The creative work flowing from Beci Orpin’s Melbourne studio is incredible. Just click on Orpin’s site and you’ll understand that her world of graphic design is more magical than most. A menagerie of colorful mushrooms and fantasy-inspired silhouettes march across the screen with unabashed purpose, preparing the user for a unique mix of commercially friendly, widely applicable artwork. While many are familiar with Orpin through her women’s clothing line, Princess Tina, she has recently closed the doors on this decade long endeavor in an effort to focus on other creative pursuits. Check out our Q+A for a glimpse at Orpin’s creative process in addition to where you can find her creations in the coming season.
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PP: What websites do you generally start your day with-do you have a daily routine for news/blog/information consumption?
BO: I don’t usually have time to check blogs on a daily basis, I would says it is probably more of a weekly occurrence but when I do, the some ones I like are:
PP: How did you discover your talent and how has it evolved over your career?
BO: I am not sure I discovered it – I had some sort of weird tunnel vision – there was nothing else. Drawing and creating is all I ever wanted to do. I remember 2 defining moments – one when i was 6 and drawing a picture of a wedding, and one when I was about 14 and drawing a cat. I cant remember exactly what happened, but while doing those 2 drawings something clicked and it confirmed that being creative was what I loved, and wanted to do with my life.
PP: Do you discuss your work with other designers? If so, how does that impact your creation process?
BO: Most of my friends are in creative industries, so I guess as part of our general conversation we talk about work. If I am stuck on something and need advice, I know I can always get honest and useful opinions from my partner/husband Raph and my assistant Leah. I think its a very valuable thing to get others opinions, especially when you work for yourself – its easy to get trapped in your own world.
PP: Where do you usually work on your patterns and what is your preferred method of creation + execution?
BO: I work with patterns in many forms, although a lot of my pattern work is for textiles. I have also created patterns for wallpaper, murals, stationery and packaging. As far as method, it depends on what the pattern is for. I don’t have a preferred method and will just do whatever is appropriate for the job. I am really liking hand-collaged paper mixed with computer lately.
PP: When is the last time you took a professional/creative risk?
BO: Last November I decided to stop creating the women’s clothing line, Princess Tina. After 8 years I had just had enough and felt it wasn’t relevant to my life anymore and decided to put all my energy into freelancing, my kids line (tiny mammoth), and a new line I am doing under my own name. It was a risk because Princess Tina was still generating income for us and giving it up meant that income was no longer going to be there. Though from the beginning, Raph and I decided that we don’t run our own business just to make money, we have to love all the projects we work on 100%. I have never regretted leaving for one second and think by dedicating more time to other things, they will in turn replace some of the income Princess Tina brought in…. or maybe i will have to get real job instead!
PP: Do you incorporate commercial trends into your work and if so, is this a factor that drives your design?
BO: I try not to follow trends as such, but I think it does happen sub-consciously sometimes. Obviously when you are following a brief from a client, sometimes you have to follow trends. If I do, I at least try and interpret them in new ways.