Ep.157: Your role with your art is to communicate, not to be perfect with Fran Meneses aka Frannerd

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Jul 02, 2018 •  Interviews

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Fran Meneses, aka Frannerd, a freelance illustrator in the UK. She is currently working in many areas such as publishing her own books and planners and supporting her art community on Patreon, YouTube, and Instagram.

Get in touch with Fran

Key Takeaways

“Honesty is a freaking unicorn! It’s very rare and very popular. Try to create those emotional connections.”

Resources mentioned

💡 Please note: We are supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! For more info, please read our disclosure.

Special thanks to Fran for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Fran Meneses, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles

Hello everyone, Iva here and welcome to the next episode of Art Side of Life where I chat with inspiring artists and creators and related videos. Before we introduce our guest and go to the interview, let’s thank our sponsors. If you’re looking for a top quality print shop and online store to sell your art prints then you should definitely check out imprint imprint has been helping artists print and sell gallery quality prints of their work all over the world for over a decade. Go to artsideoflife.com/imprint and use promo code artside to get 10% discount. Have you heard of arts next I think the subscription bugs have unique high quality art supplies. Every month you discover new art products, limited edition tools, exculsive supplies and useful techniques. Go to artsideoflife.com/artworks and use promo code artside10 to get 10% discount. If you are a digital artist, you will love our stupid app which turns your iPad Pro into a virus graphics tablet for your Mac. So you can use all the programs like Photoshop right on your iPad, go to artsideoflife.com/astro pad and use promo code artside to get 10% discount. And now let’s go back to the interview. My guest today is friend Medicis known online as Brainerd. And in this episode we will also talk about pressures we put on ourselves as artists. But in the end our role is to communicate with our art and not to focus on to be perfect. Bren is a freelance illustrator originally from Chile, living and working in the UK. And soon in New York City. Prince studied graphic design and along the way decided to become a full time illustrator learning other old and developing her style. Since then, she has worked with many clients in publishing businesses such as magazines and blogs. She is now focusing on projects for her art community on Patreon, YouTube and Instagram, such as an online shops, book publishing and graphic novel they’re creating together with her husband. And now please welcome friends. And let’s get to the interview. So welcome everyone to the next episode of Art Side of Life. And I’m super happy to have friend here. Hi. Hi. Hi, everybody. How are you? How are you? Good, good. And I see you are in a good mood as well. So let’s just start with your background and maybe, can you tell us Do you remember how your childhood smelled like

Fran Meneses

smell like oh my god, I think I think everyone everybody’s childhood smelled the same like toasts and just fresh cut grass, or I told him also smell a lot like our supplies because my parents had this very weird policy that in which they didn’t have any money for new toys, but they always had a budget a very small one for art supplies. So I grew up just like creating my own toys. Like I used to make my own paper dolls and my own albums and my own comic books. So I feel like my childhood just like smell like that like plasticine and paints and brushes. And I don’t know like PVA glue. I used to make all of my own toys. Is that weird?

Iva Mikles

That’s really awesome. Because for me, it’s more like I remember like smell of the river and this kind of thing, because we used to go for a lot of Kayak trips, you know, oh my god, you’re so cool. Like different thing. And I didn’t have that much time to draw. But yeah.

Fran Meneses

So nice. So you were very out. Dorsey. Yeah. 10 family. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

Maybe even too much something. Really. Yeah. But then yeah, but the drawing so that’s why I need to catch up now. But remember, what was the first thing you do I have a child or what is the thing you remember?

Fran Meneses

I think the first first drawing that I ever remember doing was all of the assignments we had at school. So I always liked drawing. I always liked painting. And my teachers used to say like, oh my God, you’re such a good drawer and stuff like that. And I’m like, Yes, like a small inch, like Chinese famous and so I’m like yes. And I remember I’m creating my own stories like princesses and warriors and female characters. I used to make my own graphic. I mean, not back then they weren’t called graphic novels, but my own like comics with texts, and stuff like that. And most of my stories were put in a put in a nice by me and my younger sister. So we used to draw a lot together. So I think the first memory was that like she her and I doing comics together.

Iva Mikles

Oh, yeah, super. Does she still drawing as well?

Fran Meneses

Yes. But not in a professional way, just like more on a hobby side? Because she’s now a nutritionist. Is that how you say?

Iva Mikles

Yeah, yeah, yes. In healthy food, but then you have like a first hand advice, like what to eat. That’s awesome.

Fran Meneses

I know, I know, it’s so cool that I have just like lots of siblings that do different things. Because if I need, for example, architect advice, my older sister, she’s an architect, and my older brother, he’s an engineer. So I think we have like, two career paths going on. But all of us in some way grew up, had a very artistic upbringing. And even my brother who’s now doing lots of like, mathematics and like very calculating type of things. Like a very, like engineer side, he also used to draw a lot. So it was really nice to all being joined together into this like art side. So thank you, Mom and Dad.

