Frances Bailey

I am a 2nd year BA Visual Communication student
at Leeds College of Art

I am also the Raise & Give Officer
for the LCA Students' Union

This blog offers an insite into my work and life outside of Viscom. Stay a while... make yourself at home!
Litter is never acceptable.

Litter is never acceptable.

RAG: Macmillan Coffee Morning


On Friday 27th I organised a Coffee Morning for Macmillan Cancer Support as part of their Worlds’ Biggest Coffee Morning. 

This took a couple of months of organising. One of the main aspects of this event is cupcakes! And of course it’s cheapest for me to make them myself. However because of college health and safety I was unable to do so. 

So I arranged a meeting with John, who manages the college cafe to ask how he could help. 

He agreed to not only make 100 cupcakes for us, but also to my suggestion of them making a 10% donation of all their tea/coffee/cake sale for the day! It really does pay off to ask!

I obtained as much promo material from Macmillan as possible and their branding this year is wonderful! They supplied me with balloons, table cloths, collection boxes, posters, flags, stickers and more. They even sent more when I requested extra.

This meant that our table looked great, and eye-catching.

The afternoon before, Loren and Rachel helped me to make enough icing to top the 100 cakes the cafe had made for us. We wanted to make them green with white chocolate chips to match Macmillan’s poker dot branding.

Because the kitchen was warm we needed to let the icing set in the fridge overnight. So the next morning Loren and Rachel joined me bright and early to ice the cakes.

…and decorate with the chocolate chips!

And then our coffee morning was up and running. Because the SU is not getting much footfall at the moment due to building work, Loren and I took trays of cakes around the college to sell. We managed to sell all 100 in an hour! There was some real kindness and generosity shown and we raised a total of £77.73!

The next day I took the coffee morning to my work at Sela Bar in Leeds. Mary was super kind and donated cupcakes and cookies to be sold during my shift on Saturday night.

John and I also donated our tips that evening - it’s amazing how many more tips you get when it’s for charity! That night we raised another £58.85!

I have been updated by the cafe and their 10% donation added up to £16.45 which results in a subtotal of £153.03 - and we haven’t even emptied the collection boxes yet! I am so happy with the results so far and I will update when I know the grand total tomorrow!

Peer Mentoring

Last week I met my mentees following a peer mentoring training session the week before. 

I was invited to take part as I am a mature student, and the Peer Mentoring programme is a new project where 2nd year students are trained to support mature students who are new to the college.

We have been but into pairs of mentors and I am working with Sarah Binless who studies on Art & Design Interdisciplinary, and we have been assigned to 3 new students.

We met our mentees over tea and cake during lunch last Tuesday. I was a little nervous at first and was unsure how the students would respond to the project. However I met some really lovely people, and I am genuinely looking forward to meeting up with them next week to see how they are getting on!

Sarah and I are both previous Access to Art & Design students from different years, so are very familiar with the college. After meeting our mentees I am much more confident about the project going forward, and I think it will be truly beneficial for them, as well as us as mentors! 

#LCAraiseandgive badges available from the SU now! Suggested donation 50p to @macmillanwyorks thanks @awesomemerch! #rag #raiseandgive #lca

#LCAraiseandgive badges available from the SU now! Suggested donation 50p to @macmillanwyorks thanks @awesomemerch! #rag #raiseandgive #lca

Making the Raise & Give Society my own

Before leaving for the summer I was elected to be the Raise & Give Officer for the Students’ Union this year. This is the first time that there has been an elected officer especially for this role, as the the society had been previously been run by the Campaigns Officer.

Over the summer I really wanted to give the Raise & Give Society a fresh new brand that was strong, recognisable with a logo that could be put on anything and not look out of place. 


The previous logo was good, however but I didn’t like the mix of fonts and the use of colour meant that it needed to dominate posters and not sit comfortably within one unless it followed this specific look.

I decided we could keep green as the Raise & Give Society’s colour, but the logo itself should be black, so that it could sit on any material and work, but also so I could produce printed material cheaply, after all the society is about making money for charity. 

