Saffron Francis is a contemporary illustrator. Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario and is of Trinidadian Canadian heritage. Saffron enjoyed drawing at a young age (pre-school). During her teens, while battling anxiety and utilizing talk therapy, Saffron turned to drawing urban creatures to release and face her issues.
She received a BFA Degree from OCAD University in Toronto, and has participated in several shows. Her images are created by ballpoint pen, and her signature work utilizes bold black ink on white canvas, with deeply textured layers. Saffron is a participant in Daniels Spectrum’s Heart of the City Visual Arts Mentorship Program.
Her work explores the dichotomy between wildlife and the pressures of urban spaces. The natural world that is all but ignored fades into the background of the urban landscape. Her work attempts to bring attention to city creatures that have managed to co-exist with us in these spaces. She’s reinterpreted the wildlife’s form to visualize the pressures put on the species natural habitat and ours.
The pumping anxiety that She often suffers herself, ?ows through the creature like a conjoined maze, with twisted and contorted bones, muscle, and hair, leaving only the face recognizable. By using everyday materials found within our urban culture, such as ball point pen, she interprets the wildlife’s essence using a medium that is readily understandable by the viewer to visually reinterpret the form. This forces the viewer to re-imagine the image all together, triggering a dialogue between our city-scape and the life that survives within it. Despite the fact she enjoys creating small sketches, she prefers to draw 4 by 6 ft. works of art in order to make it next to impossible for people not to be captivated and realize that we do share a space with these creatures.