There are seldom few artists that we really take to here at Almost Gold (artwork done for our bands aside, of course!). Recently we came across some work online that really struck a proverbial chord, which made us deviate for the first time for our usual Q&A’s with the best new bands around. Rebecca Hendin runs the mighty fine art-blog Sketchbeast, and having been commissioned to produce iconic artwork and designs for bands such as Citadels, newspapers such as The Telegraph and The Guardian, and TV stations such as MTV, she kindly took the time to tell us all we wanted to know.
Tell us a bit about your work…
So, at the moment, I am doing a few things. I try to spend my time doing a few things at least, to squelch any fears of life getting boring! During most days, I help out at a design company/creative agency sort of place, where different people and projects are constantly coming in. Through this, I was asked to do some drawings for possible use as part of an on/off air campaign for MTV to promote MTV Presents. Thus, many recent days have been sat staring at photos of Mark Ronson, and subsequently drawing the man, as the campaign at the moment is focused on an MTV Presents gig featuring him and his band as the headline act.
Mark Ronson sketches
My drawings for this are then taken and incorporated into the finished design for MTV, the final product of which is realised by another designer. It’s interesting seeing my art being taken and changed and used as part of someone else’s finished design, as I’ve not had art used this way before. It will also be pretty great to see it flashing around onscreen on MTV! As far as my own work, I stay busy with that, too, and enjoy freelance illustration. I do various bits in different areas. Right now I’m working on a series of illustrations for a magazine about commercial property in the UK, as well as one for a written piece about creationism (by the lovely Kiran Acharya, who is a great writer, and a joy to work with!) for the Irish music and culture publication, AU Magazine, for whom I illustrate for fairly regularly.
UK Property Magazine illustration
I’ve done various poster art and design projects, including one most recently for Icarus Theatre Collective in London for an upcoming night of comedy influenced by Shakespeare. Jobs like that are great because I end up finding out about interesting things happening around town I wouldn’t otherwise hear about, and now am looking forward to going to see some Shakespearean silliness! I sell original art and prints, and have also had illustrations featured in several magazines and newspapers, such as The Economist, The Telegraph, Fan the Fire Magazine, and quite a few in the Guardian.
What artistic style do you go for?
As far as what style I go for… I don’t really hope to achieve any one style in particular, and this shows in the finished work, which can fall all over the place in terms of style. I most enjoy making pieces fully by hand, painting and drawing, but deadlines don’t always allow for this, and sometimes I end up working on illustrations partially digitally. There is no better feeling though, than making a piece, start to finish, by hand, and avoiding the computer screen like the plague! 🙂 Something about the tactility and joy of working by hand can’t be met by working any other way…
What inspires you?
I find inspiration in everything I see… really, everywhere. I get a bit too affected by seemingly regular things on a regular basis, and end up with constant urges to get things out onto paper. I always carry around a sketchbook for getting down ideas quickly, whether sketched or written. I love writing (a bit more than drawing, actually!) and find most of what ends up in the sketchbook is written, rather than drawn. I find myself walking down the street at times feeling like a madwoman, trying to jot down everything going on in the process of trying not to bump into people and buildings and bicycles…
What are your influences?
Influences, so many influences… Ralph Steadman always springs to mind. I love Ralph Steadman’s art, for it’s freedom, grotesqueness, and social commentary, among a whole list of reasons. I love how the madness of his work never seems far out of place, as he notices and focuses in on the true madness that is the human condition… be it exploring the issues of politics, or the issues of Hunter Thompson’s mind. I’m constantly stumbling upon art I like, which go into some sort of anonymous visual memory bank of inspiration, often minus the artists’ names unfortunately… which is a bit of a fail. And I am always, always inspired by music and nature, both of which never fail to make me want to create something beautiful, yet both of which also make me sure I will never be able to create something quite as beautiful as either….