In conversation with | Fran Krause

2 Mins read

Fran Krause is asking for your secret fears via Tumblr and is turning them into illustrations.

Krause, an animator and part of the Character Animation Program at CalArts, takes the weirdest and darkest fears submitted to his Deep Dark Fears Tumblr and creates short comic strips out of them.

Anyone can contribute, with the only rule being they must be “original stories, fears or ideas.”

How did you come up with the concept of Deep Dark Fears?

I’ve always had a lot of little irrational fears popping into my head throughout the day. They used to strike me as odd. For instance, when I’d stand on a street corner when I lived in Brooklyn, and a van would zip around the corner, the thought would always cross my mind that the van would cut the corner too close and its bumper would scoop off my kneecap. One day I wrote down as many fears as I could think of, out of curiosity. I think I had about twenty, and the thought occurred to me that I could make them into a series of illustrations.

Are there any submissions to the blog that have really stuck with you?

Yes. Sometimes people send me messages where they open up to me in very personal ways. I keep their secrets, though.

Have you ever thought “I can relate to that.” when people send you their fears?

Absolutely. I think I can relate to all the fears that I’ve drawn. Maybe I don’t have all the fears personally, but I’ve thought a lot about them and I can see where most of them come from.

How do you feel about the response that the project has received?

I’ve been very lucky to have a positive response from people who have found my comic. It’s very encouraging and it’s one of the reasons I’ve continued to draw the comic for a few years now. It’s been a very enjoyable project. I’m also happy that I have a chance to interact with my readers and draw their stories. People have been very generous with their stories.

Why the style of the comic strip rather than a simple illustration?

I like a sense of timing, I am an animator by training. A single illustration usually feels like a timeless moment, where a comic has movement through time. You don’t have to say everything all at once with a comic. You can slowly reveal your thoughts.

How long does it take to produce each comic?

Sometimes they take an hour, but usually they take 3-8 hours.

What is one tip you can give to those that want to break into illustration?

It’s very important to do something that interests you strongly.

You are currently working on a Deep Dark Fears book, what can you tell us about that?

It’ll have 50 comics from my website, and 50 that I’ve made just for the book. It will be out this September from Ten Speed Press. I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished book, it will be my first book. It’s allowed me to spend more time on each of my comics than I would be able to normally.

What else should we be looking out for from yourself? 

I’m also working on an animated version of another comic,

You can find Fran on Twitter here.



All images courtesy of Fran Krause via Deep Dark Fears.

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