Frances Yansky author and illustrator


One of the wonderful things about living in Austin, Texas, is the creative people who live here. I have many friends who are writers or illustrators, and I thought it would be fun to ask some of them to describe me, instead of me describing me. Here’s what they had to say:


Cynthia Leitich Smith:

Frances is a shrimp-eating, story-telling, bayou babe!

April Lurie:
I love going to Frances's house.  At the door I'm greeted by Merlin, a humongously adorable and occasionally mischievous sheep dog who likes to establish right away that he is boss. While Frances and I drink coffee and share warm conversation, Merlin sits by my side and munches on ice cubes, offering a thought or two. 

Mark Mitchell:

Frances Hill draws the cutest animal characters and tells gentle, heartwarming stories about them.
But wear your life preserver if you step into a canoe with her. She's tipsy. As in, she tips them over. I speak literally— not figuratively. We nearly drowned—Brian and I! Good thing the water was only three feet deep.
To this day we've not been able to figure out how she did this. If you look beyond France's irrational attachment to peril on the river, you'll find her a wonderful, sensitive artist and friend and tons of fun to spend time with.

Patrice Barton:

Frances' collages are delightful! They are whimsical, brimming with details, tell great stories and are always fun. Just like Frances!

Helen Hemphill:
Frances Yansky, a writer and 3-D collage artist extraordinaire, brings meticulous detail to her words and art.  From the soul of a bug to the whimsy of sculpture garden, Frances finds beauty in the everyday and grace in the ordinary.  She sees the world through a creative lens that at once comforts us and compels us.  All that, and she makes a mean cup of tea!  

Julie Lake:
Frances has a true eye for beauty, whether it's the artful arrangement of rocks by her kitchen sink, the amazing illustrations and collages she creates, or the rich and sumptious words she fills her pages with. To experience Frances' work is to be surrounded by unforgettable images and emotions and ideas.

Brian Yansky: Frances is strong-willed, almost always fashionably late, observant in an artistic way (nothing is just blue, it's cobalt blue, azure, etc...), precise and vague—sometimes at the same time, easily lost, good at finding things, drawn to weathered woods, Ebay, polished stones, the beach, the mountains, museums, and stock-car races (okay, I made that last up); she's also bi-petual (that is a lover of cats and dogs), a voracious reader, a woman who knows what she knows and is not shy about sharing, a fan of fantastical fiction, painting, illustration, classic movies, classical music; she is a dreamer who is dreamy, a big personality tucked into a small body,
my wife, my best friend.


Jane Peddicord:
Frances is an especially perceptive artist and writer, keenly aware of the inner lives of children...and a keen friend as well!

Meredith Davis:
Frances sees things in a way that is unique, all her own. When I look at her art, or read her stories, I get to look through those lenses, and it is a wonderful sight. To see the world in bits and pieces through her collages. To see the world with magic goggles on when I read her novel. She creates worlds we can step into, and want to step into.
She creates worlds we don't want to leave.


Greg Leitich Smith:

I’m kind of afraid to ask Frances if she still has that bug cemetery…

Lindsey Lane:

Bug Cemetery is the best darn picture book for helping young ones deal with death. I've always thought that and I probably always will.

Laura Logan:
Frances –noun, a female given name: derived from Francis.
Fem proper name, from modern Fr. Francoise.

Laura's definition: Creator and collector of beautiful things.

Varian Johnson:

Frances Yansky can't bowl a strike to save her life. However, she is a
mighty fine author and illustrator.