Bethany (but call her Biff, otherwise it will make her feel like you are her mom telling her off!) is an aspiring children’s book illustrator who graduated from NTU in Graphic Design last year and now resides in Oxfordshire. Since graduating, Biff has has worked on a couple of freelance projects but has mainly been doing her side hustle which is painting pet portraits, all before she goes back to study an MA in Illustration in September.
1. Instagram account
@agathesorlet – How can her illustrations be so simplistic yet radiate emotion that creates such a connection with the person looking at it? I feel things when I see her work. I get the urge to hug somebody, hold somebody’s hand and ‘daaaance with somebody!’ Seriously.
Not necessarily a book but my favourite has to be Frankie Magazine. It’s not like I don’t read books though, my favourite genre is Romance but I just enjoy all the books. Anyway, Frankie Mag! If you haven’t heard of it yet then GET TO IT! It’s an Australian publication featuring art and culture. In each magazine you get 2 big posters which never disappoint, I need to control myself when choosing which posters to put up or else I’ll not have any wall space whatsoever. Some people consider the mag a bit expensive but once you get hooked… the collection just keeps growing. And trust me, it’s SO worth it.
My favourite shop to date has to be La Nostra Ciutat in Barcelona. It’s an illustrators/designers DREAM. Would you believe I just stumbled upon it – even after doing some research before my Barcelona trip. Boy am I sooooo glad I saw this beauty of a place. It is the physical real-life equivalent of Pinterest. Paperchase meets UO meets Neon Sheep. The whole wall on opposing sides are absolutely plastered with framed illustrations. All around the store were cutesy banners, quirky tote bags, cards, postcards, ceramics – aaaaahhhhh?
I haven’t really been to see many musicals, I only properly got into them a few years ago. I enjoy many such as Dear Evan Hansen, Heathers, Bonnie & Clyde, Rent, Dreamgirls etc. I’m not too sure if this counts and I’m still not sure if it’s a favourite (but it’s a soundtrack I listen to a lot) but I do like Crazy Ex Girlfriend. It’s almost as weird as I am and so relatable. You can watch it on Netflix!
5. City that is not Oxford
This is probably a huge bias because I am from that way but Nottingham is my favourite city for inspiration (Shocker!) It has Nottingham Contemporary, which is fulfilled with exhibitions that ooze culture. An important thing to note here is that I’d barely see ‘what’s on’ beforehand, usually me and a friend (who loves the contemporary as much as I do) would just rock up. Feb 2019 I viewed Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s exhibition that focused on Mata Atlântica (the affects on a rainforest in Brazil), I went to one exhibition in 2017 that had these incredible sound installations by Marguerite Humeau which NC explains as taking ‘us back to the origins of life, while also imagining a future without us’, another that was called ‘States Of America: Photography from the Civil Rights Movement to the Reagan Era .’ There’s a small section as you walk in which is essentially an open space shop with absolutely all sorts there inc books, postcards, magazines (which as you’ll find out is an absolute fave collection of mine). It’s difficult not to be inspired when you visit a place like this because you take into consideration the work, progress, development of constructing the whole display and it makes you think ‘wow’.
Five of Biff’s own creations:
More on her Instagram: @biffodesigns