Becky McCarthy StudioBecky McCarthy Studio

Floral Motif Workshop with Rachael Taylor

by becqua on January 28, 2018, in the News category

The Create Workshop in Liverpool

Following the workshop in November, I’ve been working on some designs with view to submitting some designs to a pattern stock site. The specialist workshop was hosted by Rachael Taylor of with assistance by Kelly Crossley. It was a relaxed informal day with lots of conversation and background music, as we painted and sketched the array of gorgeous blooms that were displayed.  We were encouraged to try different media and make marks, with no pressure to make a finished piece. The all-day workshop was broken up into several sessions with time allocated and set aside for Rachael to talk through her process and answer any questions as they arose. The insight into her creative worklife was a privilege and Rachael showed her initial sketches and was generous with the detail supplied regarding suppliers and resources.

Some of the mark-making has since turned into finished repeat patterns and I’m pleased with everything I took away from the session, from meeting fellow artists, hearing Rachael talk about her work, painting in a group atmosphere, and having some beautifully crafted cupcakes and treats for the train home.

Rachael Taylor Workshop

Floral Workshop Setting


Painted Polka


Make it in Design – Module 2

by becqua on August 28, 2017, in the News category

This post is a bit late, but I’ve been out of action over the summer due to an arm injury. Module 2 – Creating Your Professional Identity ran April-May this year.

Make it in Design

Workshops in AI and PS mean’t I could brush up on my skills while tackling each weekly design brief. The 5-week course focussed on Creating Collections, Identifying Trends & Creating Your Brand. Such a fun and challenging module, which means I can add some new stuff to my portfolio.

Once again the Facebook community was great, and you can get as involved as you’re comfortable with. Next level is Module 3 – Monetising Your Designs starting in September.

Make It in Design – Module 1

by becqua on April 16, 2017, in the News category

Module 1 – Designing Your Way completed!!!! It’been a fun 5 weeks, working through initial ideas and sketches, reviewing colour palettes, and deconstructing patterns, before creating our own designs and mocking-up scarves and gift wrap. The course is run by Rachael Taylor, see examples of her work here and the course can be found at The technical

Gift Wrap

workshops in Adobe Illustrator (AI) and Photoshop (PS) have been invaluable for making progress. You can find plenty of general tutorials on You Tube, but there’s nothing like seeing how an experienced surface pattern designer approaches different aspects of their work. I’m quite confident in PS but always struggle in AI. The course made me work on improving this.

The course sees artists at different levels, all offering support and feedback in the Facebook group. The camaraderie is great and if you get stuck on a technical issue there’s plenty of suggestions. This module is one of four, with the later modules being: Module 2 – Creating Your Professional Identity; Module 3 – Monetising Your Designs;  Module 4 – The Ultimate Portfolio Builder.

Its Global Talent Search Time…..

by becqua on August 13, 2016, in the News category

The 2016 Global Talent Search is underway with Lilla’s Rogers competition to find her next artist to represent. It’s the second time I’ve taken part and it is a great way to flex your design muscles and work to a professional design brief. The first round is now nearly complete and Lilla will then whittle the field down to 50 who will take part in the next round. It’s a great competition to be part of and from past experience it’s fun to follow the progress of the artists who make it through to the later stages.

This years theme is to produce a paper napkin, cup and saucer for a cool tea and cake shop. The theme I went with, was 1940’s vintage with a modern twist. It ended up kind of retro, grandma chic. I think the colours would look great against a crisp white tablecloth. Here’s a few images to show the progression from sketches and mood boards to the finished piece. Visit to see more from Lilla.

Day 210: Time for Tea

Day 216: 1940’s Pinup

217 Mood Board

The Illustration 365 Project – Update

by becqua on April 2, 2016, in the News category

Day 80 Clarabel Sketch

Day 80: Clarabel

Clarabel Illustration

Illustration: Colourways

Clarabel Illustration Detail

Detail: Clarabel

3 months into the project and I’m going strong. I’ve posted an illustration for every day of January, February & March 2016. Subjects have ranged from flora and fauna, to vintage birdcages, quotes and my muses Lily & Clarabel. Some days are easier than others and the support and feedback from other members of the group definitely keep me motivated. My artistic style has varied from doodles and quick sketches, to pieces finished in Illustrator and Photoshop. Some days the style has been loose and scratchy, and other days very neat and precise. Throughout this year-long process I hope to hone and define my style, and have enjoyed seeing the work submitted by fellow illustrators. If you’d like to join the project please contact me.

Illo 365 Days – Illustration Project

by becqua on January 2, 2016, in the News category

Day 1 of the #illo365days project. The aim is to produce an illustration every day. I’ve started small today, with a rough logo for the project…’s great to be underway.

day 1

I’ll add updates on my progress here, and daily illustrations will be posted on Instagram using the hashtag #illo365days. If you’re feeling inspired, please join the project and improve your illustration skills. Subject-matter can be anything that inspires: florals, animals, people, patterns etc, from a quick pen sketch to a more intricate finished illustration …’s up to you. See you throughout 2016.


Make It In Design Patternbombing Project

by becqua on November 15, 2015, in the News category

#patternbombing the Fashion Museum

Hundreds of designers & illustrators recently took part in the Make It In Design #patterbombing online design event, submitting images of buildings and landmarks decorated with patterns. The finished results from pattermakers included iconic images from around the world.

My particular inspiration was a small piece of Georgian fabric I was given many years ago. The fabric was hand-embroidered by Maria Prouett in 1822 for her going-away dress. I decorated the top half of the Fashion Museum with a pattern inspired by this beautiful embroidery. I juxtaposed this with a brighter graffiti-style version.

Visit for surface design inspiration, courses and competitions.

Lilla Rogers – Creating Collections for Home Decor

by becqua on July 28, 2015, in the News category

BECKY_MCCARTHY_FINALCOLLECTION_HD1_WK5For any artists and illustrators looking for a new challenge, I recommend taking a look at Lilla is an agent in the States who represents various artists, licensing their art to many different markets. Courses available on her website include Make Art that Sells and Bootcamp, and also the Global Talent Search competition. All are paid courses, but the benefits are huge. I’ve taken MAT’s A & B, both of which cover various markets, and took part in GTS 2014. Lilla has also launched a new course, Creating Collections in Home Decor, in conjunction with Margot Tantau, VP at Midwest-CBK, and I was fortunate enough to be in a postion to take part in this new course.

Week 1 – 5 took in a different substrate each week: Metal, Fabric, Glass, Ceramic and Wood. Hundreds of artists and illustrators took part and it was great to view the design process of others from sketches shown on the FB group, through to the final pieces submitted by everyone in the Flickr gallery. It’s a great opportunity to see how other professional artists work (in this class established illustrators such as Zoe Ingram and Flora Waycott took part, so we were able to benefit from seeing their creative process). It’s a really informative environment, with tips and reviews by Lilla & Margot, and also support from other artists. Each week saw new submissions from all involved with the option of presenting a full collection at the end of the course.




Greg James……again

by becqua on July 28, 2015, in the News category

I had a couple more mentions on the Greg James podcast in recent weeks with him sporting a new bespoke designed T-shirt based on the Rage Against the Answermachine feature.  Catch up with his podcasts at  Most recent mention was 10th July with Greg mentioning he’d been running in his new apparel.  Visit for products.

Hollywood Star Louise Brooks Artwork, available at…

by becqua on June 14, 2015, in the Tweets category

Hollywood Star Louise Brooks Artwork, available at #society6… #art