After what Cam describes as his first break at a Finders Keepers market back in 2012, his illustration label Beau Wylie has gone from strength to strength. We’ve loved watching the evolution of Cam’s stall and products over the years, and know that his label can only continue to flourish. Today, we chat to the one-man-show behind the label and discover some of Cam’s inspirations and stallholder wisdom. Be sure to look out for the Beau Wylie stall at our Sydney market, which kicks off on the 29 April!
Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to begin your label.
I’ve always loved to sketch and scribble, but I never imagined it could be a career. It wasn’t until a few years ago, while studying architecture, where I had to illustrate building designs from concept sketches to detailed finished plans, that I fell in love with drawing as never before. So it was, halfway through my journey to becoming an architect, that I realised that I was destined to be an artist instead.
Aside from a few short courses, I am not trained in painting or drawing, so it’s been a hefty learning curve, and initially the hardest part was deciding what to draw, and wondering who on earth would want to buy it! The Finders Keepers markets gave me my first break in 2012, and it was there, armed with an extremely modest selection of colourful greeting cards, artworks, and buckets of nerves, I discovered the joy of sharing my work with an audience! That people choose to share my cards with friends, and adorn their walls with my works was such a huge compliment and is as flattering today as it was then.
What would be one piece of advice you would give a first time seller at The Finders Keepers?
Make your stall enticing! In the lead up to a huge market like Finders Keepers it can be tempting to spend all your time making as many new exciting artworks/products as possible, but put a good chunk of time aside to make your stall look fantastic and functional. Running a full practice set up prior to the market is also a great way to weed out stressful surprises.
Also, wear comfy shoes!
Tell us something exciting that you have planned for Beau Wylie this year.
So many ideas and so many colours to splash around, but never enough time! But for this year’s most exciting project I will be working on my first kid’s book. It’s long been an ambition of mine, having worked as a bookseller I adore all the wonderful and clever books for youngsters out there, so it’s time for me to tap into my inner kid and get cracking!
Name one resource that your label could not live without.
As someone who loves making things with my hands, I couldn’t live without my art tools. Pencils, inks, colourful paints, brushes, textured papers, scissors, digital tablets; I don’t know how I’d live without any of them. But if I absolutely had to choose one, I’d say watercolour paints, especially when they are a bit messy, they create a wonderful sense of motion, and their texture and colour gradients form the basis for all of my works.
An honorary mention must go to sketchbooks, which I carry at all times, because deciding what to draw is often a daunting task, so having a little book of past ideas to browse through is a great resource, and as inspiration can be fleeting, it’s essential to be able to sketch gems of inspiration as they happen.
Tell us about your favourite product from your collection.
I’m really digging my large limited edition prints right now, especially The Rainbow Sailboat.
I’m a bit of a printer geek, so I was super excited when I recently invested in a large format archival art printer. Being able to reproduce my works in their true vivid colours on gorgeous paper, and knowing these prints will last over a century is so satisfying. I have received a great reaction from my audience in the short time they’ve been available, especially for this work.