the artists behind the 2021 frankie calendar
Say g’day to this talented bunch.
Like everyone else, we can’t wait to say hello to 2021 and good riddance to 2020! Aside from the opportunity to start afresh, the new year also gives us a chance to flip open the 2021 frankie calendar, brimming with vibrant paintings, illustrations, embroidery and other eye-pleasing pictures. If you haven’t spied its rad pages just yet, we highly recommend doing so over here. Once you’ve had a good gander, keep scrolling here to meet the talented contributing artists.
FLEUR WOODS is a New Zealand artist who stitches lush botanical artworks. @fleurwoodsart
What are you looking forward to? I'm turning 40 in November, so I'm pretty excited to see what my 40s have in store.
Are there any skills you’d love to learn in 2021? I'd love to learn to rest more. Naps are on my agenda for 2021.
Do you have any new-year traditions? Each year I choose a word; 2020's was ‘trust’. Starting a new year with a new word is like a little mantra for the year ahead.
What made you laugh recently? I'm currently listening to a podcast called Sh**ged Married Annoyed – it makes me laugh so hard.
ABIGAIL HALPIN is an illustrator living in New England, US. She mixes watercolour, ink, pencil and collage. theodesign.com
What are you looking forward to? Seeing my sister and her family, as they return from three years living abroad in Japan.
Are there any new skills you’d love to learn in 2021? I'd love to start snowshoeing. And I'm planning to study Polish.
Do you have any new-year traditions? Making paper hats for New Year's, champagne and a Twilight Zone marathon are usually on my agenda for December 31.
What made you laugh recently? I've been rewatching the Canadian comedy series Corner Gas and it's hilarious, quirky and endearing. HILLER GOODSPEED is a Vancouver artist whose current interests include onion skin paper and oranges. @hillergoodspeed
What are you looking forward to? I'm not sure if there's any one thing in particular. I generally look forward to the changing of the seasons and the activities which take place at different times of the year. There are usually artistic endeavours on the horizon that keep me in a suspended state of excitement.
Are there any new skills you’d love to learn in 2021? I'd like to get better at working with other mediums. I love to draw but would like to spend more time exploring wood, clay, and sound. I have ideas for all kinds of projects that require new skills.
Do you have any new-year traditions? I like to make a hat every New Year's Eve, out of paper and stickers and collage material. I then perform an improvised musical number on melodica while wearing my hat.
What made you laugh recently? A discussion about dessert spaghetti, what it would be and what it might look like. Almost everyone thought it would be pretty good.
MANJIT THAPP is an illustrator based in the UK. (She also some helpful advice for young artists here.) @manjitthapp
What are you looking forward to? I’m so excited for next year because I have my first book coming out on March 2nd, Feelings: A Story in Seasons, and also my first solo show at NOW Gallery, London in February. I’ve spent most of the past two years working on both projects so can’t wait to see them come to life!
Are there any new skills you’d love to learn in 2021? I’d like to continue working on my animation skills.
Do you have any new-year traditions? Nothing major, but I do like to make a list of things I’d like to achieve in the new year.
What made you laugh recently? I’ve been watching light TV to keep my mood up while working. Rewatching older seasons of Real Housewives of Atlanta has made me laugh lots. NATASHA DURLEY is a UK-based illustrator whose work has adorned murals, homewares, stationery and more. @natashadurley
What are you looking forward to? I’m most looking forward to cuddling up with my baby niece or nephew who I’m yet to meet.
Are there any new skills you’d love to learn in 2021? I’ve always wanted to get messy and learn how to marble paper. Think of all those swirly gorgeous textures I could add to my Illustrations!
What made you laugh recently? Watching my rescue dog Iggy play with pebbles at the beach.
KATHERINE BRICKMAN (AKA GREEDY HEN) is a Sydney-based collage artist and illustrator. @greedy_hen
What are you looking forward to? I'm almost always in a perpetual state of looking forward to something. I have just as much enthusiasm for dinner tonight as I have for the pandemic being over.
Are there any new skills you’d love to learn in 2021? How to cut my own bangs and have it not look like I cut my own bangs.
Do you have any new-year traditions? I'm a massive fan of making New Year's Resolutions. The trick is to make them vague, like "in 2021 I'll work on being glorious." And then for the rest of the year that's quite a fun thing to have on your to-do list.
What made you laugh recently? Rhys Nicholson, Zoe Coombs Marr, and when my husband thinks he's nailing an Australian accent.
JOANNE HO (AKA HELO BIRDIE) is a New Zealand-based painter who loves the water. @helobirdie_art
What are you looking forward to? I (along with everyone else) am looking forward to a fresh start; hopefully a better year than 2020!
Are there any new skills you’d love to learn in 2021? I'm keen to dabble in acrylic paints and larger canvas artwork (I currently work with gouache on paper).
