river with a ferry and navigated our way through the hectic cyclist traffic in Amsterdam.
I was so amused at how many variants of cyclist there were, from pregnant mom to business woman in high heels, it was just a never-ending array or people. I couldn’t contain my excitement to get home and start illustrating all the interesting cyclists I had seen. Because of the memories and attachment I have to say the Let’s Ride illustration was certainly the most enjoyable process.
What is, in your opinion, the most important aspect of a beautiful and compelling illustration?
Any illustration can be beautiful in it’s own way. I love that people have small traits that make their work unique and distinguishable. Personally - I love pink, you might have noticed that there are hints of it throughout my work. I'm also quite a perfectionist , which comes with it's own set of problems. Without realising it I'm always aligning lines and shapes. Because I'm aware of it, I compensate and put more effort into creating more organic compositions to balance out, what some might call, a rigid illustration. I think that when people use the things that make them unique, the result is always beautiful.
What emotions do you aim to convey through your work?
I like to think of my illustrations as happy and joyful, it’s not necessarily an emotion I aim to convey, but rather something that happens naturally.
How has living in South Africa affected the type of illustrations you make and the aesthetic of your work?
South Africans have this incredible vibrancy to them. We have such a vast variety of cultures in such a relatively small country that we've started influencing one another, across all cultures. Finding your own voice in this mix of people is quite exiting.
What kinds of projects to you wish to pursue in the future? Any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
There isn't a definite answer for the types of projects I'd like to pursue. At the moment I'm in the beginning of my illustration journey and I’d like to learn as much as I can. That being said, I’d love to collaborate more, and not necessarily only on illustration projects, but perhaps across all mediums. I do have a couple of collaborative projects that I'm quite excited to share, but nothing I can divulge just yet.