Illustration Inspiration Interview: Bec Winnel

How did you get started as a Freelance Artist?
I was really lucky. I had a portfolio on Deviant Art. A lady who was following me showed my work to Sarah, who works for, and is a talent scout, for Illustration Ltd. A little while after that, two of my good friends started an agency, Just Another Agency and asked me to be involved 

What do you look to for your inspiration?
I think this always changes for me but at the moment it comes from within and is a reflection on what I've been experiencing and feeling. For example racism has been playing in my mind and a part of me wants to create work that is harmonious so I think about what I want to express and at some point a visual will 'pop' in my mind. 
How long does it take you to do an illustration, start to finish?
Quickest would be 2-3 hours, average would be around 10-20 hours and the longest I've ever spend on a drawing was 60 hours!

What is your process when working with clients? Can you explain your typical job?
It is really varied. Some clients know exactly what they want you to draw for example they will send you a photo and you pretty much replicate that with your own flair added. Some clients have no idea what they want and there is a lot of going back and forth with ideas and small sketches. And some clients, the best clients, give you free reign! Although that doesn't happen very often. One favourites to work with is Element Eden. I work with the Marketing Manager and the Design Manager. They will send me their ideas, for example 'we think an owl wearing a shirt with a pattern in the background would be great for this collection' along with a mood board for the season. I mock up a few quick ideas and send them back for review. From there one idea is chosen and I go on to finish the artwork, scan it, clean it up in Photoshop and send off the hi res file.  

What is the hardest thing about working for yourself?
Being self-disciplined! That has been my first lesson. I'm easily distracted and need to roughly plan out my week and allocate time/days for particular jobs. Some weeks their are deadlines, other weeks it is a little quieter so it is hard to have set days for set jobs so I also need to be flexible.
Do you get ‘Creative Block’ and how do you push through it?
I sure do!  I'm currently feeling in a good creative place this year. For me, putting down the pencils and brushes on the weekend and getting out and doing something completely different, with friends or family or just with my woofs, brings new experiences and time for reflection. 

What Advice do you have for new kids starting out in the Freelance field?
Create a variety of works that showcase your various styles or style. My illustration agent asks that we have people, animals, objects, food etc, the more the better for appealing to a varied audience. If you can get involved with an agent, it's super helpful as they can promote your work for you. A lot of the agencies accept submissions so once you have a good portfolio, send it off to every single agency you can find. Even if they say no, do some more work and send out your portfolio in another 6 months. My first few attempts were rejected, guess I need to improve a bit still!

Be sure to have a cheeky peek at more of Miss Winnel's work :


  1. you are very talented. keep it up!

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