Meet My Friend: Frances Rodriguez - Handmade in the Heartland

Meet My Friend: Frances Rodriguez

I am in complete awe of the people i went to college with.  Seriously.  The friend i want to share with you today is Frances, she was a textile major but clearly is a talented artist in all mediums.  She lives in New Orleans with her adorable daughter and husband and i love seeing her current work inspired by her surroundings.  Thanks Frances for sharing your work with us, its truly inspiring.  

What is your current job & Where do you live?
New Orleans captured my heart my senior year of RISD, and I've lived here on and off since. I currently work as a freelance artist, and draw inspiration from the South's landscape, idiosyncratic characters, and intriguing situations. So, I run the gambit on my interests! Lately I've been doing a lot of large scale pieces, specifically inspired by the Louisiana wilds. I'm also working on my Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and I incorporate a lot of art therapy into my counseling with all ages and populations of people (children, adults, substance abusers, etc..).

Keep Reading for more of Frances profile. 

Describe your work process
Since high school I've been religious about carrying around a sketchbook that I can jot ideas and quick sketches into. Mardi Gras, and the costuming that goes on in New Orleans year round informs quite a bit of my work, so it's nice to capture the spirit in the moment. These books are a perpetual source of inspiration, and always breathe life into my creative process when I feel stuck. Typically, a painting will build inside of me. I'll carry it around in my head, tweaking the idea. I might make one or two quick sketches of the piece, but usually I just go for it! These moments of creative immersion create a tranquil joy that is my favorite part of what I do. For me, this process holds a certain sanctity, and magical mystery to it.  I always try to remember to honor the creative output, both in my studio, and in my therapeutic work.

Frances Rodriguez, Mardi Gras Costume

What has been your favorite project to date?
My favorite project to date has been creating the artwork for Peche Seafood in New Orleans (Donald Link's latest restaurant endeavor). With a few minimal instructions, I was able to design and create several large scale pieces throughout the restaurant. The artwork truly informs the interior's personality, and adds a whimsical element to an otherwise industrial space. The pieces (one textile collage of the bayou, a ten foot redfish, and three panels of schooling fish) were the largest commissions I've created to date. In addition to seeing the space come alive, the most satisfying aspect of the project has been watching the patron's delight and enjoyment of the artwork. There's something pleasing and even a little decadent about dining under such expansive works of art.

Frances Rodriguez, Peche Seafood New Orleans artwork

Frances Rodriguez, Peche Seafood New Orleans artwork

If you could design for any client who would it be?
My dream client is someone with an eye for aesthetics, and who will collaborate on the front end to help churn the best idea to the surface. It's usually really enjoyable to watch a client's excitement build as they become part of the process. 

Frances Rodriguez, Flying Stork

Tell us a few of your favorite spots in your city. 
My favorite spots around town have drastically changed since having my daughter, Eva, a year ago. We try to be outside as much as possible. One of our family's favorite spots in New Orleans is the "Singing Tree" in City Park. An artist installed a series of giant wind chimes in a live oak in New Orleans City Park. The slightest breeze or movement creates a gentle orchestra of melodies. We take picnics and let Eva run around like a wild little baby! For a little pampering, I sometimes hop down to the French Quarter's Hotel Monteleone for my favorite pedicure. 

You can see Frances website HERE, buy her art at her etsy store HERE, follow her on Facebook, and Instagram!

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