Professionally trained as a graphic designer, Beth Emily completed her education at the Tasmanian School of Fine Arts. Here she undertook both printmaking and graphic design subjects, though there was no practical illustration elective available at that time. So, she’s really a self taught illustrator, who learnt her craft through constant experimentation, and the application of skills learnt from other disciplines.
‘Illustration has always had a significant role in my life’ explains Beth. ‘It has been something I’ve enjoyed doing since an early age, and those close to me often suggested that illustration would be something I would pursue as a profession, even before I really knew it myself.
Beth’s personal connection to the outdoors is what influences most of her work. ‘I love to observe the beauty in nature and reinterpret the details, colours, patterns and textures through different mediums’ she says. Her work is also highly influenced by traditional Naturalist art, particularly botanical illustration. Other reference points for Beth include the Dutch still-life painters of the Art Nouveau period, as well as contemporary artists such as Tomoko Shioyasu, who creates intricate paper-cut tapestries.
Beyond private commissions and commercial illustration clients, Beth has a few bigger projects brewing. Currently, she’s developing her own range of paper goods, drawing on her graphic design training. On a personal level, she’s also working on a very small, self-published book – an ‘explorer’s guide’, which will detail species of flora and fauna that are unique to the different states in Australia.
Of course, she is also looking forward to the imminent(!) launch of her new website, created in collaboration with local creatives Guvnor (design and art direction), Weekends (web development), Stephanie Stamatis (styling) & Sean Fennessy (photos). Dream team!