An Interview with Texaco Children’s Art Competition winner Frances Treanor

[Images courtesy of Frances Treanor]


For eighteen year old Frances, winning one of the oldest and most prestigious art competitions for young people in Ireland is without doubt an incredible achievement. Her beautiful self-portrait would certainly give Da Vinci a run for his money. We chatted to Frances about her feelings on winning and what lies ahead in the future for such a talented young artist…


TSTOA: What was your reaction when you found out you won the competition?
FT: When I got the phone call I was shopping at the time. I was completely and utterly speechless, I didn’t know how to react. As it was my last year to enter I decided to use a medium that I had not previously used much, that being a ballpoint pen. I found using this quite a challenge as every stroke was permanent, unlike pencil which I used regularly. Taking this risk I wasn’t sure if my work would even place, fortunately it definitely paid off. Because I have entered the competition before I know that the standards are very high.


TSTOA: Which artists inspire you the most?
FT: I love portrait art and also realism. I love artists that focus a lot on detail, so the classic artists like Michelangelo and Da Vinci definitely inspire me. One particular artist I love is a British artist named Klevin Okafor, who is a pencil artist who draws extremely lifelike portraits. I enjoy looking at the progress of his work which he posts on his Instagram page.


TSTOTA: Have you had any of your work exhibited in public exhibitions before?
FT: When I was fifteen I came second in category B in the Texaco art competition. So that piece of artwork travelled around Ireland along with many other winning pieces and was displayed in galleries such as the Ulster museum.




TSTOA: What was your reason for only using a ball point pen?
FT: I love drawing with pencil, I find I can pick up all the fine details and too easily fix the parts I’m not happy with. Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of drawings done in ballpoint pen and I particularly like the depth the pen gives. As it was my last year to enter I decided to challenge myself to try something new. I would say I’m quite a perfectionist when it comes to drawing, so the thought of using something so permanent scared me a little.


TSTOA: What is your preferred style of art?
FT: I love art that focuses on realism and also attention to detail.




TSTOA: After graduating from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin what are you planning to achieve?
FT: I would love to teach art and music in secondary schools. I would also love to continue drawing, to master the skill of drawing, and hopefully begin selling my work.

Angus Fisher