Becky McCarthy StudioBecky McCarthy Studio

Plantsgiving 2020 – A Drawing a Day

by becqua on November 14, 2020, in the News category

The challenge was set on Instagram by @sunnyspotstudio & @mollyferguso1nart to create a drawing a day to celebrate #plantsgiving2020. This is the second year and was originally set up to push themselves out of their comfort zones to produce a quick piece per day. As I’m always drawing botanicals of some form I decide to join and I’m nearly half way through. I’ll post some of my art at the end of the month.

Post- project update: I’m pleased to show a few of the daily illustrations I did. It depended how much time I had with a quick loose sketch with The Vase, a bold floral pattern with Blooms & Gold, to the magical world of The Terrarium. I wholeheartedly recommend a daily challenge like this, as I created more in a few weeks than I had over the preceding months…..a great bit of creative inspiration.

United Artspace

by becqua on August 1, 2020, in the News category

I’m now a member of United Artspace at a virtual art studio group set up by Michelle Lloyd. The Hub is a membership site for artists full of resources to work on your art career. I’m looking forward to making the most of the videos, Facebook group and modules over the coming months.

MAT’s MBA Course April-July 2020

by becqua on July 31, 2020, in the News category

At the start of lockdown in the UK I was lucky enough to gain a free place on the Make Art That Sells ‘Money Badass’ course run by the lovely Lilla Rogers & Beth Kempton at It’s a 3-week course and I’ve gone through it at a self-paced rate, as and when the time allowed, and I’m nearing the end of the project. The course encourages you to look at your mindset, motivation and potential customers, and is filled with workbooks, videos and great advice. A Facebook group for the course offers another level of ideas and encouragement. As usual when I do Lilla’s courses, it gives me a boost of creativity and inspiration and I recommend them to others.

Make Art That Sells MBA Banner

March 2019 – MATs Bootcamp

by becqua on May 12, 2019, in the News category

Needing a bit of continued motivation I joined the Make Art That Sells 2019 Bootcamp for artists and illustrators of all levels. I missed February but took up the challenge for the March, April and May design briefs. So far I’ve designed some kooky salt & pepper shakers, become inspired by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi Sabi and started sketching some vintage characters and icons. Will see where this one leads me……

Editorial: Wabi Sabi

January 2019 – Winter School

by becqua on May 12, 2019, in the News category

It was fun to join others in attending Winter School, details of which can be found at Having previously taken the beginners track, this time I went for intermediate. The first design brief covered the theme of Celestial, and the second was Animal Print…..neither are subjects I would normally favour so it was great to tackle something different. I also entered the typography challenge and used a dark floral as the backdrop.

Make it in Design Typography Challenge Winter School

December 2018 – The Folktale Challenge

by becqua on May 12, 2019, in the News category

A theme a day to illustrate as part of the Instagram Folktale Challenge. While I didn’t submit every day, I did work on one piece while I was on holiday. Intrigued by the tale of the Fairy Queen’s funeral I painted the scene on my IPad. It depicts the ethereal figure in a candlelit church. The fish on the floor left by the fisherman, scared away by the howling cries of her kin.

July 2018 – Global Talent Search

by becqua on May 12, 2019, in the News category

I took part in Lilla Rogers talent search again in 2018, along with artists and illustrators from all around the globe. The brief was to design the cover of a horticulturalist’s journal. I produced some loose floral oil paintings as my submission. The competition runs every year with the prize being representation by Lilla’s art agency. See her website for details on this; you’ll also find details of art courses and briefs.

Dark Floral semi-abstract digital painting in pink, green and brown

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.