My name is Will Francis, and I am an illustrator.
Drawing is like a first language to me. For as long as I can remember, I have formed and expressed my ideas most effectively through visual arts. My work has a surrealist element to it and while I’m not afraid to tackle serious and complex issues, I often maintain a playful style.
For me it is of utmost importance that my work is accessible to people of all backgrounds. However, this doesn’t take away from the obscurity of some of my ideas and drawings. I also like to keep it old school so as well as incorporating digital colouring; I try to maintain my original pen strokes as much as possible.
After completing a degree in Design at Goldsmiths University, I am now focusing on illustration as a career and very much looking forward to continuing learning and developing in this field.
My name is Elinor Potts and I’m a freelance writer and co-founding editor of the poetry anthology Away With Words; Selected Verse.
Away With Words; Selected Verse was founded in January 2018 and forged through Toothgrinder Publications. The first volume was published in March 2018 and selected poems by 16 poets from South East London, responding to the theme of ‘liberation’. It was published alongside a foreword from Rebecca Tamás and launched at an event with readings from our contributors and our guest speaker, Jack Underwood. The second volume selected 23 poets whose responses to the theme of ‘legacy’ were published alongside a foreword from the poet Amy Key. It was published ISBN-and-all, in November 2018, and launched at a (much larger) event with our guest speaker Rebecca Perry.
The editing process is very much a collaborative one shared between Edward, and I, and the book’s contributors. It’s also highly specific to the poem in question, so is difficult to speak about in general terms. I manage the Instagram and Twitter channels and Edward commandeers poster design, book designs and printing.
We take it in turns with responding to emails, securing stalls at book fairs, approaching guest speakers/ foreword authors, or enquiring whether bookshops will stock us. We both feel it’s important to strike a balance between digital modernity and DIY culture and are both strong advocates for distributing physical posters rather than solely relying on social media.
The entire process thus far has been an enormous learning curve and on a personal basis, very much informed and guided by my experiences working in bookselling, and publishing/journalism on unpaid work experience placements. My time working in literary agencies and market-leading publishing houses has equipped me with a foundational understanding of editing and the promotional backbone of a book’s publication.
As a part-time MA student, I’m an accomplished job-juggler and the bulk of my income comes from bookselling and temporary roles in publishing. Whilst I don’t have a specific career path in mind, freelancing facilitates a creatively varied timetable which fits comfortably around my studies and lets me mediate between journalism, publishing, and whatever else keeps me happy and pays my rent.