What's on Francesca Casillas's Desk at Dailey

Kids, characters, colors ... and five Fridas

As an art director, I'm always creating vibes, moods and looks. When it comes to my workspace, my vibe is colorful and minimalistic. While my space needs to be clear enough to avoid mental clutter, I do keep a few significant decorative pieces—photos of family and friends, souvenirs from trips, design inspiration, and a place to write down my ideas. 

Here's me

Things I am: curious, nerdy, a foodie.
Things I am not: patient, graceful, a good speller.

Pantone 100 C

Color of the Day is a series I started, born of my love for Pantone chips. I found these oversized Pantone chip postcards, and I feature a new one as the color of the day. I love when my coworkers come to my desk and ask to pick the next color. Some of them complain when I pick less-than-happy colors, but every day can't be pinks and yellows. Grey and brown deserve love, too. 

Smiles for smiles

Photos of my cousins Mateo and Paolo are staples on my desk. They're cute, but they're dangerous. Seeing their little smiles brings me joy but also scares me because they're already looking older. 

"Frank" is just one of my million nicknames. For some reason, people like to find unique names to call me, but some nicknames, like Frank, have been around since grade school. I always felt it captured my tomboy side.

Character highlights

Five Fridas. Frida Kahlo, to me, is a cultural icon and a creative inspiration. The four-color block print of Frida is something I made one night out of nostalgia for the forms of art they teach you in grade school. My favorite was block printing. I was rusty and accidentally made it so that she's always winking. I kind of love that about it. Frida No. 5 is framed in a painted magnet. 

La Viejita Loca, The Crazy Old Lady — I saw this little clay sculpture in a Mexican folk store and she just spoke to me. She represents at least one of my alter egos, or she might be a glimpse into my future. 

Calavera Roja, Red Skull — I love Mexican folk art that revolves around skulls and the dead. This piece in particular provides an inspirational color palette that I refer to often in my work. 

The Tech

Everything you'd expect. Two screens, a medium-sized Wacom tablet, and a dotted Moleskine notebook. My Wacom tablet pen is missing a part, but still works. I enjoy having a vague, vacation-like screensaver to provide a little mental getaway. The biggest irritation about my space is the jungle of cables and dongles. Everything needs to be connected, and nothing is compatible. 

Note the lack of telephone. It's liberating to be a chord-cutting millennial. Just Slack me. 


Lastly, because I consider it part of my workspace, the Pacific Design Center, where Dailey is located, is inspiring in itself. Inside there's always something to be discovered. It provides the perfect space for walks and exploring.

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