francesca iannaccone is our maker for monday. check out the artist/designer/vintage tea cup collector/gin rummy champion who makes prints, cards, wooden books and brooches (with love) from london!
i’m francesca iannaccone and i run mrs eliot books from my house in north london. i’ve lived in london all my life and despite loving to travel and falling in love with a few other cities around the world, i can’t see me living anywhere else. it’s got everything.
what do you make or do?
i mainly make prints and cards, although i first started my etsy shop making little wooden books (hence having “books” in my shop title).
i still have a few books in my shop and i’m hoping to do more again when my little one goes to school.
i’m also working on some brooches – something new for me but i think they’re going to fit in with my other work really well.
where can we find your creations?
is creativity a luxury or a necessity for you?
creativity is an absolute necessity for me. i think it’s something you’re born with– so if i wasn’t doing this, i would be making something else. i just wouldn’t be me without it.
i always think of the rosalie gascoigne quote when she was asked how she became an artist, and said, “i didn’t ever become one, i was one. i was that sort of animal.”
when you’re not making things- what do you do?
when i’m not making, i’m looking after my two boys (two and six). gus is at nursery two mornings a week at the moment– which is just enough time to get everything done, although i do find myself working evenings and naptimes too.
if money wasn’t an issue, how would your life change in regards to your art?
if money wasn’t an issue, i’d be able to do more experiments. i would love to produce more products likes cups and trays, but it’s all pretty expensive with large minimum orders, so you have to make sure you have the market in place first.
if money wasn’t an issue, i probably would have produced wallpaper and all sorts by now and have it piling up around the house– so it’s a good thing i have to be frugal!
what inspiring advice would you give to other creatives?
my advice to anyone starting out would be to just go for it. start a blog alongside your shop, which opens you up to more potential customers and helps you make connections.
[blogging] isn’t just to get noticed—it’s also for the support network. there’s nothing like putting something out there on your blog and getting feedback from other like-minded supportive creatives.
i’ve found that invaluable and it makes working alone at home feel like you are walking into a shared studio space every day.