Meet talented photographer and LCC Graduate, Francesca Jane Allen
- Liv Siddall
- 30 June 2014
One look at Francesca’s portfolio and we knew that this was a very, very exciting graduate. Channeling all the vibes of Rookie with the serene portraiture ability of Vermeer, Francesca’s lucid, candid photography depicts youth, friendship and true love. With a BA in Photography from the London College of Communication and a few cross-continental adventures under her belt, Francesca’s well on her way to becoming a much-loved photographer. We chatted to her about her time at University and her plans for the future.
Why or who or what made you go to art school?
This is a question I ask myself far too many times a day. I was always better at academic subjects like maths and science and studying art infuriated me. It still does, but I ended up here somehow. I left school early so I didn’t actually have the right qualifications to apply for a more academic degree and it seemed appropriate to dedicate three years to doing what I love.
Tell us about your best project
I think my final project was my best project. I spent my entire degree trying to conceptualise my work and add a deeper meaning to it when in reality it had been staring at me the whole time. The series entitled Girls! Girls! Girls! was a series of images I’ve been working on since I was 17. As the title might suggest, the images are all of girls, mainly my younger sister and my best friends Cosima and Ayesha. All of the girls I photographed mean a lot to me and have shaped my life in some way or another. There are over 60 pictures in the project and I displayed them in a huge collage on the wall. It felt very final and extravagant to show all of my favourite work in one go and I still feel sad about having to take it down. I’m actually releasing a zine with a selection of images from the show very soon, so I guess it’s not entirely over.
Tell us about your worst
I’ve done some god-awful projects for school. I haven’t exactly been an exemplary student and the majority of the work I presented was crammed in a sketchbook the night before with a terrible concept behind them in a halfhearted attempt to conform to the brief. Perhaps a low point was creating a series imitating Frida Kahlo portraits in photographic pastiche using male subjects and questionable collage skills.
If you could show one person your portfolio, who would it be and why?
Maybe my Dad; I don’t know if he’s ever seen it. It would be a total middle finger to show him I am making some fab things!
What was the best moment of your three years at uni (extra curricular included)?
Last summer I spent two months traveling in Mexico and California photographing and filming almost everything and everyone I encountered. The images I took there are some of my favourite images and they reflect the incredible experience I had and the wonderful people I met along the way. I formed some very special relationships with people and a lot of these photos made an appearance in my final show.
A lot is changing – would you recommend art school to someone who is considering going?
Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend studying your current practice – study something that can be applied to your practice. I wish I had studied book-arts or a design related course, learned totally new skills and used my photography within that. If you love something, you don’t need to go to school to study it, just do it for yourself. Art school could be the best thing that happened to you, or the worst. It isn’t for everyone and there are always other options.
Finally, if your dreams come true, where will you be in a year’s time?
Not waitressing! A year feels like such a short period of time now so I don’t have any crazy expectations. Eventually I want to live in California – I lived there when I was younger and it’s so beautiful. I want to make my work out there. It’s vast and sleepy and barren and everything I want to see on a daily basis.
Supported by Represent
We are very pleased that The It’s Nice That Graduates 2014 will once again be supported by Represent Recruitment. The graphic design recruitment specialists have developed a peerless reputation working with designers of all levels and matching them up with the right positions in some of the top agencies around. Represent’s support has helped us grow the Graduate scheme over recent years and we are thrilled they have partnered with us again in 2014.
About the Author
Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and worked across online, print and events, and was latterly Features Editor before leaving in May 2015.