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Frances Barry

As a child

Frances Barry was born and grew up in Hertfordshire. Growing up, she loved reading, writing and making things and went on to study painting at art college, followed by a postgraduate diploma from the Royal Academy.

As an adult

Frances has worked as an illustrator and mural painter since college, beginning by making her own greetings cards and having a stall at Camden market. Her first mural, for Battersea Dogs’ Home, was of dogs of all shapes, colours, patterns and sizes, all needing a new home. This led to painting more animals: for children’s bedrooms, a school playground and a children’s waiting room in a hospital. She has lived in Brighton, London and New York.

As an artist

Duckie’s Rainbow was Frances’ first book. She works in collage, using scissors or tearing coloured paper. Frances works at a large trestle-table that has been used for jumble sales in a church in east London, but became too heavy for the old ladies to lift. But she can work anywhere, as long as she can see the sky; she say, “being able to see long distances is great for stretching your eyes and your mind. I really enjoy the puzzle element of making novelty books - it can be quite an adventure. It starts by taking an idea for a walk, then turns into a journey, into a maze, until you finally find the centre! Then, of course, you have to find your way out again!

Things you didn't know about Frances Barry

  1. She has been a vegetarian since the age of fourteen.
  2. She loves gardens and gardening.
  3. She loves to grow things to eat too.
  4. Her favourite flower is a sweet pea (white, blue or purple ones).
  5. She love sunsets, thunderstorms and starry skies.
  6. She lived in a camper van for a year and travelled around Europe, keeping two diaries, one of words and one of drawings).
  7. She loves music and can play the guitar (but not very well!).
  8. She takes lots of photographs and would like to make films too.
  9. Her older brother hatched two white ducklings in an incubator in his bedroom for a school project.
  10. She wishes she could roller-skate.

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