Iva Mikles

It’s a what was the time or when when did you decide like, okay, want to do art professionally?

Fran Meneses

Oh, you I don’t know. Um, I guess, I guess when I was seven or six. I really liked this. I asked my older sister, which is now by the way, and architects. She was one. And I asked her if she thought if she knew if there was what was a career in which you can put together illustration, like drawing and creativity. And she was like, yeah, there’s something called Graphic Design. And either I was like seven years old, I had no idea what graphic design was, none of my classmates knew what graphic design was all of them wanting to be like nuns and bats, and all of the like, really cool careers. And I’m like, I’m going to be a graphic designer, no idea what it was. And then, several years later, I went in, and I studied graphic design, and halfway that graphic design, I’m like, No, I think I really, really do enjoy illustration. So I think that’s that was the time when I realized I wanted to be a graphic designer and later on an illustrator.

Iva Mikles

So how was the transition for you? You know, when you decide, Okay, I will do the illustration. You know, what was going on through your head?

Fran Meneses

Oh, God, it was kind of chaotic, because, and really heartbreaking because I did enjoy a lot of graphic design. But I didn’t see myself as a graphic designer, even though I’d really enjoy the career. And I think it was second or third year. I’m like, Okay, I really do enjoy illustration, what can I do, my parents couldn’t afford another career. And I couldn’t quit graphic design. So I’m okay, I’m going to keep studying graphic design, even as a safety net. Because I had no idea if I if I liked illustration, as a career, I knew one thing for a fact that I did enjoy illustration as a hobby, but a totally different thing is making a living out of it or like being paid or being because when you’re working with a client, this person is going to give you feedback and criticize your work in some way. So I had no idea if I was ready for that yet. So I’m like, Okay, I’m going to keep starting with the design. See if I can do this in case illustration doesn’t work or if it takes longer than I expected like to thrive from illustration. And after uni after classes, I went to my faculties library and I remember I studied like properly. I mean, not properly obviously. But I studied my favorite illustrators blogs and blogs but then weren’t even like a huge thing. So I’m like, Okay, we try to use wagers I liked and they were many illustrations books back then also, but I remember they illustration now they were like a series of books. I think they published three or four and they were like it was basically a catalog of illustrators from all around the world. And I remember okay, this is the stuff that I liked. This is these are the illustrators that I liked. And I started practicing more and more we had a small of a very short class about illustration in graphic design, and those very those the heartbroken situations I went through because one of my teachers back then I was really, really into anime. And I was anyway girl. And my teacher was like, I love how you draw anime anyways, great. But if you want to be recognized, but if you want to be recognized for your own illustration style, you will have to kind of step aside for animators a little while because since there’s so many people drawing anime, you will have to in some way, not change, but go through a different path. And I’m like, Oh my God. And in some way he was right, because all of the things that I wanted to do as an illustrator, like, for example, draw in newspapers and magazines, and the website or like blogs that I was reading, back then, none of them had any may in their, like, in their portfolio or working. Like none of the people working illustrators working for those magazines and newspapers, were drawing anime. So I’m like, Okay, I mean, today is a totally different thing, because there’s lots of people joining anyway, and they’re like, really successful, but back then it wasn’t even like a choice. So that was the heartbreaking part EBA that I had to just like, find myself in my own style. And that was really, really hard.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, definitely. Because then you just have to figure out what do you want to do and where you can actually use it? Or, you know, look at places like, Okay, I want to work either for this company. I want to sell this thing to this audience. Yeah, what is the style? Yeah, so was there also like other maybe books you can recommend to people, you know, to check out which are awesome inspiration, or maybe something you read recently, you know, like, art wise, or just creativity?

Fran Meneses

Oh, man, I feel like I’ve always, I’m always recommending the same books, because since I’m moving in, like a month, I can’t, I haven’t been able to purchase new books. So like, renew stuff. Because I can I basically, I’m always taking with me, my clothes, and my cats. And that’s it. But I feel like the three books that I always recommend, and they’re not artists, necessarily, but creative creatively, and they’re very inspiring, is the art of asking by Amanda Palmer. She’s like the best human being in this world. Also. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, only because I’m obsessed with like vulnerability as an artist. And she’s the queen of vulnerability and how to use vulnerability in our side in order to connect with new audiences or with the work that we’re doing. And I feel like it since we’re artists, even writers, and like painters, or sculptors, like any people in the creative business, they have to be in touch with the vulnerability like the vulnerable side. And also, in a totally different topic, but I just love this book is Just Kids by Patti Smith only because it’s a very inspiring someone working really, really hard. And I love books that are about people working really hard and just like thriving in their own style. I just love

Iva Mikles

achieving something. Yeah, better. I haven’t read. So I have to put that on the on the reading list. For sure. Yeah. So good. So you’re thinking also about the vulnerability, vulnerability.

