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5 on Friday Artist Interview : Francesca Iannaccone

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Francesca Iannacone is an artist and designer from the UK (aka mrs eliot books) + she is simply a lovely person and I adore her artwork :) Francesca lives in North London with her husband and two boys - I'm delighted that she can join us here today! 

Welcome Francesca and please tell us about yourself, what you do, and name 5 of your favorite things. 

I'm an artist and designer, and I sell my work in the form of art prints and cards from my online shop and to shops in the UK and abroad. I also license my work for publishing. I have a husband called Ben and two fantastic boys who keep me busy, stressed, happy, tired and silly.

I get excited about: 
a movie and a take away with Ben
an whole afternoon to myself
a great design commission
making new work
the sun coming out

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Where do you live, what do you like about it - and what place would you most like to visit one day?

We live in North London. It's a green and leafy neighbourhood and has a very independent high street, which is hard to find in the UK these days. It has vintage shops and million cafes and a great artsy community. London is fabulous, such a great mix of cultures, tribes, neighbourhoods. Green and gritty all at once.

I like cities mostly. We've done a lot of Central & South America, but we've never been to Argentina or Uruguay, so they are on the wish list.

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How do you manage to keep a good life/work balance and stay healthy and fit?

At the moment my work/life is pretty balanced. I have just the right amount of time to get everything done before picking the kids up from school. Sometimes I'm extra busy and stressed, which I don't deal with very well, but I'd rather be busy than not. When I'm not busy I feel completely redundant and a bit low. 

I do Pilates once a week, a class I've been going to since my 8 year old was born, so I'm pretty sure that will be with me for life.  I also just started the 7 minute workout, have you seen it? It's taking me about 10 minutes as I need a bit more of a breather in between some of the exercises, but it's so good to sneak a bit of cardio into your day!

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What is the most exciting adventure you ever had?

We did quite a bit of travelling before we had kids, which was all a great adventure, but I will never forget horse riding up a steep hill in Guatemala with my eyes closed because we were so close to the edge. Literally a white knuckle ride! And I'm also glad we made it to Koh Tao on a tiny boat in a thunderstorm. Oh and I jumped out of a plane once. When I read that back I can't believe that's me. I would never do ANY of them again so I'm glad I got it out of my system when I had more courage!

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What are your creative projects and dreams for 2014, and what is your advice to those who would like to pursue a more creative, artistic path too?

My dream is always the same, to carry on making things that people like and want to buy, but maybe make a bit more money this year ;-) 

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I'd love to collaborate on a project with an artist who works in a different discipline, like ceramics or glass or textiles. And I'd love to license more patterns and designs so they appear on trays and mugs and homewares. 

My advice would be do it because you love it, and keep going. Things generally don't come easy, you have to work hard and explore all avenues. But there's nothing more fulfilling than someone emailing to say thank you, that they received their print and they love it :-)

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Thank you Francesca! Your lovely work and your thoughts are always very encouraging and inspiring, and it's great to hear from you today :) 

Connect with Francesca - aka Mrseliotbooks - on her website, blog, shop, Etsy, facebook, instagram, pinterest, and on Society 6. Brand new are her magnetic list makers and notebook sets - I love her iPhone cases too and I'm looking forward to getting some of her lovely abstract prints in my home this year! xo 


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