Q&A with Vol. 6 contributor Frances Cannon…

Artwork by France Cannon
Artwork by Frances Cannon

1) Your work exists in lots of different spaces and different ways—as tattoos, as zines, in magazines and in gallery spaces. How do you balance all of these? Do these ‘areas’ all communicate the themes and messages of your artwork equally? Are there strengths and weaknesses of each?


At the moment my thought process is: the more people who see my work and find hope and happiness in it the better. Of course, there are definite ups and downs with each artistic platform. For example certain artworks read better in-person rather than on a social media outlet, therefore I’m restricted in what works I put online. Having my work tattooed on people has also been an interesting experience and I’m still working out my feelings toward it, but in the end a body is just a moving canvas for my drawings—which is pretty exciting!


2) Has your work always been socially engaged? If not, how did you come to this point in your art? Or, if so, do you think ‘good art’ should be socially engaged?


I’ve found that having a social media account where I can post my art and have it seen by a wide audience is an important part of my process. The viewer feedback feeds into my work and gives me inspiration as to what to draw next. I think it depends on the artist whether they want their art to be socially engaged or not. I don’t think that ‘good art’ needs a big audience or needs to be socially engaged. As long as the artwork provides the artist with enjoyment or therapy, that’s enough.

3) From your experience, would you recommend Australian art schools to those who are interested in illustration, zines and comics?


I’ve found RMIT a really great place to ‘find myself’ and find out what kind of artist I want to be. I can’t speak for other universities or for other students, but my experience has been a very positive one with a lot of support from lecturers and (even more importantly) other students. I think that as long as you are confident in yourself and the art YOU want to make, other people will read that confidence positively—so wherever you end up studying doesn’t really matter.


Frances’ comic ‘Dip’ can be found here in The Suburban Review Vol. 6!