Fran Meneses

Oh, god, it’s so hard to conceive.

Iva Mikles

So yeah, so they don’t I also have to read because that one is not checked yet. Yeah. And so when you mentioned also that you were doing this transition to finding your style, how was the finding the first artistic job or something you can actually monetize from your art?

Fran Meneses

I think the first verse, the first job that I ever had, that it was paid was a guy who was doing a thesis, and he wanted me to do the illustration. And I was actually one of the first times that I ever used my computer to do an illustration and I felt very awkward and busty, and I’m like, okay, it wasn’t polished or anything. I mean, like, like, in a massive way, he just printed that, that money illustration, and then that was it. But I feel my first illustration job was working for a blog. Back then I’m like, Okay, I need material to put on my portfolio and I need experiences. So I wrote to all of the people that I really wanted to work with. And one of those was a woman’s blog by continually because I’m to him. And I noticed that they use the same stock photos for every single article they uploaded because they have learned like four articles every single day. And of course, they were paying one of those like stoke stock, images, websites, and there was Using the same pictures, and I wrote them a very like shameless email saying like, I love your website, and I love your content, but everything will look so much nicer with illustrations, do you think we can start working together? And are like, Okay, we don’t have like a huge budget. But you can totally illustrate two articles a week. And it was such a nice experience even because it was the first time that I was working on a regular basis, illustration wise with someone. And also the articles were really, it was a fast paced job in the sense that I got the illustration and I mean, the article and I had to have the illustration ready in like two days. So it gave me that experience gave me the sharpness and quickness that I have never dealt with in the past. So I could practice faster than in other like in in relation to other types of jobs. So I think that’s like my favorite like my very, very first

Iva Mikles

page, by the way, as a freelancer or like on your own

Fran Meneses

freelancer. Yes. Oh, nice. Yes, I think back then I was also studying, I didn’t want to wait until uni was over to start working. So I started collecting small like very small jobs like commissions before graduating.

Iva Mikles

That’s really good idea because then you’re not like afraid like, oh, what will happen after I graduate? So where did you find the Commission’s at the time was a deviant art or because Instagram was not ready yet. I guess the time

Fran Meneses

Oh, Instagram was it wasn’t there yet. I think the only thing that I used to use back then was Flickr, for my patients. But now I used to literally contact all the clients through email, like, Hello, my name is Fran. I’m illustrator. I’m working like I’m looking for more commissions. Do you know someone who will need an illustrator and stuff like that. And I was also updating my blog every single day with new illustrations of my daily life. So my blog got a lot of traction because I was uploading it. I was updating it every single day. So this website who I was also collaborating with the woman’s blog, they also had a lot of traction. And I’m like, Could you please instead of putting my signature put my blog instead of my signature, so people who saw the article and so my illustrations, they saw my blog, so I don’t know where lots of people started going to my blog. And then they wrote me an email saying like, Oh, my God, I found you on your blog. Are you open for Commission’s private commissions, like me, and my boyfriend? Is our one year anniversary? Could you please what they didn’t talk like this. But

Iva Mikles

whether you did a cute illustration, like that voice basically.

Fran Meneses

Exactly. So it was it was a very old, old fashioned way of contacting people sort of so my blog was my Instagram, so to speak back then.

Iva Mikles

So that the transition was easier for you to do than if you already had the blog. And you were ready to do like, daily posting. So starting Instagram was already like you had this kind of like, daily routine. Yes, exactly. And so how did you plan the Instagram along? You know, do you have some tips? Maybe what to avoid for someone like, oh, I would like to grow my account.

Fran Meneses

Oh, Instagram, Instagram, everything in life, either. And I know you I know, you know, this, but takes a lot of time. So I feel like I don’t have like a magical formula. Like, yeah. Get 1000 followers in one day, because it took me so freaking long. To to to be right here right now. I feel like if you’re always honest with people, you will get the followers in some way. And I hate saying that because it sounds like so horrible, like, get the followers but I’m on it. Like, if I can be honest, if you post regularly, like meaningful and important content to you, if you’re honest. And if you’re connecting with your audience somehow, like replying the comments and being there for them. They will eventually come for you. But I feel like if you want to build a long lasting relationship with someone and build the trust that it takes, like everything takes time that’s the thing. This is like working on a friendship. Or like any other relationship in life, it’s time and I hate saying this because every time I say like it takes time people like stop listening because they want most of the times they want the really short answer that they want the magic formula and unfortunately I don’t have the magic formula. That’s the thing.

Iva Mikles

You mentioned like there is something at least you what you can start with or do now because yeah, of course it’s like a marathon but as you mentioned, like replying Do comments or posting regularly that you can start doing like today already? And you also mentioned that you do like process images, or what is your kind of daily life. So you can include that, you know, so not only finished artworks, right, and just like something along the way, so that what people can start with? Oh, yeah.