I decided to keep the circular structure, but loose the term ‘RAG’, I feel this is SU jargon and that up to now people have not know what the ‘RAG Society’ is. I was keen to keep the name Raise & Give Society prominent on everything so it had a clear intention and that so students actually know what we do! 


i had never used illustrator to produce something from scratch before, so this was a long learning process for me. With software like this I really feel you learn the most from actually making something real.



I used the pound sign and diamond logos at first to represent money, but I later decided the diamonds represented the wrong kind of wealth and didn’t communicate the right kind of money to me. 

After removing the icons I decided that the logo was top heavy and didn’t balance well at all. I thought what else visually described the Raise & Give Society? We it’s not all about raising money it’s also about helping others, so I thought I would include hands.

I was so tired by this point, as I didn’t have longer than a couple of days to make this logo as well as having to make posters and flyers and sending them to print before going to Paris. I was quite happy with this logo but after getting second opinions admitted to myself the hands looked weak and could definitely look better!

I spent time working on a new hands vector that would be better and as strong as the rest of the poster. 

The hard work paid off and I came up with this:

I was really happy with this, and progressed onto making the posters and flyers!

I have wanted to make pull tab posters for ages, and thought this would be a great chance to do it! So people could keep contact details for the Raise & Give Society.

The flyers could contain more information, so I included more info on the back of the flyer.

Of course with any job that’s rushed, there will be mistakes, and in my case a BIG mistake.

My original posters read ‘do want to help others?’ as well as the 1000 flyers I had printed. I changed the posters from reading ‘do you want to help others?’ to ‘want to help others?’ at the last minute thinking it would read quicker. But after speedy undo-ing, saving, exporting and sending this fatal mistake cost me dearly. The posters I could fix with SU stickers in the corner, however I couldn’t face having 1000 flyers with such an error. I grinned and bared it (admittedly after crying!) And send another 1000 off to print. 

There was also an error with the badges I had produced in that the wrong file was sent off to Awesome Merchandise and that the old hands were going to be stamped onto 100 badges. But, Awesome Merchandise were actually awesome, and reprinted them for free. 

In the end I am so happy with everything, but the moral of the story is, don’t rush, check everything 100 times, get someone else to check, and then ANOTHER person!!

That Sela Art Thing


Over the summer I have been working on a project with John Slemensek, who I work with at Sela Bar as bartenders. John works in various art projects across Leeds, but mainly Woolgather Art, an arts organisation that supports new projects for practitioners across all visual arts. 

Sela Bar is a very music orientated bar, and most of the staff there are musicians, so it was a wonderful opportunity for John and I to be given responsibility to curate the artwork displayed on the walls going forward. 

We needed to come up with a name for the project, and we accidently came up with That Sela Art Thing by really just saying. We though that no matter what we named the project, many people wouldn’t remember it, and would say ‘hey guys, you going to that Sela art thing tonight?’ So we decided to name the project this. It was important to us to name it in a way that would be casual, and would appeal to a wide range of people. We really want to avoid the whole thing being pretentious, or exclude anyone. 

Sela Art Thing is about giving Leeds based artists the opportunity to show their work with the chance of sales, but this not being the main focus. That Sela Art Thing is a way of Sela Bar having a changing cycle of art on the walls, as well as working with local artists.


Our first artist exhibition is that of Fred Pepper. His tumblr can be seen here:

John has previously worked with Fred and was keen to get his work up for the launch, as it was framed and ready and meant we could get the ball rolling quickly. Fred came in to Sela to speak to myself about the exhibition whilst John was away and told me about his work. I loved it instantly, and fell in love with his working process straight away.

Fred Pepper composes his work by making collages. He then creates illustrations of these and finally mono prints on a large scale. I find artists working process as beautiful as the works themselves, and in this case I was extremely excited about Fred’s work. 

We put Fred’s work up in the bar, and planned a launch for both That Sela Art Thing, and our first exhibition featuring work by Fred Pepper.

