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Frances Cannon's 'Self Love Club'

Creative People

Hey lovers, on this day we’re gifting you the good vibes you all deserve – no kitschy landfill soft-toys insight though. Sorry!

Pioneer of the inclusive and inspiring ‘Self Love Club’, Melbourne artist Frances Cannon is laying down the be-kind-to-yourself law, and so much more.

14th February, 2018

Installation view of Frances Cannon’s 2016 exhibition ‘Niceties’ at On Jackson Street. Photo – Tatanja Ross of On Jackson Street.

The Melbourne-based artist with her works. Photo – Tatanja Ross of On Jackson Street.

Frances is inspired by the human body and the human experience. Photo – Tatanja Ross of On Jackson Street.

She is heavily influenced by feminism. Photo – Tatanja Ross of On Jackson Street.

The artist wearing the most awesome ensemble. Photo – Tatanja Ross of On Jackson Street.

The artist often references her own body, and personal experiences in her work. Photo – Tatanja Ross of On Jackson Street.

Elle Murrell
Wednesday 14th February 2018

Artist Frances Cannon is inspired by the human body and the human experience. Heavily influenced by feminism, her work often references her own body, and personal experiences.

Frances explores a lot of these themes via social media too; her Instagram account is where she connects with her many fans – updated daily, her feed is brave, funny, highly personal, and at times, a little confronting.

Known for her ‘Self Love Club’ movement, we couldn’t think of anyone better to talk to today, on the holiday FKA the Feast of Saint Valentinus…

What are your thoughts and feels about Valentine’s Day – both Today’s cultural/commercial observance and the impact it can have on people?

I have mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day… I love seeing people celebrating love! But it’s also a very commercial holiday and it makes those who don’t fit into society’s ideals of being in a couple (in particular a cishet monogamous couple) feel left out.

Your most recent body of work, ‘I Hope You’re Having Trouble Sleeping’, comprising drawings and a book of poetry, deals with heartbreak and growth. How has art helped you through this experience?

Writing poems to my Ex while I was dealing with the darkest part of my breakup helped me so much. Writing and drawing are ways that I process my emotions and actually confront what I’m feeling instead of hiding from it.

Here’s one of my favourite poems from the poetry book:


one day I’ll be lying in the
arms of my lover and I won’t be
thinking of you
they’ll touch my hair and
lean into me
they’ll touch my body and
lean into me
they will love me deeper
than you ever did
they will dive into the ocean
that is my soul
and they won’t drown like
you did
we will swim together

Drawings from France’s current exhibition ‘I Hope You’re Having Trouble Sleeping’. Photo – courtesy of Frances Cannon.

‘I Hope You’re Having Trouble Sleeping’ is on at Courthouse Youth Arts in Geelong until February 16th. Photo – courtesy of Frances Cannon.

How WILL YOU BE spending 14/02, and what would you recommend?

I’m going to cook a romantic dinner for all my friends who I love so much and play love songs from the 90’s. (And realistically I’ll probably end up on Tinder later that night).

Can you tell us about your Self Love Club?

The Self Love Club started as a personal tattoo on my arm. I first had the idea when I drew Self Love Club as a tattoo on one of my drawings! I then asked my friend Gemma Flack (who is also an artist and a tattoo artist) to tattoo it on my arm. I then posted on Instagram inviting whoever wanted to ‘join the club’ to also get the tattoo. I was expecting only a handful of people to do it, but it became a movement! I am so proud of this movement of self-love and acceptance that I started. Anyone who connects with the meaning behind the Self Love Club and wants to get the tattoo can join! If you would like to pay me for the design you can purchase a Tattoo Ticket (but that is optional).

It’s about SELF not about making money, which is why I haven’t made any products of it, and don’t like it when companies co-opt it to make money.

The rules of Frances Cannon’s ‘Self Love Club’. Photo – courtesy of Frances Cannon.

How do you show yourself self-love, and do you have any advice on how to show oneself self-love?

I show myself self-love by accepting myself each day for who I am. Self-love is an everyday commitment and you need to recommit yourself to self-love again and again.

Self-love also means forgiving yourself when you act in a way that isn’t self-loving (We’re human! We make mistakes! Surprise!)

What’s next for Frances Cannon?

OMG so much! I’ve got so many ideas for amazing products that I’m going to be releasing on my store this year! I’ve even hired an assistant to help me out! Bigger and better and bigger and better! 2018 is going to be the most Frances Cannon year yet!!!


Stay up to date by following @frances_cannon or visiting

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email