Andrew Colin Beck is an illustrator and graphic designer who loves what he does and likes to think of himself as a visual poet. “Poetry is about finding ways to make language paint a picture and touch someone. Designers and illustrators are kind of like visual poets. We try to put images together or weave in different visual imagery to elicit an emotion or tell a story.”
“My favourite thing to do is create.”
Andrew also considers himself a nomad, both creatively and geographically. Whether he’s illustrating, creating comics, or playing music with his psychedelic rock band, Andrew loves exploring his creativity. As for geographically, while he used to travel the world with his wife and young son, he now works from home but explores local places for inspiration. “I like to be open to weird experiences,” he explained. “Usually, it’s enlightening and enjoyably uncomfortable.”
Disconnecting to Connect
As an illustrator, Andrew begins by sketching on paper, then uses a computer to look for inspiration online and create work in Adobe. When asked how he stays grounded while being surrounded by technology, he shared that he makes time for things away from the computer, like his family, his dogs, and his band.
Andrew enjoys connecting with others, whether it’s his family or strangers. When he’s not working, he makes a conscious effort to leave his phone at home, or in his pocket, forcing himself to observe his surroundings or talk with others. He also enjoys bringing his sketchbook with him to draw the people and things he sees, resulting in interesting conversations from curious onlookers.
A method Andrew uses to figure out what he really wants, whether in life or just in the moment, is “getting quiet with your own mind.” He has applied this to his life many times, from choosing what he and his band wanted to sound like to figuring out what an illustration should look like. He explained that the key is to slow down, get quiet, and take time to meditate and focus on what you’re trying to solve, create, or discover. “For anything that is real and worthy, you’ve got to get comfortable with the idea that it’s going to take a sincere amount of time.”
Follow What Excites You
Andrew attributes his success as an illustrator to following what made him excited. “The reason you’re only ever going to get good at something is if you put an extreme amount of time into it. So, the reason that some people are so good at what they do, is because they’ve chosen something that gets them really excited.”
Andrew also uses this philosophy on a more granular level when illustrating. He explained that he usually works with a piece until it excites him and he gets a genuine, emotional reaction. “When you’re getting an emotional reaction from your work, that’s when you can expect someone else will to,” he shared. “Other people can feel your love and passion for it.”
“That’s when work becomes successful; When people can feel the heart in it.”
Andrew Colin Beck’s Questions for KYŌ:
- What really excites me?
- How can I make my work really connect with people emotionally?
- How can I balance all the interests and passions I have?
Illustration by Andrew Colin Beck