We planned the launch for Thursday 19th September, so I created a poster for this. 


I designed the poster in this way because I wanted to feature Fred’s work, but in a way that was almost unveiling it. I’m really happy with how this turned out, especially as I am still quite new to graphic design. 

We booked a musician called Matt Baxter for the evening. He has played at Sela a few times and is a lovely guy from Leeds, so we thought that this would fit perfectly with the evening. 

We really wanted the launch to be relaxed and cool evening, so that customers coming to the bar just for a drink and not specifically for the launch wouldn’t feel excluded or out of place. I really feel we achieved that, and the night was amazing. It was really busy at the peak of the night and I met some really interesting people. It was an amazing chance to network, and meet people working in the arts. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.

Fred was nervous before the event which is understandable, but by the end of the night he was beaming and it was wonderful to see. In fact it’s this which makes me love the whole project - giving artists opportunity to show their work. I have discovered over the year that as much as I love creating my own work, it’s helping other artists that really excites me. 

We also installed an art vend for the event which is residing still in the bar, but I will blog about art vend later, it’s far to exciting to fit into this post!


So here we are! John and I super happy and proud at the launch of That Sela Art Thing

Going forward we have plans for more exhibitions, but what’s exciting is that I will be able to hold charity exhibitions of LCA students work and be able to raise money for Raise & Give Society too! Isn’t it wonderful when two projects come together so beautifully?!

Had to steal this from @slemensek. Great photo from today’s curation of the Fred Pepper Exhibition! @selabarleeds #selabar

Had to steal this from @slemensek. Great photo from today’s curation of the Fred Pepper Exhibition! @selabarleeds #selabar

The amount of Twitter accounts on my phone is growing. I really am @slemensek’s protege! #PIC

The amount of Twitter accounts on my phone is growing. I really am @slemensek’s protege! #PIC

Sneak peak of what’s coming up from @ThatSelaArtThing @selabarleeds. Watch this space! (at Sela)

Sneak peak of what’s coming up from @ThatSelaArtThing @selabarleeds. Watch this space! (at Sela)

Just making some beer mats for #ThatSelaArtThing @selabarleeds @marksela @slemensek

Just making some beer mats for #ThatSelaArtThing @selabarleeds @marksela @slemensek

Chemical free home. Window cleaner made from cider vinegar, water, bicarbonate soda and essential oils.  (at Folded Anchors Factory)

Chemical free home. Window cleaner made from cider vinegar, water, bicarbonate soda and essential oils. (at Folded Anchors Factory)

Wild Colour

I’ve become really interested in making natural dyes for printing some of my illustrations. I think this has come from me drawing natural objects and trying to lead a more natural lifestyle. 

I asked the library at LCA if they could order his book in for me, and they did! At super speed!

I am keep to get reading this book, and make some dyes as part of my first project in October. I want to get started as some may make time to produce and some plants I may only be able to obtain now. 

I think equipment I will need initially is some tools for gardening/foraging such as gloves, clippers, trowel and a fork. I am also going to look for old pots and pans on freecycle/gumtree as its essential to use separate cooking equipment to food for obvious reasons! 

Sketchbook - Pat Perry

Totally inspired by the sketchbook of Pat Perry - I need to keep a journal! And DRAW in it!

This week, James and I took a spontaneous camping trip to Edale, in the Peak District. It was so lovely, and reinforced my want to draw more things from nature, based on places that we visit.

This week, James and I took a spontaneous camping trip to Edale, in the Peak District. It was so lovely, and reinforced my want to draw more things from nature, based on places that we visit.

After visiting our friends Andy & Emma and their beautiful baby boy Koru at their beautiful home near Bakewell, I was inspired to draw different things that remind me of that place.

I started with this butterfly, as they were everywhere! Dancing amongst the wildflowers it really was a stunning place.

I would love to draw more things and put them all together, and hopefully make a screen print as a gift for their home.

Emma chose to have a home birth, and after only living in this house a short time after moving back to the UK from New Zealand, Koru was born in their cottage - so this house has a super special meaning to them.