Fran Meneses

Okay. So things that I do daily, in relation to my content is that I always pay attention to what’s going on in my life, like checking in with myself, because most of my content goes along with what I’m going through. And I’m sure that if you’re an artist, even if you’re painting, or if you’re writing, most of your creative process goes along with what you’re going through at the moment. So always check in with myself, I journal a lot. And most of my ideas on Instagram, I take them out of my daily life, or what I’m my reflections and the things that I’m going through at the moment. For example, yesterday, I uploaded an Instagram illustration about me and my relationship with sexiness, and I am not a sexy person. And every time I say I’m not sexy, people react, like, because it’s a very awkward, awkward, not awkward subject, but a very weird thing to say. But I feel like even though I think I’m pretty, and I’m finally making amends with my body right now, and I love the woman who I’ve become, it’s very different to feel sexy, because I think media has made us feel that we have to be sexy all the time, and like being aroused all the time. And every time we see like movies and advertising, or even like people on Instagram, they’re always portraying woman as like this very sexy, sensual beings. And the truth is, I don’t feel like that most of the time, if not all the time. So since I made this rough, like reflection or like this, all of this thought process throughout my journaling, and to, through talking with add my husband, I’m like, I really need to talk about this, because I feel it’s so important. And I felt so pressure since I was really young to be sexy all the time, since I was like freaking 15. And now, even younger generations are really into the idea that they have to be sexy all the time. And I don’t want younger generations to feel like they have to be. So this was I’ve either I feel like really anxious talking about this with people like on Instagram, because I’m like, I don’t want people to feel like I’m telling them not to be sexy, because if you really want to, and you feel like it comes naturally do it, baby. But if you have to force it, I feel like that’s the problem. And that’s how I create my content. Because I like to be very in touch with what’s going on in my life, what I see on the media, What I’m feeling what I’m going through. And I feel like honesty, Iva is like seeing a freaking unicorn. It’s so rare that people are honest, those are not rare. But when you see it on social media, you know immediately when someone is being vulnerable and open themselves. This is like the content that I enjoy the most on social media when people are raw and honest and saying like, you know what, I made a mistake. My most viewed YouTube videos are about when I when I messed up or when I made a mistake or when I’m being honest, because people like you like to like to see real and honesty on the internet. So I feel like things that you can do now on social media, not only on Instagram, on Twitter, on YouTube, is to be 100% honest with yourself. And people really, really appreciate that. And your content will immediately pop up from the rest of the other content.

Iva Mikles

Because as you mentioned, like a lot of people they don’t want to either share too much because you don’t want to get hurt or you know, like be disappointed or judged. Yeah. So yeah, I totally get that, that a lot of people don’t want to do that. So and also maybe we shouldn’t share too much. So it’s kind of like limited because it was uploaded, it’s there forever. So yeah.

Fran Meneses

Renee Brown has, I feel like I caught her so much, but you are the one who draw the line between what you want to share and do what you don’t want to share. And she said that it’s very different from sharing what makes you feel vulnerable. Like things that are tough for you or difficult that what is intimate. And I feel like one of the podcasts that I listened to a lot is being boss. And I think ethylene said that for example and about this quote, it will be very different showing, you know like oh, I made the mistake. Being vulnerable. It’s like showing the mistakes you do are being open about that. But being intimate is like what you’re fighting about with your husband that is intimate. You don’t have to share that. But you can draw the line between what you want to share and what not. And people are equally grateful about everything you want to share.

Iva Mikles

Because then you’re creating the emotional connection with your audience. So they can kind of relate to you as well. So it’s the same as well, if you would create like concept art or other the type of illustration so there is always some kind of relation like okay, I can actually see this creature in real life, or this happened to me last week, or whatever like that. Before we continue, let’s thank our sponsors again. If you’re looking for a top quality print shop and online store to sell your art prints, then you should definitely check out in print in print has been helping artists print and sell gallery quality prints of their work all over the world for over a decade, created by artists for artists in print ensures that you as an artist get your artworks printed in a highest quality and you earn the highest percentage compared to the others in the industry. The online gallery@imprint.com is curated by the members, resulting in a beautiful and unique collection of work. So for their favorite artists, discover new ones and start selling through your own gallery today. What is more as an Art Side of Life listener, you will get a special 10% discount with the promo code artside, so don’t wait visit artsideoflife.com/imprint and use promo code artside. If you love discovering and trying out new art tools, you should check out art snakes when you subscribe, you will get the box of high quality art supplies every month. I have already discovered so many amazing new products, limited edition tools and exclusive supplies only available to subscribers. I’d say it’s definitely helps me to get more creative, and try different art techniques every month. There is also artistic challenge where you can share your artworks using only the tools in the monthly box. You also get to join the art sex mix community where you can talk with other artists like you inspire each other and improve together. And because you are a part of artsideoflife.com community, you will get a special 10% discount with the promo code archetype. And so don’t wait visit artsideoflife.com/art legs and use a promo code art site. And if you’re a digital artist, you will love Astro pad. Astro pad is an app that turns your iPad Pro into professional viral is graphics tablet for your Mac. I use it to work with Photoshop and Illustrator to create highly rendered artworks for my clients directly on my iPad. I was super excited to discover AstroPad because the painting apps available on iPad don’t have all the functionality like Photoshop with Astro pad, I can use all my favorite and custom made Photoshop brushes, which is super cool. And because you’re part of artsideoflife.com community, you will get an exclusive 10% discount on a stupid studio licenses. To get started, go to artsideoflife.com/aster. vet and enter the promo code artside. And now let’s go back to the interview. So and what helped you to progress the most with your artistic journey? Did you have something like an aha moment? As you mentioned with this manga, transfer to different art style, or something maybe like developing your art skills, you know, like tools you use, like oh, this is awesome.

