We catch up with Mini-lov­ing com­mis­sion artist, Re­becca East.

We caught up with one of the most prom­i­nent artists on the scene...

Mini Magazine - - Contents - Words Mar­tyn Collins Pho­tog­ra­phy Art By Bex

Re­becca East, bet­ter known as Becky or Bex, as on her web­site (art­by­bex.co.uk) stud­ied art for years be­fore go­ing on to per­fect her own style and em­bark­ing on her pas­sion - the Mini! She al­ways had an en­thu­si­asm for Minis, as she thinks they’re just so much fun and unique. And it has al­ways been her dream to own one too. Any­way, it was her love of Minis that led to her to be­gin paint­ing them, first as a hobby then as a busi­ness. Bex is now a com­mis­sion artist, and she spe­cialises in Mini art. Mini Mag­a­zine caught up with her to find out more...

So you’ve al­ways been a Clas­sic Mini fan — have you ever owned one?

Yes, who couldn’t love Minis? I want to own a Clas­sic Mini too, but they’re out of my reach at the mo­ment.

What’s your favourite Clas­sic Mini model or ver­sion?

I love all Clas­sic and New MINIs, but if I had a choice of a Clas­sic, I think it would have to be the Mini Cooper S from the ’60s. The Mini we all know and love from the fa­mous 1969 movie The Ital­ian Job — that is my ideal set of wheels.

What are the ben­e­fits of cre­at­ing an orig­i­nal, cus­tom pic­ture?

It is a real hon­our to cap­ture a Clas­sic Mini owner’s pride and joy within a be­spoke paint­ing! I en­cap­su­late the char­ac­ter of the Mini within a back­ground that holds per­sonal mem­o­ries for the owner. I use vivid acrylics for my com­mis­sioned paint­ings.

I also create mix me­dia art­work called Painted Sketches. These in­di­vid­ual art com­mis­sions com­bine a va­ri­ety of paints, graphites and inks. I make them ‘ live’. These are art­work pieces that will pass from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion.”

How does a Mini owner go about com­mis­sion­ing a unique piece of art?

Ei­ther via my web­site (www.art­by­bex.co.uk), by email to re­[email protected]­by­bex.co.uk or via Twit­ter. Once we make con­tact, we chat through what they would like, and they send pho­tos of their Mini and mem­o­rable back­ground pho­tos.

Af­ter dis­cussing their re­quire­ments, I sketch up the car for the client to vi­su­alise be­fore pro­ceed­ing on to can­vas. I create a va­ri­ety of pre­lim­i­nary de­signs for my clients to see the po­ten­tial art­work lay­out, cre­ated per­son­ally for them. My art­work is very per­sonal and be­spoke for each client. The can­vas size is also suited to per­sonal pref­er­ence de­pend­ing on where

they in­tend my art­work to be dis­played.

Once the client is happy with the de­sign, the hard work be­gins with hand­draw­ing the de­sign on to can­vas. I al­ways keep my clients in­formed of ev­ery stage of the jour­ney as their per­sonal art­work piece de­vel­ops from out­line to fin­ished can­vas paint­ing.

You’re ac­tive on the Mini show scene, how many of your Clas­sic Mini work comes from shows?

Ev­ery­one in the Mini fam­ily has seen me work­ing with var­i­ous clients at Mini events - who could miss my ‘Art by Bex’ fash­ion state­ment! I would say most of my com­mis­sions come from the shows.

What’s your favourite Mini show?

Hmm, that’s a tough one. Cas­tle Coombe is a great one, and Mini In The Park is en­joy­able. Sil­ver­stone Mini Track days are amaz­ing too.

My pas­sion for Minis drives me to paint a var­i­ous ar­ray of Clas­sic Minis. Minis that have been re­stored by a fa­ther and son duo, raced by a team of pro­fes­sional thrill seek­ers or highly prized and kept un­der lock and key. I love to see them all on dis­play in all their glory, wher­ever the show may be.

You re­cently pro­duced a pic­ture for Mini ral­ly­ing leg­end Paddy Hop­kirk - how did this tie-up come about?

I have known Paddy back from my very first ap­pear­ance on the Mini scene. So it was a real hon­our and priv­i­lege to be cho­sen to work with such a leg­end to create this very lim­ited edi­tion art­work to cel­e­brate his most fa­mous 1964 Monte Carlo Rally win. To have a piece per­son­ally ap­proved and signed by Paddy was a dream come true. The cen­tre paint­ing in the Art Piece recre­ates the ac­tion of a moun­tain rally stage, with Paddy and his co driver Henry Lid­don, pow­er­ing around an alpine bend — typ­i­cal of the Col de Turini.

Many clients ask me for some­thing spe­cial to mark the an­niver­sary of the Mini and the Monte, so this to­tally ex­clu­sive, lim­ited edi­tion art­work ticks all the boxes. I’ve only pro­duced 60 prints, with only a few still avail­able.

What’s been your favourite Clas­sic Mini com­mis­sion so far?

Ev­ery sin­gle Mini com­mis­sion I create tells a story for the owner. But if you want me to pick just one, it’s prob­a­bly the ‘Wrong Way Round World Tour’ Mini of Dave Thomas ‘Diddy Dave’, who is well known for his as­so­ci­a­tion with Mini Sport. It took an age to paint as he wanted so much de­tail.

Have you got plans to of­fer any more art ser­vices to Clas­sic Mini own­ers?

Each art­work is per­sonal and unique and I am very proud of ev­ery com­mis­sion I create, so I can con­fi­dently say that I’m al­ways look­ing to of­fer more to my clients. Any ideas? Let’s do it!

Can you give us any teasers as to what you’re work­ing on now?

All I can say is watch this space Mini own­ers! I’m work­ing with a cou­ple of very fa­mous Clas­sic Mini driv­ers in 2019...

Artist at work.

Bex work­ing along­side the leg­end him­self, Paddy Hop­kirk.

Ev­ery sin­gle one of Bex’s com­mis­sions is be­spoke.

Per­sonal back­grounds are key to the de­sign.

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