Frank Fraser is the author of the beautifully illustrated picture book Before I Was Me. Frank is an award-winning artist, designer, and author who has worked for over 30 years in advertising, as a Creative Director for Disney Consumer Products and as a creator/TV producer of Children’s programming. He resides with his wife in Texas. Frank shared a little about himself with Good News! Book Fair.
If you would like to read his book, it's available for purchase at Good News Book Shop.1. What inspired you to write this book?
I wasn’t exactly inspired to write this book, God knows subtlety is not usually the best way to get my attention. So, He pretty much just gave it to me in prayer; beginning, middle and end. I’ve never had that happen before, but as I was praying, suddenly, the whole book was there in my head. At least all the good smart stuff was clear, and then I added some silly things of my own.
2. Tell us how you created the illustrations?
I work digitally. I’ll sketch on paper to get some of the ideas and layouts worked out, but the final art is done in Photoshop.
3. What is the daily schedule of an artist/ writer?
Well, my schedule is praying, daily mass, then work. If you’re not doing what He’s asked you to do, then you’re not going to accomplish much, or at least as much as you could. So how do I know what He wants? I need to talk to Him, in prayer and in Church, so I keep a regular schedule of both. I’m really honest with Him too. If I feel really challenged by a project, like Before I Was Me, I’ll say “if you want this to be good, you’d better send help!”
4. What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
Don’t be afraid. As kids we’ll draw anything and think it’s cool. Then pride sneaks in, peer pressure, and a whole host of discouraging things. But don’t be afraid to try, to practice, to get better. Don’t be afraid to express what you believe is good, beautiful and true. And as I just mentioned, partner with God. There is no one more creative than him, and he is always looking to partner with us.
5. How did you start your career? (Recommendations for students on what to do to start a career in this field. Tips etc.)
I think my career began when I was in the second grade. I glued dried beans on cardboard in the shape of the cartoon character, Snoopy, for an art project. I was smitten by the magic of art, and still am. But I think with art it’s not so much a career as a calling. I have never done anything else, or even thought of doing something else. In terms of starting a career, I’d say first you really have to be an artist, it’s hard work, so if it just seems fun, try something else. If you do feel called to be an artist, become the very best you can be by seeking good mentors, both real and through books (favorite artists). Be open to advice and criticism. Be patient and grow thick skin. Don’t be too sensitive. Like I said, it’s work, it doesn’t always go as planned, but stick with it. It’s awesome, and a real blessing to be an artist!
6. Anything else you would like to share about your book?
The message of “Before I Was Me” is meant to be shared. God made you, He loves you, He will always be with you, and every person has a purpose. No purpose is greater than the other. We all fit in God’s plan. So, if you can’t share the book with someone, take the message and share that with as many people as you can for as long as you live!