Fran Meneses

I feel like when I read this question I’m like, huh, and it made me think a lot because I never think about these things until you ask me Iva. But for example, something that really fired me up like in the sense that the fuel that made me do things is the idea that I couldn’t study illustration, I couldn’t pay the career or workshop. So when I realized that everything was in my hands to do, like, I had to take the initiative and I had to be proactive and like, Okay, this is this is the field that I need because otherwise no one is going to teach me how to use watercolors or teach me how to draw for example, body language and anatomy, stuff like that. So I’m like, okay, everything is in my hands now, which is like a big pressure. But I started listing all of my flaws, all of the things that I feel I have to work on everything that I feel my weaknesses as an illustrator, and be fully conscious of that. And also something that really free me in the sense of illustration is that I don’t have to be a perfect illustrator. I don’t have to be because I have that pressure on myself alone either. Like I had to be super realistic Da Vinci illustrator, and I’m like, I really, I made amends. I made amends with the fact that I am not going to be like that and it’s okay to have very imperfect you illustrations because the idea of illustration is to communicate. And I’ve noticed that the illustrators that I enjoy the most, even though there are a lot of them, are like, Oh my god, like serial killer or something, he’s like a freaking genius. Most administrations that I really am really drawn to is, there are not only the ones that communicate and are vulnerable, the most, but also the ones that are raw and imperfect that have imperfect lines and stuff like that. At least that’s my opinion. I know more people are really into the the big ones who are totally okay. But I feel like, that’s the moment I make progress the most is when I got in touch with myself. And when I’m, when I look through on the illustration, and I’m like, okay, I’m okay.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, definitely. Because it doesn’t have to be, you know, the Yeah, the realistic or perfect anatomy, because then you can always get a picture. And as you mentioned, like, it depends where you want to use it. Because the people who love to have a realistic artworks, they can do portraits, or they can work for realistic gaming session companies that so there is always used for everything. So it’s great that you found your calling.

Fran Meneses

Yeah. And right now you that’s the thing that I love the most about illustration is that when I started, there was only like one or two or three ways you could illustrate and exaggerating. But right now there’s millions of ways and clients and commissions and stuff you can do with illustration. So I feel like there’s literally praise plays for all of us. If you’re into the mean T ones if you’re willing to digital and character design and gaming, as you said, or if you’re really into making books and products and stuff like that there’s really a place for all of us. Yeah. And

Iva Mikles

did you find also your color palette like a favorite colors? You always use the like by accident? Or was it like, Okay, I’m going to use only this to have a coherent style. Oh, baby,

Fran Meneses

that took me so freakin long. Because when I started, I was really shy, I guess color wise, I didn’t want to be like to brighten to contrast it. So I use very, very diluted like pastel colors. And I’m like, This is my palette. And then when I started working with clients, all of them because since most of my clients were in a print base, like magazines and newspapers, they were like, fine. I think your colors are great, but they really don’t work really well on your ad. Exactly. Because it feels like it’s not printed at all, it feels like it’s a black and white illustration. Could you please use brighter colors. And in the beginning, Iva, and I’m going to be like, super vulnerable right now with you. I took it really bad. I was really angry. I’m like, Oh my God, this line has no idea what it’s talking about. Instead of being to take it as constructive criticism, I’m like, No, this is my color palette. And I thought to myself, the person was being really disrespectful to my work and my art and the way that I’m doing it. And then I’m like, Okay, this is the client, I have to do it, we have to, like, stand on, on the middle point. So he has to give and I have to give. And I started using more brighter colors or darker colors, because but then I was also working for a science politics, magazine. So pastel colors don’t really go well with politics and science. And it took me a couple of years to realize how awesome brighter colors are. But it was only because I was being pushed by someone else to try a new different thing. And that’s why I encourage people so much to work with our people or to collaborate with other people only because we always were always the best side of ourselves. And we always go out of our comfort zone. We work with clients because since they’re paying us we have to show up, we have to be the best side and the best Illustrator we can be around them. So that’s why it was a really really nice experience to open up and say, You know what, it doesn’t hurt if I try it doesn’t hurt if I try a new illustration style or a new color palettes and that’s why little by little it took me years but I’m like okay, I really like this very dark shade of blue. What if I incorporate that to my palette? But yeah, maybe took me time and I was really grumpy along the way. But I’m so grateful it happened.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. Because then you have something you enjoy now and that it works also in print and everything. That’s awesome. Yeah. So how did you now you know when you have also your own product and the client work so what do you leave from now or what is the percentage split how you you know, like okay, well this is my main income or the What is that? How do you spread your eggs in the basket.

