Wylie Beck­ert

An artist who fell in love with the fan­tasy com­mu­nity and found her style grew nat­u­rally

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Wylie Beck­ert de­scribes her work as “dark and whim­si­cal” with an em­pha­sis on char­ac­ters and sto­ry­telling. “For me,” she says, “de­vel­op­ing an iden­ti­fi­able style has been less a con­scious choice, and more a by-prod­uct of the tools and process I work with, com­bined with an eye to­wards con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment.”

In­deed, she feels her work blos­somed when she stopped reach­ing for a style and in­stead fo­cused on mak­ing the most tech­ni­cally pro­fi­cient piece she could. “In do­ing this, who I am as an artist comes through in the fin­ished prod­uct al­most of its own ac­cord,” she says.

“When I first started free­lanc­ing,” re­calls Wylie, “I was in­un­dated with jobs that paid next to noth­ing and had very lit­tle to do with what I re­ally wanted to be il­lus­trat­ing. I ended up pretty well burned out on art, not mak­ing a liv­ing wage, with a port­fo­lio of ran­dom, rushed work with no real com­mon thread.” The so­lu­tion was to take time out, put a min­i­mum on her com­mis­sions and wait it out. “The jump I ex­pe­ri­enced in my ca­reer af­ter tak­ing some time to im­prove my skills re­ally drove home the point that there were bet­ter uses for my time than just tak­ing any job that came along.”

Work­ing in the fan­tasy genre is a big plus for Wylie. “I love that fan­tasy il­lus­tra­tion is free from the pre­ten­tious­ness that’s stereo­typ­i­cally as­so­ci­ated with the fine art world; artists and fans are pas­sion­ate about the genre, and there’s an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for crafts­man­ship and nar­ra­tive work that can be hard to find else­where,” she says.


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