How “indulging in absurd thoughts” fuels Francesca Colombara’s wacky work
Inspired by the worlds of Dr. Seuss and Sally Cruikshank, Francesca Colombara uses her offbeat creations to work through life challenges.
Throughout the surreal illustrations and animations of Francesca Colombara, you’ll find fruit like lemons and ripe strawberries, and animals like frogs and tigers, all brought vividly to life with quirky human attributes. A whole load of fungi also features in her work, for the way their image can “create a psychedelic atmosphere – like a big trip!”, Francesca adds with a laugh. These wacky characters and themes come from Francesca’s main method of sourcing inspiration for her work: “I like to indulge in absurd thoughts and see where they take me,” she says.
For Francesca, her work can also be “introspective” – her way of representing “what I feel through crazy and colourful drawings”. This process offers an outlet for some of life’s harder moments. In her graphic novel Panic!, Francesca visualised the anxiety she experienced during the pandemic through a giant dog that occupies the whole room. Typically using a mix of analogue and digital techniques – pencil, ink, light box and Photoshop – Francesca also co-founded the Ciang animation studio with her partner Matteo Dang.
Francesca Colombara: I Gotta Cry (Copyright © Francesca Colombara, 2022)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.