Fran Meneses

So right now, I did a very risky thing, and I am not accepting commissions anymore. Or like in a very special instances, like clients I really want to work with. But I’m most most of the time I’m working for myself, I’m working on my own products for my online shop. And I am doing lots of Patreon content. Because I really, I think that was a decision I took last year, because it was a very risky thing. But I’m like, I really want to focus on my projects and stuff like that. And it’s all thanks to Patreon, actually. So thank you so much Pedro’s. But I really wanted I didn’t want to quit doing content on social media, on Instagram, on YouTube and Twitter. So I’m like, the only way I can do this is double down on patron and focus my my content on Patreon, and also on my old social media, and on my online shop. So on a regular day, most of the time I’m doing for example, right now I’m working on a planner and new products that I’m going to launch on my online shop this year. And it and I and my husband, he’s also a writer, we’re working on a graphic novel together. So it’s, it’s really nice that I can that’s why I feel really lucky because I can focus on my own projects. And it’s all things to the online shop and Patreon that those two are my my only incomes at the moment

Iva Mikles

of its really so how do you structure your Patreon, like when someone signs up for your site or basically the support you what they can expect.

Fran Meneses

Right now Patreon is a god. It’s like a bit of everything because so Patreon is for those of you who are listening to this podcast and have no idea what Patreon is, Patreon is a way of people that can support you month to month. And they can support you only once or they can be subscribed to you and you can quit whatever you want. So it’s basically like a subscription or a tip jar, like whatever you want to take it. And for each amount of money you give every month you receive special pledges or a special content. For example, right now if you donate $1 to my patreon you get newsletter, which is basically a podcast newsletter that I record every two weeks. And I also upload a pillbox unboxing videos. Right now there’s lots of content regarding my moving. So I will show you guys what’s up with my studio and how my cities are like what’s up with the garage sale stuff like some of that I won’t share with everybody but only with them. I also share pictures of my cats, stuff like that, and many other like random things. I also I also for example, if you donate $5, you will get sketchbook tour. So everything that I’m writing down and sketching, even like the doodles that I do on my iPad, for $10, you get a live stream session with me once a month and we draw and practice together usually they give they suggest the topic of each live stream. So for example, if you’re a need some advice on Copic markers or fan, I really don’t know how to do body language and I’m like I’m with you, baby, let’s practice together is like a drawing date together. And with $20. It’s a private q&a. And it’s usually more like an advice one on one session with people. So if they, for example, have a company or business or they’re struggling with something on social media, I can give them more of like a one on one feedback. So it really depends what you want to do with Patreon. And that’s the beauty of it. Even if you’re a writer or any type of creator endeavors like Patreon, Patreon welcomes everybody. But it’s really nice now because they started featuring lens which is a Snapchat or Instagram stories in patron so I can now snap every single hour what I’m doing more like what I’m working on. So it’s been really nice to connect with the audience in this way. And they are the reason why I’m being able to upload so much content on social media actually, and focusing on graphic novels and stuff like that.

Iva Mikles

Oh, that’s really cool. Yeah, because then you don’t do Twitch I guess. So you do basically these live streams they’re on Patreon.

Fran Meneses

Yeah, I really want to try Twitch but right now I will rather move first and then try new new social media. This is the thing even please let me know your advice and feedback about is that since I feel like if I open Twitch, and please guys, let me know your advice to a few, like, if you open a new social media, you will be not so much present on the other social media you already have open. So I feel like it’s really hard for me to keep a balance. That’s because I will rather since Instagram also have a live stream built in. And like, should I open and use social media now? Or should I keep the live stream on you know,

Iva Mikles

I will be everywhere.

Fran Meneses

Exactly. That’s the thing. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

But it’s yeah, it’s interesting. I never thought about the with the Patreon with the live stream. So you can do it also with more people at the same time? Or do you do it one on there? Okay, interest? Yeah, no,

Fran Meneses

we’re doing an altogether. And it’s, I do that on YouTube. So even if you miss a live stream, you can watch it later because it’s saved as a regular video. But it’s really nice.

