Lainie Bea is an inspiring artist I stumbled upon on Instagram. Her dreamy illustrations and feminine style instantly caught my attention, while the personality and fun of her work kept me following along 😘
I originally found her work through her Roller Derby style Sailor Scout series (Sailor Moon shown above) and was amazed by her ability to not only capture the essence of these familiar characters, but all the while maintaining her own original style and flair + did you see the adorable style details of tattoo, buttons and handbag?!
Her bright, fun color palettes and attention to the tiniest magical details really make Lainie’s work stand out among the crowd! Along with this peek into her process, journey and inspiration you’ll also get some amazing advice on diving into your passion project!!
Enjoy and be sure to follow along with her: @lainie.bea.studio.
What is your artistic passion & how did you first discover your love for it?
Illustration is the one creative pursuit I can’t imagine living without. I crave it, even if I’m doing it only for myself.
Honestly, it took me a long time to be able to share my work.
I’ve been interested in art for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I copied artwork from books and movies that I loved to learn from their style. Even though I went to university for graphic design, I am a self-taught digital illustrator.
I think people have the misconception that if you excel in one art form, you’ll immediately be amazing at every other one you try. I think it definitely gives you an advantage, but all of them present their own challenges and require you to approach them with a different creative mindset, which can be half of the fun.
What would 'success' look like to you with this passion of yours?
I think accomplishing certain types of projects would give me a feeling of success. It’s easy to get caught up in measuring the amount of followers, likes and shop purchases you receive in a day as how successful you are. It can be healthy to remember all that you have already accomplished and what you’d like to do next. One of my dreams right now is to collaborate with creative writers to help them illustrate some very fun and inspiring stories.
I might always be chasing ‘success’ because, hopefully, there will always be an exciting, new project waiting for me to take on.
Eventually, I would like to be able to devote more time to my artwork as a full-time illustrator. Presently, I work as a graphic designer, and I illustrate in any free time I can manage.
What is one take-away you'd love viewers to gather after experiencing your work?
It might sound slightly cheesy, but I’d really like people to see a piece of themselves in my work. I’d like to present a feeling or memory that people can relate to in their own way. In the end, I hope it gives people a sense of belonging.
How do you know when a piece is ‘done’?
Hah. I think I’m still struggling with this one! I usually have self-assigned deadlines, so I have a general idea of when I need to have a project finished. But I’m not sure I ever really know when I’m actually ‘done’. Even now I have plans to revise some illustrations I’ve already posted. I think it’s especially difficult when you work digitally to not continuously look at your pieces to see what you could slightly alter and improve. I usually have to send proofs to a small, trusted group of friends and artists for feedback before I know if I’m ready to share the illustration on Instagram or in my shop.
I'd love to hear a little about the studio / space you've created to work in and how that impacts your process & final product.
Luckily, as a digital illustrator my workspace can be wherever I have my laptop and Wacom tablet. I often find a comfortable space in my house where my two dogs can curl up right beside me. I’ve also taken over the guest room to store items for my Etsy shop, including prints and shipping materials. I try to keep this area clean and organized since I often need to perform quick assemblies to fulfill my shipments on time.
What are 3 words you'd use to describe your unique art style?
Whimsical, Feminine and Youthful
What has been your biggest struggle to getting where you want to be creatively and how did you overcome it?
I’m always struggling to find more time in the day!
I often joke that if I could give up sleeping I would. I usually have many more ideas for potential projects than I have the time to work on them. It may sound strange, but I have a difficult time giving myself breaks, although working nonstop is an easy way to suddenly find myself in a creative block or rut. I have to remember that it’s okay to not do everything.
Do you have any advice / tips for someone looking to dive deeper and pursue their own creative passion?
Don’t rush it. Take some time at the beginning to decide how you want to present your brand.
Choose what audience you want to connect with and the message you’d like to provide. It’s okay if all of this evolves once you’ve put yourself out there, but it’s nice to go in with a plan and a decent stockpile of ready to share artwork.
Also, don’t let anyone convince you that your time and talent isn’t worth it (even if your main critic is yourself!)
Know that you don’t have to give your art away for free or “for the exposure”. Most people who ask this of you often don’t take you or creative work seriously (even if it’s your passion, you’ve put a lot of hard work, time, love, thought, sweat and tears into these projects). It’s okay, not everyone has to get it. In fact, it makes it more worthwhile when you do get the opportunity to work with people who really see your value.