Featured Artist: Beth Emily

FK talks to Beth Emily,  an illustrator from Tasmania who was one of our FK Art Competition finalists

Describe your style of work and how it has evolved over time.
The personal work I create for Beth-Emily is based on my long-held passion for figurative illustration. I regard my collection of illustrations to be like a public record of my personal exploration and interpretation of forms found in nature. As an illustrator, my style is constantly evolving over time. But of late, my style comes as a result of my process, where I study a subject closely, recognise its unique idiosyncrasies and then build upon these characteristics using my imagination and through mark-making, textures and layers.

What is your background and what lead you to art?
I’ve always had a vivid imagination and, from a very early age, I found that drawing was a fantastic outlet for me to express my thoughts and ideas. So, in retrospect, it seems only natural that I felt the urge to pursue a career in a creative field. I undertook my academic studies at the Tasmanian School of Fine Art, where I elected to study the creatives disciplines of printmaking and graphic design. After graduating in 2007, I had a few jobs here and there, but none of them were on a creative level that held my interest for very long. So, in 2009 I decided to find a part-time job in order to set up my own illustration practice alongside the collaborative design studio, Floatingworld.

What mediums and materials do you work with most, and what is your favourite?
Paper, pencil and graphite (most of which ends up all over my hand as I’m left handed). However, I also love creating hand-generated textures with watercolour, paints and ink, as they can provide depth, details and tones that can never be replicated by pencil.

What has your art journey been like? Where would you like to see it take shape in the future?
Drawing from my own experience, it takes a lot of hard work, time and knock-backs to become a successful creative. I’m not even halfway there yet! But the ride is worth it. There are so many opportunities to meet other like-minded creatives, share our experiences and learn from each other’s journeys.

How has Hobart and your surroundings influenced your work?
There are not many cities like Hobart. For instance, in our house you can look out one window and see a mountain dominating the landscape and then go to the other window and see an expansive waterfront! We are really lucky because the natural wilderness is an everyday part of our existence. I live five minutes away from Hobart’s CBD and I have a menagerie of animals frequenting my garden. In a way this closeness to nature has fuelled my passion to study it and understand its many wonderful elements.

Tell us about your design and art studio Floatingworld.
Floatingworld was conceived in early 2007 by Tom Fitzgerald (my fiancé), Alecia Lanzlinger (close friend) and myself. The idea was to create a multi-disciplinary studio with a visionary approach to design. Quality, integrity, ethics and sustainability are our priority and we have a strong focus on collaborating with other like-minded and talent people. In early 2009 we established our studio in the heart of Hobart and are continuing to learn, laugh and collaborate.

What do you love most about living and working in Tasmania?
The Tasmanian landscape is sublime and its creatures are wonderful. That proximity to nature constantly inspires my imagination and helps remind me of the bigger picture.

What does being a finalist of our Finders Keepers Art Competition mean for you?
Being a part of the Finders Keepers Market is a wonderful opportunity for me to share my artwork to a national audience. It allows me to show people what I love doing and hope to inspire them to do what they love, too. I’ll also get the chance to meet new people and talk to them about their passions over tea and biscuits. My shout.



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