Iva Mikles

And so how does it you know, different for you? What do you upload to Patreon and on YouTube for YouTube, then you do shorter versions of like paintings maybe and stuff?

Fran Meneses

Yeah, on YouTube, I’m doing right now I’m doing lots of studio vlogs in the sense that I share what I’m working on every single day. And it’s usually a 15 minute video. So it’s a glimpse of what I’m working on. And the projects that I’m doing. Or if FNX and I go to a cafe is like a very, it’s like a snippet of our lives. But I do this is like my favorite content on YouTube at the moment, seeing what artists do on their working hours at their studios is something so God, I just I love seeing people working with art supplies, and drawing and drinking coffee. And this is like the content I love the most. And when I started on YouTube, there was no one doing arts and art content on YouTube. And now there’s so many people and makes me so freakin happy.

Iva Mikles

Because then you can like binge watch, like all these like vlogs

Fran Meneses

is the best and the worst at the same time you guys

Iva Mikles

got? Well, you can want to get the same time. Well, you have it in the background. When did you when you’re drawing then there is a part of your brain which can do something else, which is quite interesting.

Fran Meneses

Yeah. Or listen to podcasts.

Iva Mikles

Exactly. Yeah, mostly to podcasts when I travel when I go somewhere or go like shopping for groceries and stuff. So I’m not angry if I’m standing in a really long queue, because I’m just at least using my time.

Fran Meneses

Everything’s better when you’re listening to a podcast even cues.

Iva Mikles

Like, yeah, I’m here it’s okay. Do something Bailey, which kind of contributes to your success, like meditation, or as you mentioned, like sketching or going for coffee.

Fran Meneses

I’m meditating every single day, 20 minutes before I started my day. Also, drinking coffee always helps in the coffee inspires me and motivates me in another level. And about two years ago, I started exercising regularly, like at least three times a week, because I noticed I’m freaking sitting down every single like every hour of my day, and I don’t have a standing desk, I would love to have a bag coin yours. It’s the worst. Yeah, they say they say sitting down is the new smoking, which I totally get why. So I’m like Jesus. And also, I don’t have a separate office from my like, I work in my house, like, in my house,

Iva Mikles

I don’t have to walk anywhere. I don’t have to

Fran Meneses

commute. So I really needed a time to like a buffer, I needed a time to get out of my house. And just like run alongside the sea, or maybe go to the gym, I needed a time to just breathe fresh air and had an excuse to literally go out of my office. And that’s been really, really nice for my creativity and for catching up with the podcasts that I like, or even to feel healthy. Because, like, I’m really not scared. But I’m worried that since I’m sitting down so much, my joints at some point will start to decay. Or if I do have, for example wrist or back pains, I feel like exercise is the best for you. And since I am really bad at doing yoga, even though I love yoga, I’m like okay, I need to at least like move my go to a gym. So I feel like that’s really really really good to my house and my creativity on a daily basis.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, definitely. I totally agree. Because otherwise I cannot sleep if I don’t exercise I yeah, sorry. Once again. Do you exercise? Yeah, I do every day half hour. So it’s yeah, something Well, I did sport professionally before so it’s kind of like at least some leftover of something. Because if I guess if I don’t do anything, I would be like 300 kilos, I guess. So because I really liked to eat. But they didn’t have an ocean here nearby. So I could go to you know, I could go to the lake. So there is some kind of opposition there. But yeah, but it’s really important to move a bit because then yeah, the back starts to hurt or something is happening. But with the meditation, do you use the app or you are now like a professional? Yes.

Fran Meneses

I’ve finally found one I’m going to tell you a name right away is Insight Timer. And because I was using the alarm in my phone, and it’s very overwhelming when you’re meditating, and the alarm goes, like really loud, but Insight Timer is for free. And you can tweak it and put the sounds that you want. There’s even like background music or sounds if you want to meditate, and you can put a timer 20 minutes or 25 I have an outlet whenever you want. It’s really cool. Highly recommended.

Iva Mikles

Oh, interesting. Yeah, because I use calm there is an app called calm. Yeah, that one is I really liked that one or relax melodies. That’s also quite nice. Just like melody. Sounds,

Fran Meneses

there’s a lot of them that some cases they have advertising in between. So I’m like, I never know which one to pick anyway.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. So this one is like, good one. What about like a future project that you mentioned, like you work daily now on your project, and you are about to move? So what is the like your dream scenario, you know, five to 10 years and how everything is going where you are living, what you’re working on?

