Becky Bettesworth is an artist based on the South Coast. In this newsletter she discusses her career, highlights and the excitement of 2023!
Q) What was your first ever job?
My first ever job was working as a waitress in an independently owned little restaurant, which was great fun when I was about 16 or 17.
My first career job was in London working for an advertising company after I left art college at 23.
Q) How did you originally start working in with art?
When I was at art college, I created my own greeting cards and sold those independently to different shops in Bath.
After my degree, I worked in London for an advertising company working as an art director. Coming up with conceptual ideas for campaigns for clients including Cadburys, Guinness, BT and Coca-Cola.
After a year, travelling in New Zealand and moving to Torquay, it was then that I started to build my portfolio as an artist.
Q) What was your first ever piece?
I did a lot of life drawing to start off with and I created a picture of a ladies back in pastel, which was nominated and won a prize in the ‘Not the Turner Prize’ exhibition, exhibiting down the Mall in London in 2002. I then exhibited at the Battersea affordable art fair through a London gallery.
Q) What has been your proudest moment so far?
I have had some amazing moments and experiences through my art, and I feel my proudest moment is still to come! Although, my collaboration with Barbour for their international summer campaign was a very proud moment!
Q) How do you find your inspiration?
This can happen from day today when you least expect it to happen, sometimes simply by going on a walk and seeing the sun light or shadows. Being an artist is all about looking and observing.
Q) Do you travel a lot?
I would like to travel a lot more and this is a real yearning and desire that I have at the moment. To visit different cultures and see and visit different places. I feel that this can really help to inspire and open your eyes and mind to new ideas.
Q) What is your favourite piece?
This is a really hard question and a difficult one to answer. I am very proud of my Torquay Palm picture which is one of the first pieces that I created, but I think the simplicity of it in its design works beautifully.
Q) Where is your favourite place to draw?
It really helps to create a picture of a place that I know well and love to go to. So anywhere along the coast that I have been to and have loved to visit makes it a lot easier to create a picture of that place.
Q) What’s your typical day now? How do you juggle everything?
This has really changed in the last couple of years as the children have got older. I drop them to the bus stop and train station in the morning and then either go for a walk with Squiggle or meet up with friends for a quick swim in the sea… this starts my day off really well and puts me in a good frame of mind.
I then will have to do some admin and liaise with the studio distribution team to make sure that everything is running smoothly and sort out any issues or problems if needed.
We do the marketing ourselves so this can take up a good chunk of time too! In an ideal world, I would then shut myself away and be creative before having to do a school pick up at around 3:30, so the day is pretty short and my time does feel very squeezed!
The evenings then consist of ferrying, dropping off and picking up and being a taxi for Heidi, Bertie and Tom and sorting out what on earth we are having for dinner! I used to love working into the evening and night but this is definitely harder now that the children are teenagers!
Q) How has your approach to work changed in your 40s compared to your 20s. Do you find it easier or harder?
In my 20s, I was working in a company and honestly felt very self-conscious and naive with a lot to learn.
Now in my late 40s, I am more self-assured and confident. Working for yourself has its advantages and disadvantages. I have learnt a lot but continue to learn, develop and grow all the time.
I care less about the things I know I’m not very good at (i.e. Admin) and I’m not ashamed of my weaknesses. That is definitely a big difference from being in my 20s and I am happier within my own skin in my 40s. Life is not necessarily easier and you still worry about stuff, but just different things and not the things you used to worry about in your 20s – they don’t matter anymore!
Q) What is a career highlight?
I’ve had some amazing moments, and I hope the best ones are still to follow. Some highlights are meeting Mary Berry, Jeremy Vine and Prince Harry.
Seeing my artwork on the London Underground.
It is an honour to be asked to create artwork which has global recognition, for example, the prestigious GP sailing race, Henley Royal Regatta, poster designs for films and book covers.
Q) Have your ambitions / aspirations changed?
Yes, I do think they change as nothing can stay the same and change is good, but fundamentally what I am always wanting to do stays the same and that is to create artwork that I really love. It is to produce a beautiful piece of art, so each piece I love and is created to the best of my ability at that time. If then other people share the same feelings as me and love my artwork too then this is such an incredible feeling and I am on top of the world and I am exceptionally grateful and thankful to all.
Q) Any key advice you’ve received (and/or would like to give)
To try and stay grounded and real, and be honest with yourself with integrity being a key part of everything that you do. Try not to worry and be patient and trust the process. Be kind to yourself and to enjoy what you do, and the journey. You are always learning, we all make mistakes, but fundamentally it is about being kind to yourself and others.
Q) What next for you?
I have got some great commissions at the start of next year, I’m not sure entirely what is next for me and in a way, this is scary and exciting too, I just need to follow my heart and I’m sure the rest will follow…
Love Becky x