Beci

Orpin

Hi! My name is Beci Orpin. I often get asked: ‘what do you do?’

The answer is: I no longer know how best to answer that because what I do is so diverse. I’m considering ‘Jill of all trades, master of none’ as my professional title. I make anything and everything! My secret skill is buying really good presents for people.

My work is all about colour and optimism. I was particularly sad about the Australian federal election result this year so created an illustration to bolster everyone’s mood—and was blown away when it was reposted thousands of times (some might even use the word ‘viral’ here). I was so happy to be able to spread good vibes through my work.

When I was a teenager, I spent most of my time raving and was obsessed with manga (see: attached manga self portrait—LOL). I studied textile design at RMIT, which I loved for its strong drawing and painting component as well as skills like screenprinting, weaving and knitting

I love dedicating time to my personal work, where I can just do whatever I want! Lately in my personal work I’ve been making paintings, wood cuts and playing with GIFs.

I’m really excited to experiment more with larger scale and 3D pieces because bigger is better!

Here’s a recent kids' board book I wrote and illustrated for Hachette. I loved working on the illustrations as I used Procreate and an Apple pencil on my iPad - this was a new skill for me (can teach an old doggy new tricks, apparently!).

The best thing about working on commercial projects is the challenge of working within the limitations of a brief, and the satisfaction of completing a job well done. People are often surprised to learn how much commercial work I do—it’s my bread and butter! One of the most formative experiences of my career was working for companies in the US like Rookie Skateboards, XLarge and Built By Wendy in the late 90s and early 2000s. They were all companies I looked up to so much and the fact they liked my work made me ecstatic and made the world seem much smaller (in a good way!).

Not long ago I created some drawings to be animated and shown on screens at Federation Square over Christmas. It was super fun working with the ‘Australian Christmas’ theme and working in different mediums.

My studio is currently in Melbourne (because of family, food and four seasons in the space of one day). It’s located in a warehouse in Melbourne’s inner north, which I share with: my husband Raph, his five food trucks, his staff, a donut shop and a fried chicken restaurant. It’s always a colourful explosive mess with lots of visitors. I have a few desks: one for my computer, one for making things and one for works in progress.

I find that the key to relevance and progression is curiosity and experimentation. I spend a lot of time playing in my sketchbook (I have 20+ years' of sketchbooks and they are my most treasured possessions), riding my bike and of course patting my cat, because it keeps me happy.

One of my favourite projects was creating artwork for a teacup for T2. The amount of detail I could apply to different parts of the teacup was so fun, and I love seeing my work on products.

I’m a strong advocate for non-violence, compassion, good mental health and the environment. It’s important to me that I do work to support these beliefs as illustrations can sometimes communicate a message in a way that can’t be achieved solely with words.

I really loved the packaging I created for Kiehl’s. I’ll always remember the opportunity to collaborate with a really great brand and contribute to a good cause at the same time.

Another piece I’m really proud of was created for The Guide Dogs Association alongside Kit cosmetics. I was given a free brief with the illustration and branding and the campaign won a Gold Lion at Cannes!

Professional recognition doesn’t mean a lot to me because I produce the best work when I’m inside my bubble. I have done a lot of public speaking though; after years of being terrified I’m actually starting to enjoy it.

In recent years I’ve been fortunate enough to have been invited to speak at some amazing events and conferences, such as: Creative Mornings, Craft As a Career (2012), Big-Hearted Business, Semi-Permanent, Jacky Winter Gives You The Business, Perth Writers’ Festival, Soul Safari, Adobe's ‘Make It' conference, General Assembly, Melbourne Design Week, Bendigo Art Gallery, and I also used to co-host a monthly art and design segment on 3RRR.

If you want to find out even more about me, here are some recent articles about my practice: The House That Lars Built, The Design Files, Gorman, Extraordinary Routines, Engaging Women, and ABC News.

That’s me! If you want more, check out my full folio and Instagram. Got a brief? Contact me and the good folks at Jacky Winter.

With Jacky Winter you work directly with the artist alongside a hands-on producer—it’s a power-up for your artwork commission.

With Jacky Winter you work directly with the artist alongside a hands-on producer—it’s a power-up for your artwork commission.

With Jacky Winter you work directly with the artist alongside a hands-on producer—it’s a power-up for your artwork commission.