Magical Elements – Spotlight on photographer and artist Becky Johnston
Today 15 year old artist and photographer Becky johnston is in the Spotlight! See more of Becky’s work here: www.beckyj.artweb.com
Being an artist
Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself
Hello, my name Is Becky Johnston, 15 years of age, and I’m an artist and photographer. Veraciously, I am an amateur/ beginner on the concept of photography. I hope to venture out to more natural areas such as forests etc- and take more photos with the ‘magical’ element and dramatical lanscapes in the near future. Additionally, I am also an actress, presently part of a newly formed agency.
How and when did you start out as an illustrator?
After taking a couple of basic courses in the past year or two, I am only just begginning as a photographer. Fine art on the other hand, has been a hobby pretty much all my life and am still building my portfolio whilst I’m studying.
What training did you have?
I am still in education, currently mid-way through a fine-art diploma course, and have finnished a fine-art B-tec. I have also attended multiple short photography courses which have influenced my interest in the subject.
What has been your best creative achievement so far?
On the concept of photography, whilst on a course in Bolton, my home town, my work was presented in two exhibitions. One in a cultural museum, and the other at Bolton University. Additionaly, I acheived a Distinction on my previously completed Fine Art B-tec.
What’s your favourite quote?
‘Be nice to people on the way up, because you’ll need them on the way down.’ & ‘If you don’t have a dream, how are you going to make a dream come true?’
Who is your favourite artist?
Adam Brockbank- a conceptual illustrator in the film and tv industry.
What are you aiming for?
I am currently aiming to gain more experience in art and photography, and add to my portfolio. Along the way I hope to use the money raised to add to my equipment and help pay for additions to my career in acting.
How will you get there?
Just to carry on my hobby of art and hopefully sell varied peices and gain experience.
Is anything holding you back?
Unfortunately I am struggling to travel to prefered places to shoot. But also the amount of work I need to complete to finnish my fine-art course.
You and illustration
What sort of reactions do you get to your work? are you ever surprised?
People are usually quite shocked at my completed work because of my age. It is mostly the fine-art and drawn peices which get the most praise- which I only show if I am 100% happy with it and I know I have given 100% of my ability. On the other hand, not many have seen my photography, and I yet await to see the opinions of others!
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
Photography-wise can take me atleast half a day’s shoot on location, and perhaps a matter of hours are spent touching them up a little on my laptop; but on the subject of fine-art, It can take me up to a week or two (possibly more depending on the peice) to complete.
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
My playlist consists of a wide variety of random songs! From ‘A drop in the ocean- Ron Rope’ to ‘A window to the past- John Williams’- I like them all really!
What is next in the pipeline for you? Any new directions or shows coming up?
No, not really any shows or such- I’m practically just focusing on doing illustration as a small hobby for the moment, hopefully I can move onto more projects in the near future.
Being inspired by illustration
Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?
Adam Brockbank. Simply because his work, mainly on the Harry Potter series is absolutely amazing and I think he should be more recognised in the industry. He deserves it. But additionally, allthough these people are not exactly ‘illustrators’ themselves, I believe they have played a big role as my roll models. For example- JKRowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, has changed so many lives and has created a generation of kids who read, write, and aspire to be at her side as an author. I have practically grown up with her storys, and has given me hope and a different view on the world. She is truly amazing. Without her, I don’t know what kind of person I would be to this day. Finaly, Mr Colin Morgan also plays a large role. This Irish, Armagh- born actor takes on challenges as they come, and cares more for others and nature. I love his perspective on life. He also deserves more recognition.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an illustrator?
Probably the word ‘legend’ is the most dominant word which sticks out for me. It can mean so many things, and link to so may situations that there’s no way you can over-bear it. Although It’s complicated to explain, I think that knowing there are so many legends out there to follow or aspire to, It proves that anything is possible, and the littlest things can make a big difference if you put your mind to it. Even though that’s possibly a bit ‘far-fetched’, ‘legends’ can be created anytime and to anyone.
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
I don’t really have a favourite peice that I have produced. Probably all my final peices in my portfolio are my best. They are the ones I put best effort to.
an illustrator’s advice
Have you got any advice for those starting out as an illustrator?
The best advise I can give, coming from an amateur as myself, is just to follow your dreams- anything is possible if you give 100% towards it, no matter what the consequences are, nothing is more important than what you beleive in.