Kavee is proud to team up with fellow guinea pig lover and artist Amy Frances to bring you an adorable new range of fleece liners and accessories! Find out why we are big Amy Frances fans by diving into our Q&A with this very talented guinea pig artist.
What is the new Kavee x Amy Frances Collection?
With Amy France exclusive illustrations, we've created a new range of adorable fleece accessories, fleece liners, and storage boxes. Matching fleece accessories include cuddle cup, pee pad, sleep sack, tunnel, corner curtain, hammock, and hay bag. Complete the look with these items to create an impressive and cute setup.
Who is Amy Frances?
Hello! I’m Amy, and I’m a guinea pig obsessed designer/illustrator living in the south coast of England! I work as a product and packaging designer, but also run a guinea pig store on Etsy, which makes me very happy!
Who are your current piggies?
I currently have two piggies - Lenny and Rupert, who I’ve had for nearly a year now; I rescued them when they were around 6 weeks old. A breeder had died leaving over 300 sows, a lot of them pregnant. All of my local rescues were inundated with the pregnant pigs that were left behind, and I got the boys from one of the sows - they are brothers but you wouldn’t think it!
Lenny is a dark brown and white Abyssinian, who blends into all of their cow print bedding - sometimes I have to have another look at where he is as he camouflages so well! I usually call him fuzzy angel, skunk boy or suspicious floof (he always looks at me out of the corner of his eyes like he’s up to something!)
Rupert is a silver agouti with a rather large dewlap. He is such a lazy boy and always looks like he has a smile on his face. He does the most chaotic popcorns that I’ve ever seen - one small rustle of a bag and he’s rolling around the floor and can’t contain himself! He has many nicknames including chunky angel, round boy or prince fatty (I don’t know how these names happen but they just stick!).
When did your guinea pig love affair start?
I grew up in a house with cats, hamsters, etc but never guinea pigs. It wasn’t until I was around 20 that I realised how adorable they were and decided that I wanted to get some. My first boys were called Henry and Ralph, and I became obsessed with them. I lost Henry last year, and it was such a hard time but he was the loveliest, and most cuddly boy ever. He really opened my eyes up to how loving guinea pigs are, and what amazing pets they make and is what inspired me to first start drawing guinea pigs.
What is your favourite thing about being a piggy parent? What is your least favourite thing?
There’s no feeling like coming home from work, and being greeted by excited little fuzz balls standing up at their cage, wheeking and happy to see you! I love how different their personalities are, and how comforting they are when you need them. I often call them my little hot water bottles of happiness!
My least favourite thing probably has to be the poop! I’m always shocked at how much they produce, and it just gets everywhere - some even ended up in my suitcase before when I went on holiday!
When did you start your career as an artist?
I’ve always loved drawing. At school I would enter every art competition, and be excited to come home and start creating things, usually whilst watching Art Attack! I always knew I wanted to have a career in something creative, but I wasn’t really sure exactly what it would be. I used to study portraiture, which couldn’t be further from what I do now. My first job was at a magazine publishers, and it opened my eyes up to the digital world and I started experimenting with digital illustrations.
How would you describe your art style?
Sketchy, fun and PINK!
How do you come up with ideas for your illustrations/ what inspires you?
I get lots of inspiration from just watching Lenny and Rupert! Some of the positions they get themselves in makes me laugh, and I try and capture their funny little personalities in my illustrations. I also like to create things which other pig owners can relate to (like poop, everywhere!)
I also get a lot of inspiration from instagram, I follow so many pig accounts and spend hours scrolling through and seeing their cute little faces! I usually draw short haired pigs as I love making them all round and chunky, but I’m definitely going to be including more fluffy and skinny pigs in my illustrations in the future, especially as one of my pigs is an Abyssinian (Sorry Lenny…).
What tools/mediums do you use and work with?
I use Procreate on my iPad for most of my illustrations, as well as Adobe illustrator. 5 years ago I would never have thought I’d be purely drawing digitally, as I loved more traditional mediums such as paints and pencils. But I love that I can take my iPad with me wherever I go (and there’s no mess to clean up afterwards!) I use an Apple Pencil with my iPad, and when you need to erase something you tap the pencil twice - I can’t explain how many times I’m drawing something on paper and start tapping the pencil thinking it’s going to become an eraser - It’s a habit now! I also try and use my fingers to zoom in on paper too… I think I use my iPad too much!
How long does it take you to create a piece?
It completely depends on what I’m drawing to be honest! Some of my favourite illustrations are ones that I’ve drawn in an hour or less, as I haven’t thought about it too much. I have so many half finished illustrations that I will probably never get round to finishing as I end up over thinking it!
Why do you love what you do?
I think it’s hard not to love what I do, to be honest! If I could go back in time and tell myself 3 years ago that I would be running a guinea pig shop and doing a collaboration with Kavee I don’t think I would have believed it! I’m so lucky to have such amazing customers who constantly support what I do - one lovely lady recently got one of my designs tattooed on her, which is incredible and I still can’t get my head around! I’ve made so many amazing friends along the way too, and it’s nice to talk guinea pigs with people who are just as crazy about them as I am!
Where can people find you?
You can find me on instagram at @amyfrancesuk, or my Etsy www.amyfrancesuk.etsy.com! I’m hoping to start giving the world of TikTok a go soon as I’m obsessed with watching videos on there so think I should start creating some - watch this space!
Do you have any tips for new and aspiring artists?
I know it gets said a lot and I’m guilty of it too, but try not to compare yourself to other people. It can be really un-motivating to constantly compare yourself, as there will always be someone with more followers than you, more sales etc.. But once you realise that stuff doesn’t matter and you can just share artwork with the world it becomes more fun, rather than putting pressure on yourself! Also, try and create artwork that you would enjoy seeing someone else create. When I first started sharing art online I would almost try and create things that I thought people wanted to see rather than what I liked, where as now I try and create things that I would like if it wasn’t me drawing it. Finding your own ‘style’ can be a long process too, but once you find it you will know!
What do you enjoy doing when you are not creating?
When I’m not creating, I either like to chill out with Lenny and Rupert or find new vegan restaurants. Food is my second favourite thing in life (after pigs!!)
Do you have any exciting plans for future projects?
I’ve recently started to create clothing, which is completely new for me. I’m planning on expanding this a bit more with some new designs in the new year. Although the thought of people wearing my art is still crazy to me!
We hope you've enjoyed our Q&A with the talented Amy Frances! Be sure to check out our new collection for adorable fleece liner, accessories and storage boxes, perfect to treat your guinea pig and guinea pig lovers alike.