Mac artist, musician, prolific YouTuber, engaged citizen and 100% allergic to doing things the usual way. Meet François. Or as we know him, Frak. No, not Frank. He once signed an illustration omitting the “n” by mistake and his nickname was born. A nickname that has stuck with him as long as the tattoos covering most of his arm have.
Let’s just say Frak can throw people off a little. It’s not every day that you meet someone this authentic. He has no problem describing his personal style as “a little rough around the edges.” Don’t blink when he nonchalantly calls his home a “hell of a mess.” Dressed permanently in wolf-themed T-shirts, you might wonder if he belongs to a werewolf fan club. Nope. That would be weird. It’s simply a longstanding joke amongst family and friends, who keep gifting him new t-shirts.
Art and nature have been central to Frak’s life ever since he was young. His First Nations roots and his parents’ hippie lifestyle probably having something to do with it. As a teen, he was a proud Scout member (until the age of 18!) and a drummer for a stoner rock group. One of the bands he played in broke through in the indie scene, so Frak did the touring life, laying down the beats in his wolf shirts. Later, he launched a YouTube channel to share his psychedelic video creations. His mind-bending images are as close to an acid trip as you can come without actually doing drugs. Today, the channel has over 20 million views. Curiously, most of his colleagues aren’t even aware of it.
Frak recently put music aside to concentrate on a project that consumes most his time outside of the office. It all started in 2013 when he discovered the existence of an old creek that once ran past his backyard in Mercier: the Molson creek. Not long after, he joined five others to found the Coalition Sauvons le ruisseau Molson (see their brief), with a mission to link 15 natural areas in the north and south of Montreal. For the last six months, he has been working on the project full-time in addition to his full-time job at lg2. He affectionately calls these woodlands “my seigneury.”
On weekends, Frak recharges in nature with his wife and son, trading in asphalt sidewalks for dirt paths as they go on long walks and bike rides. Clearly, he is fully in his element in the middle of the woods. He can pretty much name any plant or flower he comes across as if it were an old friend.
Frak hopes his fight to protect the woodlands of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve bears fruit (and greenery). Until that day, he’s going to do all he can to prevent our urban forests from disappearing. Dressed in his signature shirts, he’ll shake hands with as many politicians as he has to. It’s his way of helping to make our world a little greener. Frak may be different, but that’s just fine. It’s people like him who walk a path less taken and who, in the end, make a real difference.