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Thursday 25 November 2021

Meet The Illustrator: Beck Feiner

Beck Feiner

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Graphic, colourful and bold that focus on harmony and diversity.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
My Wacom Tablet, a strong coffee, a crime podcasts in the background and my Whippet at my feet biting my toes.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
Before I became a full-time illustrator, I worked as a graphic designer, so drawing vector graphics and working with typography on my computer has always been my favourite medium.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
I love strong female artists like Bridget Really and Hilma Af Klint. Their innovative way of working and brave expression that was way ahead of their time continues to inspire me o be brave with my own work.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
I would have loved to have been around for the birth of Pop Art during the mid- to late-1950s. I love how artists used images of popular (as opposed to elitist) culture in art, and played with these banal and kitschy elements through the use of irony.

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
From as early as I can remember I was drawing. I remember that I used to draw on the walls and family photo albums until I was banned and made to only draw on the underside of the dining room table. I also read from a young age and the illustrations by Quentin Blake for the Roald Dahl books gave me the first thought that I could possibly do something like this when I grew up.

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
We converted our attic into a studio space for me to work in. We live in a terrace in Redfern (an inner city Sydney suburb) so I have wonderful views of my city from where I work which always inspires me. The ceiling is curved though, and I can never quite remember to duck, resulting in quite a few eggs on my head.

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
I love the moment I get an idea, which is often far away from my desk. I have to rush home and madly sketch it then draw it on to the computer. I love the craft part too but I always like my illustration to have meaning and that moment of conception always gives me thrills.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Keep practising. It sounds so boring but I think Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to be good at something. It doesn’t have to be that exact number but its about putting in the hours. First of all you get to generate work and keep your portfolio growing, even if it’s not for commercial use and second of all it gets you into a great routine.
It’s often hard to come up with ideas but if you force yourself just to put the hours in, without too much pressure it can often turn into a wonderful skill that will only naturally get better with time.

Beck Feiner is an illustrator, designer and author living in Redfern, Sydney. Her illustrations, stories and 'memes' shine a spotlight on social issues and tap into a the mood of the time and promote harmony and diversity. Beck's creative style has evolved from her years working as a graphic designer and art director in the advertising industry in Sydney and overseas. 

For more information, please visit Beck's website or follow her on instagram.