This month, in Conversations in Colour, we catch up with London-based creator, Frances Costelloe, who is best known for her free flowing line drawings of quizzical faces and serene shells. After working in fashion and interiors, Frances combined her love of drawing and ceramics to found her eponymous brand with her signature playful aesthetic.
What is your earliest memory of colour?
“I have two very strong colour memories - the first time was seeing Van Gogh's sunflowers in primary school. Those yellows and mustard tones just blew me away. I loved creating our own version aged 5 and I have loved his work ever since. Another strong colour memory is the aqua tones of the Hampstead Heath Lido - the water as the waves created dancing sun patterns on the floor of the pool below.”
What colours are you particularly attracted to and why?
“I keep coming back to green in my home. Especially the kind of dark sage green. I have painted my kids' room that colour and the fence in my small garden. Quite like a breakfast room green by Farrow and Ball. That and cornflower blue. They are my favourite flowers along with sweet peas. That true blue reminds me of the sky on sunnier days.”
When did you start painting and have you always wanted to be an artist and designer?
“I have been drawing and painting since before I could write. I loved to draw my ideas, portraits and lots of imaginary houses. I love to paint with oil paint but haven't properly in about 10 years. That is my aim over the next few years, to create some oil on canvas which I am happy with.”
Tell us about your art, your process and who or what inspires you most.
“I take a lot of photos - all the time. I love flowers and colour and so find my phone's camera roll is full of these images. I also try to visit exhibitions when I can. That never fails to inspire.”
Does your love of colour translate into other parts of your life?
“My house is quite neutral but I have elements of colour. I dream of getting a new pink sofa cover - for now a second hand eBay IKEA pink throw will do, and blue cushion covers for my armchair. With small children it makes sense to have cotton throws on all the furniture. I recently painted my bathroom india yellow by Farrow & Ball. I love how calming it is. In terms of clothes, I gravitate between blues and navy. I don't really suit black near my face so I don't have many black jumpers or tops.”
Where can we see your work?
“The website, and more recently in Liberty - we’ve just launched a collection!”
What’s coming up next for you?
“I have an exciting brand collab with a NZ company. I can't wait for it to come out. I'm not really sure what the next year will hold but I have decided to go and study for a Post Graduate Diploma - worth it for the NUS card alone!”
Find out more here
Shop the collection here
Photos by Jessica Batour