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Meet Frances Rodriguez, the artist behind our new Oyster print. She and our head designer, Jessica, go way back - they studied together at the Rhode Island School of Design where they once collaborated on a textile/fashion collection inspired by Guatemalan worry dolls.

We got Frances to share some details about her colorful life in New Orleans, the balance she strives for between being an artist and a mom, and the inspiration
behind her work.

When did you decide you wanted to be an artist?

My earliest memories are of me knowing that I would always be an artist. It was always an absolute, unquestioned part of me. But it did take me awhile after graduating from art school, to figure out how to put the pieces together in a realistic way. I waited tables and and even worked briefly in an office, doing data entry for a company that monitored offenders with GPS ankle bracelets.

You live in New Orleans, one of the coolest places we’ve ever been to. What is your favorite thing about this beautiful city?

Its colors, warmth, and jungly swamp vibe.

How do you describe your personal style and how it translates to your work?

I like to think that both my style and art have a slight sense of humor, through the patterns, colors, and accessories. Neither is too fussed over, but the colors and textures all play off one another. It’s really important for me to wear breezy clothes that I can easily move around in, both for art making and being a mother.

What inspires you?

Nature! And its details that so often get forgotten in our everyday hustle. My kids constantly discover, and help me rediscover, the wonder in our world; the crazy formation in a line of ants, an alligator’s toenails, the fuzzy base of a magnolia flower’s bloom, etc. Warm climates are also important to keep the inspiration flowing. In a week, I simultaneously work on both textile pieces and illustration projects. This keeps my momentum strong, and prevents overthinking or burning out on any one project.




Tell us about your design process in developing the Oyster print for KORE SWIM’s Resort 18 collection.

I keep oyster shells in my studio, and periodically take them out, and study the two very different sides. Many paintings, sketches, and daydreams have come from these shells. Jess noticed an oyster painting that I posted on instagram, and approached me with her concept for the collection. From there we looked at a few sketches of oysters, and
narrowed it down. I played around with color palettes and pattern compositions on the computer. I hadn’t made a repeating pattern in about ten years, and had so much fun thinking about my paintings beyond paper! It’s been so gratifying to see the vision Jess created with a piece of my art.

        



Is this your first fashion collaboration?

Jess and I worked together on a special project in college, creating a collection based on Guatemalan worry dolls. The clothes were saturated with bright colors that we hand dyed and embellished. The collection was by far my favorite project during college. But, apart from elaborate Mardi Gras costumes, I haven't had any further fashion collaborations until the oyster design. It was a joy working with Jess again!




Best advice you’ve ever received?

Maybe not the best, but the funniest, was when I was in the 7th grade and my Southern grandmother out of the blue told me, “Don’t sit on boys’ laps. It gets them excited.”

Describe KORE SWIM in one word or phrase.

Empowering

One piece or bikini?

One piece

Favorite travel destination? And what KORE SWIM style will you bring with you?

My husband is from the Dominican Republic, and most of his family still lives there. It’s great because I live in bathing suits while we’re at the beach, eat fried fish with my feet in the sand and drink out of coconuts. My favorite suits for vacation, and summer days in the New Orleans heat, are the Minerva in Onyx and the Rhea. I wear them all day with a skirt or caftan, and then jump in the pool whenever I have the opportunity.

3 things you can’t live without?

Pour over coffee in the morning / my husband - he makes it for me every morning  

Cocoa butter

My tiny, portable watercolor kit



Greatest achievement?

My family! My husband and I are both freelancers, and it’s chaotic at times. But I’m so thankful that we’re both able to pursue what we love and raise our kids with that mindset.

 

You can purchase an exclusive Oyster Print on paper that Frances developed for us here,

and you can shop the Oyster Print in our Resort 2018 Collection here.

Learn more about Frances and her work on her website: www.francesmakesart.com

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