I stepped into the vibrant world of fashion illustration with Francisca, a talented artist who has captivated the industry with her unique and energetic style. Through her whimsical illustrations, Francisca Okoye takes us on a journey of self-discovery, showcasing the pivotal moments that have shaped her artistic career as the creative director of Xiscafashions.
From a young age, Francisca realized her passion for art and fashion. Growing up in Agege, Lagos State, Nigeria, she was immersed in a melting pot of colours, cultures, and creativity. Inspired by the vibrant fabrics and patterns of her surroundings, Francisca began honing her skills as a fashion illustrator, bringing her imaginative visions to life with every stroke of her brush.
The turning point in Francisca’s career came when her boss stumbled upon her captivating drawing of Cinderella. Recognizing her undeniable talent, he encouraged Francisca to follow her dreams and pursue a career in fashion illustration. With newfound confidence, she leaped, to fully immerse herself in the world of art and fashion. Over the years she has worked and collaborated with fashion brands to help them bring their designs to life, she has been able to showcase a few of her designs during the felabration fashion show on Runway 2023, interned with Africa fashion week Nigeria (AFWN) on the 2nd of October 2023, and Lagos fashion week 2023.
Francisca’s illustrations are a reflection of her distinct style, characterized by bold, vibrant colours and intricate detailing. With each artwork, she effortlessly captures the essence of her subjects, infusing them with a sense of class and elegance. Her illustrations have graced the pages of prestigious fashion magazines as she shares with us some tips for staying successful as a fashion illustrator.
Firstly, Stay inspired:- this is simply keeping up with fashion trends, and also attending fashion events. I can’t over-emphasize how attending fashion events has helped me as a fashion illustrator.. but you need this experience to grow.
Secondly, Embrace technology:- stay up to date with digital tools and platforms that can enhance your work. It took me a hard time to finally get into digital illustration, as I was comfortable with manual, but when my heart was finally ready to embrace digital illustration, it was a beautiful beginning for me.
Thirdly, Utilize social media to showcase your illustrations, connect with a wider audience and engage with potential clients or collaborators. I get questions like “Why post your designs? You’re exposing your designs to other designers, to tailors, ain’t you scared of them stealing them and making them theirs? And my answers were always “If I don’t post my works, how would the society know what I do, how would they know the value I have and the value I can give” Post your works! Show the world what you’re made of and own every bit!
Lastly, trust God and trust the process she said. But we all know there are some good days and bad days as a fashion illustrator, Francisca shared some of her experience with us, starting with her good moments. “My best moments as a fashion illustrator are times I get jobs from fashion brands either to create a collection or to design a piece. And also when people refer me to brand owners. My signature word is Whenever you think about fashion illustration, think XisCa”
Her worst moment, “I think those are times when I get stuck in my head, with my head and mind blank, with no idea of what exactly I want to create… And times like this are days I get to stress my head from creating a lot of designs. I feel miserable because I want to create a design but at the moment inspirations aren’t coming”.
We realized the secret to Francisca’s success lies in her ability to connect with her target audience. By staying true to herself and infusing her illustrations with her personality, she has cultivated a loyal fanbase who eagerly awaits her newest creations. Every job offer and referral she receives is a testament to her talent and the joy she brings to those who are fortunate enough to collaborate with her.
We went further to ask what makes her brand different and she said “For some reason, I’d like to say the grace I have as a child of God. Starting this journey professionally I never thought I’d be working with fashion brands at an early stage of my journey. This really got me knowing the amount of value I give out to the society. My brand is built on God and so far the difference is having God. Another is the passion I had, I had the mindset of standing out in the fashion industry. I started with learning how to sew, and I kept asking myself what can I do differently from the tailors and designers around, and then. This drove me to gain more knowledge, and fashion illustration isn’t just a job for me, it’s something I love doing”.
With a passion that knows no bounds and a talent that continues to evolve, Francisca is a force to be reckoned with in the world of fashion illustration. Her journey from humble beginnings to international recognition serves as an inspiration to aspiring artists everywhere.
To wrap up our interview Here are five fun facts about Franscica and her advice to young fashion illustrators:
Strong-willed:- I do things when I want to do them, and if you’d have reasons to tell me otherwise, you’d have to convince me with points she said
Creative:- growing up I used to be very resourceful, having a lot of things I knew how to do. I mostly create things in my head, but right now fashion illustration has assisted in creating most of my ideas
Explorer:- I love exploring, it adds to my creativity.
Driven:- I’m actually a goal-getter.. it might take a while but God has been helping me see through my goals.
Smart:- I use my head often so why not?
So what is your advice to start-ups she said “Master the act of creating designs. I see a lot of upcoming fashion illustrators jump into digital illustration without a proper foundation in manual illustration, this would show in your designs. So if you must, practice practice practice”.
And I’ll say again, trust the process. it took me a whole year on manual illustration, even while I saw others upgrading to digital illustration, I was patient enough to take in all that I needed, and until I was 100 percent sure about my readiness to upgrade. Patience was the deal. You have a special start day, and to think “There’s time for everything, so why not? .
You can contact this talented lady through
Call number:- 08107667467