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