|Experienced With||Teaching engagements, Public art, Lectures, Leading workshops, For-hire services, Commissions, Collaboration|
Life isn’t always about the big picture. It’s about the little bits. It’s about those elusive moments that slip through the cracks. It’s about those deceptively insignificant thoughts, emotions and feelings that leave an impression. And occasionally, show up on a canvas, a sheet of paper or a piece of wood.
Francis Cleetus interprets those tiny glimpses of life through his contemporary paintings, drawings and sculptures. All inspired by his real life experiences across three countries, multiple cultures and countless lives.
Francis Cleetus started drawing on walls at a very early age. His parents weren’t thrilled. After getting a degree in chemistry (yes, he admits his three attempts at turning lead into gold were completely unsuccessful), he started working as a chemist for a tire company. Soon, he realized he wasn’t cut out for the shop floor. Much to the chagrin of his parents, he joined an ad agency and started creating ads. They weren’t thrilled this time around, either.
For the first time, he came face to face with big ideas and his bride-to-be. He has remained fiercely loyal to both since then. While creating multi-media campaigns for clients, he constantly doodled on the side, especially at long meetings. Along the way, he won lots of awards working as a creative director at agencies like Draft FCB, J. Walter Thompson, Doe Anderson and MARC in India, Hong Kong and the US. He also developed his own style as a painter, designer, illustrator, cartoonist and sculptor.
Francis currently lives with his wife Maneesha, and two daughters in Pittsburgh, PA, and works out of his basement studio. He has drawn hundreds of cartoons for the Pittsburgh Tech Council’s TEQ magazine and other publications. He has also created award-winning ads for Nike, Maker's Mark and MTV. More importantly, he has painted murals for the Phipps conservatory & botanical gardens and pieces for the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. But he still hasn't figured out why Maneesha prefers mauve over lilac.