We caught up with Sydney-based artist, designer and creative collaborator, Bianca Beers. Here, we chat about creativity, collaborating with brands, and Instagram as a source of commercial opportunities.
Your career as an artist only started in 2015 – you must have seen such an incredible growth over this time! How has the last 12 months been for you? What were you doing before you decided to become a full time artist?
My growth this year has been crazy! It’s kind of exponential, starts out slow and then the faster you grow, the quicker you’re growing. I’ve had a lot of awesome opportunities come my way, and honestly feel so blessed to have received them!
Before I started, well, to cut a long story short… I always loved art, but chose an entirely different uni course, and everyone was shocked. I stuck to it, graduated, knew it wasn’t for me, worked in retail a couple years, decided to do a one year crash course in design to freshen me up, and now here we are!
You’ve got a pretty unique style, both in your work and as a person. How would you describe your aesthetic?
Colourful! I love colour and patterns, so they both feature a lot in my fashion and my work. What I wear does vary a lot, depending on my mood. I guess the reason my art style doesn’t fluctuate too is because I‘m only inspired to create when I’m in a certain mindset! You have to wear clothes no matter your mindset though, or so I’m told….
What are the various mediums you use to create as an artist?
I’ve been going digital a lot recently! It’s just so much easier to chop and change and very good for online content, but I still find going by hand easiest and most natural. I’ll use ink pens, pencil, guache, posca pens, acrylic… I really just go with what I feel at the time, and what I think would be best for the vibes of the piece I’m working on!
How do you go about forming your creative ideas and concepts?
Honestly, most of the time it just comes to me straight away. Like instantly, or when I’m trying to sleep (haha). But the other times, if I’m doing work for a client and the idea hasn’t come immediately, I’ll write down the key words, the message/vibe of the client, and make one of those mind maps from high school days. Then I’ll just scribble down whatever comes to mind!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everywhere! Colours and patterns I see, nature, and other art… Often I’ll take a photo of something that inspires me in some way, to vibe off later! My phone is running out of storage…
You’ve collaborated with some massive brands! How did your recent work with Nike come about?
Oh my gosh, that was so fun. It all came about from Instagram! Most of my clients find me from there, which is funny, as I don’t even have that many followers! Lampoon, the agency that works with Nike contacted me asking if I’d like to do a fun new project with Nike. Of course I said yes! “Just Do It” and all that…
What was involved with the Nike project?
It was really cool. I got to both “model” and do art for the project, advertising the new flyknit Air Max 1 Ultra. Nike got four “influential” Instagrammers to give our take on ‘Lighter Than Air’, infusing our personal styles with the message. We all met up with the Nike peeps in Bondi, had brekky and then went for the shoots with amazing photographer
Demas Rusli! I drew up my art for the project later that day. To this day I honestly don’t know how or why they chose me haha.
Have the brand collaborations you’ve done recently had a positive impact on your career?
Definitely! I think working with brands, especially big ones, shows the world that you can function on a higher level. Briefs, deadlines, and all that. It also helps show how you can apply your own personal style to different subjects and mediums, which ultimately provides you with more jobs, yay!
Talk us through some of your different creative approaches to a new commercial brief..
I’ll always ask my client for keywords, the vibe they’re after, and/or any visual inspiration they have for the piece – whatever got them inspired to go for it. Then I know what they’re after. Sometimes it will come to me instantly, other times I’ll either make a little mood board to vibe off or write up a mind map to get me going on ideas. Or both! Then I play some vibey tunes and get started.
How does your Instagram (@biancabeers) play part in your personal brand’s growth? Have you ever received commercial opportunities via your social media? Do you ever sell work through Instagram?
Instagram is my everything when it comes to my brand. I honestly don’t have that many followers, but I’d say around 90% of my clients come from there. I’d be lying if I said it was easy, but I try to keep my feed looking clean and colourful to attract the right following and clients.
Just recently I have been getting a few commercial opportunities, since Nike. I’ll only advertise things which align with my style and interests, things I’d love in the real world.
I don’t directly sell my work on Instagram, its all on my website, biancabeers.com. There’s a direct link to it on my Instagram account though, so people can easily access it if they see work they like. Unfortunately you can’t include links in your photo captions, so I always write “link in bio” when I post photos of my work. That way, random viewers are also navigated to my page, rather than them just liking one single post.
You’ve featured artists like Pharrell, Kanye and Beyonce in your work – have you ever been able to share your work with them?
Haha, Drake actually saw and liked my drawing of him, which is funny because it was kinda taking the piss. I tried really hard to have Pharrell see my portrait of him, I tagged him each time I uploaded a progress shot on Instagram. No luck though, yet. I’m thinking about sending him a print though, I think he’d vibe it!