The work of London-based illustrator Franz Lang is a welcome colourful escape from the mundane of isolation life! Franz’s bubbly and energetic illustrations have been featured across multiple editorial projects, including clients such as HEALTYISH, Bon Appetite and Ramona. We caught up with the Italian creative to learn what goes into her work and how being isolated in the Mountains of Cortina d’Ampezzo is going…
Hey Franz, we saw via your IG that you’re self-isolated in Cortina d’Ampezzo, how’s it going there?
Hey! Italy has been under extreme lockdown since the 9th of March and mood has been spiralling up and down following the very strict government regulations. All shops besides essentials are closed, post service is delayed, no outdoor activities nor walks, and everybody has to wear gloves and a mask for protection when going food shopping. Hopefully things will ease out soon, as I am starting to miss London (even if the mountain views from the windows here are amazing).
What’s the best thing about isolation?
Some of my family is locked in the same house and we all have been spending, for the first time in ages, a lot of time together. I enjoy living in London, but this means missing on a lot of family meetings because of the distance. Finally, I am catching up! My grandparents are getting older, and is a bliss to see them everyday for lunch or for a game of cards in the afternoon.
What’s the worst thing about isolation?
At the beginning, The lack of space, mental and physical, of living all together without the possibility to go outside for some quietness. Everybody is always doing something around here, and privacy borders are blurred. I am starting to get used to this though, and only have, hopefully, 3 more weeks to go.
Has Covid-19 affected your work in any way?
It did! First of all, I am having THE wildest dreams (apparently like a lot of other people) and this gives me a lot of fuel to draw. Some days I dream really vividly, and those images are a very good source of weird storylines and elements to add to my work. Job-wise, some of the projects I was working on got cancelled or postponed due to the virus. It seems to me though, that the illustration industry has not been affected as hard as other sectors, as people are still reading magazines and newspaper.
Is there anything you would recommend to fellow creatives, to help get them through these weird times?
I’ve started a therapeutic drawing journal, to try to address every evening the emotions of this strange days. I also try to work during office hours, to not fuse everything I do into a single blob-of-a-day. Is so easy to loose track while spending so much time at home, and setting boundaries to my workplace, work hours, and so on, really helped me to stay focused, concentrate fully and not procrastinate too much.
Is there anyone or anything in particular that inspires your work?
Currently I am listening to a lot of music, as got tired of scrolling through Instagram, Pinterest or whatever else. A source of inspiration can be anything I see, hear or read, so it really depends on what I am doing during the day.
What’s the creative process behind your illustrations?
Everything starts in my sketchbook. Wherever I go, I always carry a sketchbook and a pen on me, You never know when an idea will kick in! After having a concept, I work both on paper and on my iPad to finalise it, depending on what’s the mood of the brief or on what feeling a I wanna give.
What’s an average working day like for you?
Generally, I wake up pretty early and read in bed for a bit while having my coffee. I then get ready and go to the studio, if I have something big to work on, and draw all day. I like to cook my meals, so food prepping is a big thing everyday, and always happy to meet friends after work for a pint. I recently moved to a different part of the city, almost one hour away from the studio, so still getting used to the commute time. What do other people do while sitting on a train? Please send me some tips to make that time funnier!
Do you have any good Netflix binge recommendations for self-isolation?
Uuum, I know everybody is talking about it, but Tiger King really is a must-see during this quarantine. Trash TV to a whole other level: too many weird characters, drugs, sex and big cats all in one place, a delight! I also really enjoyed “Locke&Key” and “The House of Flowers” – a real good Spanish series very “telenovela”.
And finally, have you gained any new hobbies or skills while being self-isolated?
Exercising! I am not a huge fun of exercises and get my daily dose of movement from walking around London or climbing, but since I’ve been in lockdown Fitness apps have really helped me to cool down and set a routine. Also trying to understand animation a bit more and watching a million different tutorials online. I always complained about not having enough time to animate so.. here I am!
Check our Franz’s site here.