Fran Alvarez, an illustrator and graphic designer from Rizal, finds happiness when working on things about nature, pop culture, food, childhood, play, and daily life.
She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2010, and was part of the Bartels Scientific Illustration Program at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology in 2015. She has worked with Adarna House, The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Chronicle Books, Room to Read, the East-Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), and UNIQLO. Fran works with Studio Dialogo, a boutique graphic design studio based in Quezon City. She is also an active member of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK), a Filipino organization of artists committed to the creation and promotion of illustrations for children.
In Quaderno: Yakap by Fran Alvarez, the artist brings her own style of whimsy to create explorations of the concept of ‘yakap.’ Always inspired by nature, her series of artworks juxtposes the softness and intimacy of an embrace with the hardness of rocks. It depicts how in surrendering to a hug, in embracing our hard and soft edges, we can find healing and relief.
What inspires/motivates you to create?
I think a very big part of my process is restlessness and curiosity, and just trying to see how things will look like if I make them myself. Inspiration and motivation come and go so fast for me a lot of times so I try not to rely on them for everything. But what I do have a lot of all the time are questions and a strong urge to look things up, and I think drawing is my way of figuring things out.
Pagtitipon 02 (digital illustration, 2022)
What does your art represent?
Answers to my what-if questions and different stories from the world around me.
What does yakap mean to you?
A warm, quiet moment of rest.
Pagtitipon 03 (digital illustration, 2022)
What was the idea behind your yakap artworks? How did you came up with it?
My yakap artworks represent how a hug feels for me, especially when things aren't going so well. They show how getting a hug from someone, no matter how momentary, can help me keep things together and feel secure.
Pagtitipon 04 (digital illustration, 2022)
How can art be a source of yakap to others?
Art can be a way to tell stories that resonate with others and make them feel they're not alone with whatever they're going through at the moment.
Inspired by Fran Alvarez’s art? Embrace Philippine art with Quaderno: Yakap by Fran Alvarez, a set of four limited-edition notebooks featuring original artworks by Palomo, created for the creative you.
A part of the proceeds from Fran's Quaderno: Yakap collection will go to book donations to children in disadvantaged communities in the Philippines in support of CANVAS' One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children Campaign.