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FRANCESCA

FRANCESCA. ARTIST

Italian born and raised. Australian citizen.

Art images from www.fragnagna.com

 

I am a professional artist, and I paint full time in my studio in Fremantle. 

 

Do you remember what you wanted to do with your life when you were a teenager? 

I wanted to be a museum curator, so I guess I've always loved art and being surrounded by it, but I never thought I would actually be able to become a full time artist and being able to support myself financially only by selling paintings! 

 

What was the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

It has to be one of my nonna's advice: (in Italian, "Si chiude una porta e si apre un portone") "When one door closes, a gate opens" I love it because it really gives me a sense of hustle and to never give up, it means that every opportunity that you might lose, might actually be the beginning of something else, perhaps even more gratifying. So I've learned to fail fast and move on and that better things will come to those who work hard. 

 Which part of your job gives you the most satisfaction? 

It is definitely seeing my paintings hanging at my clients’ homes, it gets me excited every single time I see a new piece hanging in its new forever home. 

   

How challenging was it for you moving to Australia, becoming a citizen, and establishing a business from scratch? 

Australians are the most open minded people I've ever met, friendly, always ready to help and always open to give a fair go to anyone who deserves it. I came to Australia with no contacts in the art world, but only a strong resume after studying in Rome and Paris, and I landed my first job at an art gallery 3 days after arriving to Perth. I couldn't believe it! I was ready to fully immerse myself in this new adventure and I dedicated myself to learn English as best I could. I learnt along the way!

I learnt that good things happen to those who want to achieve their goals. I remembered I promised myself (and my parents!) that I would never move to Australia to end up working in a cafe or at a pub. So I had to make it work! :) I'm still forever grateful to all the amazing Australians I've met along the way and that made me feel at home from day one. 

 

How do you believe schools or universities (in Australia/France/Italy!) might be changed to be more relevant or effective? I definitely would have loved to study art by standing in front of every painting, in every museum or every church or every monument I've studied on books instead. Obviously this concept is most applicable for art studies, but in general I think it would be a greater opportunity for students to learn by practise and that personal experience and involvement in anything will always bring out more interest and focus and achieve better results than just being taught by someone else or reading in on books. 

 

A final word

 'If you don't try you'll never know if you can make it!' were words from my mentor and I guess the thing I'm most proud of myself is having had no fears to move to a country I've never been before and with no one I knew from Italy and achieving everything I've done to get to where I am today. 

Always trust your heart and trust your dream, it will become your story. Francesca