Fran Meneses

Ah, Jesus de la. Yes, we’re, we’re moving to New York in a month. So everything’s chaotic, and mass, we’re doing a garage sale in like two weeks. So this will be like the last time in a very long time in which I have everything in one place. And I have all the furniture. So I feel like I had to seize every second of being able to sit down on it, like desk and stuff. But right now I’m working on a planner and lots of stationary goods for my online shop. And I he’s about to finish the script for our sci fi graphic novel. And we’re really excited about that, I just want to this thing you I just want to finish this freedom planner. So I can like move on to other projects. And I’m sure a lot of people feel like that what when they feel like they have been working for a long time in something, then they just want to move on to the next project. I feel like that. I also want to do last year, I was really lucky. And I went to Tokyo for first time to Japan. And I really love to do travel journal about my experience there. And I will I’m also working on my online shop, because I know if you notice about Etsy, increase their

Iva Mikles

feelings, the policy, and

Fran Meneses

a lot of people is really angry about this, of course, like, yeah, it’s yeah, it’s horrible.

Iva Mikles

Because you work the same way. And then you just lose more money. Basically.

Fran Meneses

It’s horrible. And I don’t want to raise the prices on my products. So it’s been a really nice time me because I’ve been working on my online shop for a couple of months. So I really want to launch it really soon. And I don’t I have no idea how I see myself in 10 years either, because I moved from Chile to Europe five years ago, and everything has changed. So freaking much in the past five years. Like I’m a totally different human being now. And I have learned so much about myself and about Ed and what I want to do. I feel like if I’m keep, if I in 10 years now I am still publishing graphic novels and doing my products and helping people in some way and sharing everything I know I will be the most lucky and happy human being ever. That’s on a very cheesy, but I do really feel like that. But I would love to continue doing this and being like, contribution to the illustration community. And I just I love what I’m doing so much. So I don’t know if I answered that question. Yeah, definitely.

Iva Mikles

Because like, it will be also interesting for you or for everyone later in the you know, few years to listen to this. And they’re like, oh, and she wanted to do this. And oh, what she’s doing now. It’s so cool. You know? That’s really cool. And it’s always awesome to inspire other people because then you can, you know, be like, Oh, okay, so someone else is also creating something. So that’s really awesome. And so why did you actually choose New York? If I can ask? Yeah, sure.

Fran Meneses

We chose New York because at applying to a PhD in Columbia University, and he got in so we now have to move on. We’re going to be living in New York for at least seven or six years. So be the longest time we have ever been in a city since we moved because in five years, we have lived in Cologne, Germany, in Berlin, in London, and now in Hastings. So we have been moving around a lot for a while. So it will be really interesting just to live in one place in one city for more than two years. But yeah, since he got in Columbia University, we’ll have to move there. But it was always a city that he was really magnetic to us. In some way, it’s been really like a very scary thing, either, because I’ve always on the back of my mind, I’ve been like, I’ll never move to New York. Only because it’s like is, is a really interesting city. But I feel it’s so hard to try everything. Yeah, God is so competitive in a in a really nice way, by the way. And I really need that in my life, I need like a challenge. I feel like I’m ready. Now finally, for a challenge. In this magnitude. I mean, it’s really expensive. There’s so many creative, intelligent people living there. And it’s been a while since last time, we lived in a very big city. So I’m really scared of this change, because I have no idea how my life is going to change and my work is going to change. And I feel like every time I move, since my work is really based on my surroundings and how I go like how I feel. I’m really interesting to see how this is going to affect on my work. And also, I would love to see how much it will improve in my life. Because I feel like I’m very insecure. And I love how New Yorkers are so that I feel like they have so strong personalities. And I will look to be more bold, and take more bolder decisions. So I feel it’s going to be like growing pains is going to hurt. But it’s going to I am really looking forward to grow in that side.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. Because you never know who you meet and how they influence you. Maybe you go to acting classes you never know and implement the poses and stories into your art. Yes. That can happen all the time. Serendipity, you know, with meeting Oh, Lord, yes. So that will be super cool. So I’m definitely looking forward to see your you know, future art. And the story is what the will probate and everything. I think it will be awesome. So yeah, definitely. Thank you. Thank you so much. So, yeah, I don’t want to hold you too long. Because we were talking for quite a bit now. So you can go back. Oh, my God, it works. Right. So yeah. So thank you so much, again for being here. It was super nice.

Fran Meneses

Iva. Thank you so so so much for having me. This is like this is the best. And thank you so much for being so patient. I just want to say that Eli has, like yeah, I’ve been really, really, really busy. And you have been so patient. So I really appreciate everything. Like you’re you joined. I really did. I thought we were talking for like 10 minutes. And it’s been almost an hour

Iva Mikles

or two. Yeah, so but I’m sure everyone is now inspired and like okay, I can do this. So I’m really happy that you share all your stories and insights and everything. So it was really nice. And thank you again. And thanks everyone who joined today as well. And our listener, watch them. See you guys in the next video. Hi guys fine. Hey, guys, thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate you being here. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at artsideoflife.com. Just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a couple of free artists resources ready for you on the website as well. So go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher so I can region inspire more artists like you. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube. Continue to inspire each other and I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

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Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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