365-day digital artist Frankie Hodson finds inspiration on Bendigo’s historic streets

Like so many of the best ideas, Frankie Hodson’s 365-day artwork challenge came to her in the middle of the night.

Up late caring for daughter Florence, Ms Hodson decided to make the most of being awake, setting out to create one digital drawing every day for an entire year.   

“She's not a very big sleeper, so I figured if I was going to be up all night anyway, I might has well do something with that time,” she said. 

The drawings take between 30 minutes and one hour to complete, and are done entirely on a tablet device. 

In recent weeks, Ms Hodson has turned to Bendigo streets as a source of inspiration, creating likenesses of the city’s trams and historic architecture. 

Frankie Hodson. Picture: MARK KEARNEY

Frankie Hodson. Picture: MARK KEARNEY

Rosalind Park, Pall Mall and Charing Cross have all had her digital art treatment. 

“What cracks me up is, I've been here for a good 20 years, and there's still buildings I see and think, 'wow, I didn’t know it had that facade’,” she said.

Spending time each day drawing was a challenging commitment for the self-described “queen of not finishing anything”.

Ms Hodson completed just a handful of paintings during her entire time as a La Trobe University creative arts student.

Some days it's just ridiculously easy and other days you want to cry and you don't want to do it anymore," she said.

That was typical of the creative process, a sometimes difficult - and even tedious – endeavour, the former art teacher said.

But committing just a few minutes to her art each day had therapeutic benefits, alleviating some of the pressure Ms Hodson put upon herself. 

“Because they can't be perfect, you've got to say to yourself, 'Whatever it is, it is, and there's another one tomorrow,” she said.

“It keeps you wanting to create more and do better.”

Feedback from fans following her progress on social media was also a motivation to continue. 

Ms Hodson, who normally paints in watercolour, said using technology to create her designs was another way of expanding her artistic arsenal.

ON TRACK: The shady trees of Rosalind Park were a source of inspiration for Ms Hodson's 365-day art challenge. Picture: FRANKIE HODSON

ON TRACK: The shady trees of Rosalind Park were a source of inspiration for Ms Hodson's 365-day art challenge. Picture: FRANKIE HODSON

She will soon ply her craft in a mural at the Old Post Office building, close to her favourite subject matter to draw: the Alexandra Fountain. 

“I have a thing for fountains,” Ms Hodson said, recalling time spent in Italy where water features were a common sight. 

“The nature of water and how it distorts things allows you to be really abstract.”

She hoped her art would eventually take her back to the Mediterranean country where she could continue honing her craft. 

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