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Alice Franzella’s Career Combined Design, Promotions, and Fashion

New Anderson Artists Guild member Alice Franzella’s art career got started in a castle. As a student at the High School of Music and Art in New York City, she attended classes in a transplanted European castle on the campus of City College. She still remembers the gargoyles.

Her college degree is from the Fashion Institute of Technology, which is part of the State University of New York.

Her first job, which she snagged even before graduation, was at Elkay Industries, a children’s clothing manufacturer, where she worked her way up from assistant designer to designer of embroidery designs for children’s sportswear.

She then became the art director at Prints Charming, a screen-printing company, where she had up to 150 clients for appliqued apparel. (On the side, she designed patches for baseball jackets.) One of the challenges was to create different designs for clients who would be competing against each other for selection by professional buyers. “How many different ways can I draw an elephant or a kid playing basketball?” Franzella would ask herself.

One of her most memorable experiences while working for a company called Printway was being chosen as the sole merchandise designer for the hit 1988 movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? She created designs for sleepwear, clothing, caps, and towels, among other items, while the artists she managed did the color separations.

She also worked with Charles Schulz (the creator of Peanuts), Hanna-Barbera, Warner Brothers, Harley Davidson, and Disney, whose artists gave her tips, such as how to manipulate lines to give the sense of movement.

When her husband, a stone setter for skyscrapers, fell carrying a stone and injured his back, they and their daughters moved to Florida, where Franzella took a job as an artist at Dowling Graphics; one of her clients there was Jose Cuervo, which makes tequila. After five years, she retired. However, when they moved back to New York, she began a second career as a teacher for disabled children. When her husband died, Franzella relocated to Anderson to be close to one of her children.

These days, she has time to paint using acrylics and oils. She has lately focused on birds and says that her style, like her life and career, has “a lot of movement.”


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