This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Tidy Mind, Punk Heart


Today we introduce the work of Melbourne artist Bec Smith.

For the past two decades Bec has worked as a digital designer, pursuing her painting practice on the side. However, over the past twelve months this focus as shifted, with Bec committed to shift her emphasis from the screen to the easel. The culmination of this is ‘Tidy Mind, Punk Heart‘ – a collection of colourful, geometric paintings opening at Pop & Scott in Melbourne this week.


6th December, 2016
Lisa Marie Corso
Tuesday 6th December 2016

Bec Smith has spent the last twenty years balancing her day job as a digital designer, and her passion for painting. However, this year she made a promise to herself to spend less time in front of the screen and more time in front of the easel. A year’s worth of painting has since culminated with a collection of colourful, geometric studies and a solo exhibition opening at Pop & Scott this week.

‘Now more than ever, I’m driven to make human centred works that have no real business being generated by a computer,’ Bec explains.

Entitled ‘Tidy Mind, Punk Heart‘, Bec’s upcoming exhibition brings together two distinct sides of her personality.  On the one side, symmetry and geometry embrace Bec’s tendency to ‘dwell on things’, a practice which informs much of her creative output. ‘I think about life and the interactions we have with one another, and I sit down to sketch these heavily structured ideas, forming a story built around the dynamics of shape and composition’ she says. The ‘punk-ish’ side of the work emanates from the ‘wobbly edges and fuzzy corners’ favoured over neat lines. ‘It creates the tension, I think, between what is constructed and what is natural’ Bec says.

With her first solo show opening later this week, Bec is looking ahead to a few more creative side projects set to launch in 2017. She’s working on a story-painting concept called Tell Tale Signs alongside her friend Nikki Stefanoff, and is planning a joint exhibition with friend and fellow painter Annette Wagner.  She’s also very inspired by an ‘Art Club’ group she has recently joined, run by local jeweller Victoria Mason. The format is like a book club, but each artist generates new ideas and art monthly, around a set theme. This intuitive, collaborative approach to art making resonates strongly with Bec.

‘I truly love the creative community’ Bec says. ‘I really want to create a cross-collaboration network, that makes beautiful things, creates jobs and opportunities for all the multi-disciplined people I know. I love getting people together and seeing ideas fly between them’.

Tidy Mind, Punk Heart by Bec Smith
Pop & Scott
Thursday 8 December 2016 from 6-8pm
27A Hayes Street, Northcote

To see more of Bec’s work visit her website here . Exhibition enquiries email

Artist Bec Smith in her studio ahead of her exhibition that opens at Pop & Scott this week. Photo by Bobby and Tide. 

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email