Dividing her time between illustration and her job as a social worker, Oakland-based artist Meg Fransee creates fun-loving characters that immediately communicate joy and energy. Clad in brightly patterned clothes (many of which the It’s Nice That team wish were commercially available) or sometimes no clothes at all, Meg’s characters are full of life and movement, humans and animals alike.
From her East Bay garage, Meg and her partner and collaborator Aaron Gonzalez run a small press and publication outfit called Floss Editions, which specialises in producing predominantly Risograph books and print publications that are similarly joyful. It’s this experience that Meg says drives her aesthetic style, which centres around playfully exploring colour and texture in a variety of media from paint to print to digital. “My illustration is influenced largely by my work with Floss Editions and the parameters that come with print-based projects by exploring flat, bright colours and grainy gradients,” she says. “Much of my Risograph printed work is created in collaboration with Aaron, who brings more of the technical and detail-oriented skill set to the printing process.”
As well as finding inspiration in the print process itself, illustration is also a way for Meg to process the demands of her emotionally tiring profession. She explains: “My work is also influenced by my day job as a social worker for the Oakland Unified School District, where drawing and printing provided a practical counterbalance to unwind from the day’s work.” For Meg, these exuberant scenes are a way of projecting herself into positive environments, and trying on new identities. “My work largely explores narrative themes and combines or recombines imagery as an exploration of versions-of-self in imagined space,” she adds. Luckily for us, the joy is contagious and it’s hard not to smile when exploring Meg’s technicolour (and snappily dressed) worlds.
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