Do you have any new-year traditions? There’s always a healthy and fresh dietary lifestyle that can be started – whether it be more fruits and greens or a new exercise regime.
What made you laugh recently? Oh, definitely my dog Mac, he’s a little Boston terrier who acts like a clown/pig/cat.
JULIANNA BRION is a Baltimore-based illustrator and painter, known for transforming used books into art. @juliannabrion
What are you looking forward to? I’m excited for quarantine to be lifted so I can travel and hug my friends and family. I also have an artist residency set up for next summer, so I’m looking forward to having some time to paint in nature.
Are there any new skills you’d love to learn in 2021? There’s a woodworking collective in my city for women and female identifying people that I’d love to sign up for once quarantine is over! This year I also taught myself rug hooking and I look forward to improving those skills.
Do you have any new-year traditions? I don’t believe in New Year's resolutions. Why wait for a certain time of year to make positive change in your life? Just go for it!
What made you laugh recently? 2020 has been a very hard year for many reasons, but my cat, Pencil, never fails to make me laugh every day just by being her fat, lazy self.
BODIL JANE is an Amsterdam-based illustrator whose style is bold, bright and feminine. @bodiljane
What are you looking forward to? I’m not someone with a lot of future plans, probably because I’m really happy where I’m at right now! But there are some changes coming up that I look forward too – mostly getting a poodle puppy in December. Also, I’m planning to get my driver’s license by the end of this year so this promises some really lovely rides to the beach with a puppy in the back of the car.
Are there any new skills you’d love to learn in 2021? I’d love to become a very committed and amazing dog owner! Because I’ve never had a dog before, this is something I take pretty seriously, so I’m already reading books. I literally can’t wait. In terms of my work, I’d love to develop my creative skills for Photoshop. I can only do basic Photoshop now and I’ve completely mastered Procreate. But I want to have more options. Also, my pasta machine has been hiding somewhere in the kitchen and I’d love to get better at making pasta.
Do you have any new-year traditions? I love making a "more & less” list. I already have a few things in mind: less perfection, less stress, less meat, more walks, more painting, more local shopping etc.
What made you laugh recently? The two beagles I spotted this morning sitting in the front of their owner's ‘bakfiets’ aka Cargo Bike. I need to draw them! Since thinking about my future poodle, I've been seeing funny dogs everywhere!CASS URQUHART is a Melbourne illustrator whose work is also featured in the 2021 frankie diary. @cassurquhart
You illustrated the cover of our 2021 calendar. Tell us about the inspiration behind that lovely image. I made that painting at the beginning of the year during an editorial illustration class. The word ‘optimism’ was given as a prompt for the first project and I began to contemplate what this concept really meant to me. I was coming out of a difficult experience at the time, which had left me feeling emotionally depleted, and I had lost my sense of self. Yet optimism is all about knowing who you are, trusting in life’s course and choosing to believe that something good might happen even when you know that things are actually very bad. After reflecting on all of these ideas, the image came out onto the page. I think it’s partly a self-portrait, but I hope it’s something others can relate to as well. It was painted pre-COVID so it’s a bit strange how it foreshadowed the challenging year of 2020 that was to come.
GRACE HELMER is a London illustrator who works with oil paints. @grrrrace1
What are you looking forward to? 2020 has made me quite pessimistic, to be honest. The UK coronavirus situation is pretty dire at the moment, as well as Brexit still looming on the horizon and our government dragging their feet over effective responses to climate change. I’m lucky that I personally have a few things to look forward to next year, so I'm currently trying to focus on the small changes I can make.
Are there any new skills you’d love to learn in 2021? I’ve just started learning how to quilt, so I’d love to carry on with that and get better at sewing and a bit of embroidery. It’s been helping pass the time in lockdowns and is a good excuse to watch some trashy TV while I sew.
Do you have any new-year traditions? Not so much. I just try to use the weird time between Christmas and New Year to chill and reflect on the past year, and vaguely make some aims for the coming year.
What made you laugh recently? I’m easy to please... probably a video of a dog.ALICE LINDSTROM is an artist based in Melbourne. She works with paper to create textured collages. @alicemlindstrom
What are you looking forward to? More time with friends and family. 2020 has really underscored the importance of connection and makes you grateful for the people you have in your life, and the freedom to see one another.
Are there any new skills you’d love to learn in 2021? I'd love to learn animation.
Do you have any new-year traditions? Not really. As a child, we always used to melt a small piece of lead each New Year's Eve and then look at the shape and try to interpret what it could mean for the upcoming year. That was a really fun tradition that I loved.
What made you laugh recently? My little six-month-old baby girl. She's constantly laughing at different things she's discovering, and it's so much fun making up simple games with her. When she laughs it always makes me laugh, too.