Interview 19. Bev Acton.

This artist and her work got my attention when I saw a text on one of her collages (I thought when I saw it the first time it was an acrylic or oil painting actually). The text read “f**k amazon, shop small” and I thought that I want to hear why she has got that strong message (did she mean what I thought she meant?) and why in the name of god is it illustrated with scissors stuck in a brain? Read for yourself to find out…

Me: Hello Bev, please introduce yourself, who are you? (Where do you live, age, occupation, etc…) 

Bev: Hello! I’m Bev, a surreal collage artist. I live in the South of the UK, I’m 24 and creating is my full time job, and has been for a year now.

Me: What kind of art (tecnique/s) do you work with mainly? 

Bev: I work pretty exclusively with collage. I use both traditional hand cut methods, which includes trawling through hundreds of books, vintage magazines etc to find the perfect images. I also collage digitally, which is great when I’m limited by space or I get a sudden idea!

Me: The image you made with the message “fuck amazon, shop small” with scissors in a brain…can you tell me about that, why scissors in a brain? 

Bev: Plain and simple, Amazon don’t value or need your money in the way that a small business does. The scissors in the brain is to express my own frustrations, people simply aren’t putting enough into small businesses, and it hurts! Sure you’ll pay a robotic system for a nice candle.. but what about the person that’s spent hours making beautiful ones? That feeds their family, makes them do a happy dance when they get your order. What about the people that put their souls into making amazing artwork? It’s crushing when you see feeds plastered in cheap reproduced prints from sites like Amazon. Don’t get me wrong, Amazon has it’s place, but businesses like mine are suffering.

[Me: I agree totally, amazon are big enough. They can do without some costumers. I have nothing against success and successful people or bussinesses, but hey, enough is enough sometimes right? When companies grow too big they swallow the whole market eventually, killing all small bussinesses. Monopolization and centralization is not good for diversity.]

Me: Do you often have a message in your art? Is it important you think? 

Bev: I think my main message is escapism, especially right now. I want to make work that people can jump into and forget their worries, even if just for a moment. I want to create a sense of nostalgia, familiarity and happiness! A sense of awe. 

Me: Can you share your best advice when it comes to promoting and selling your art, especially If you’re a newbie. 

Bev: Honestly? Push push push. Promote yourself wherever you can, build friendships with other small businesses. Make sure you’re working to and creating a brand for yourself, where all of your posts immediately tell a person that it’s your business. Consistency is important. Shout who you are from the rooftops! 

Me: Will the world go back to normal again you think or do we have to settle for a “new normal” (totally unnormal I think)? 

Bev: I definitely think we will have to settle for and experience a new normal, for sure. I don’t think we can return to how the world was with a clean conscience. Change needs to happen. 

[Me: I hope it will get back to more like it was before all this crazyness…I believe we are being manipulated in more than one way….but, that´s just my suspicious mind at work. I don´t know. Just wanted to air my opinion.]

Me: What do you think about this whole virus situation, do you believe 100% in the public service and mainstream narrativ or do you consider the possibility of “alternative theories”?

Bev: I’m a very big conspiracy theory fan, and boy have I read some interesting ideas about the virus! However, I place my trust in my health service, science baffles me in general if I am honest. So for now, I trust the mainstream narrative, however I am always exploring other theories..

Me: Your biggest source(s) of inspiration? 

Bev: Vintage ephemera & the world around me! I love giving old images a new lease of life, a new purpose. I am very much inspired by the art of the Russian avant-garde, I love Gustav Klutsis, Hannah Hoch, Rodchenko… the pioneers of photomontage and collage as we know it today! 

Me: Come up with a question for yourself that you think could be interesting, also answer it please. 

Bev: Ooooh this is a tough one! ‘Why did you choose collage?’ 
I think this is a great thing for me to answer and talk about. Originally, I had my heart set on being a historian, I wanted to go to a good university, read and study and graduate with a degree in history… It was actually a history lesson where I discovered Bauhaus art, and fell in love. I knew I wanted to make stuff, and collage for me is like taking pieces of history and piecing them together again into a new story. Also, I can’t draw. At all. But my brain was always FULL of ideas, bouncing around saying ‘pick me pick me’ and I could never put them onto paper in a way that satisfied my creativity. Collage let me do this, it let me find and express my true self. 

Me: Please feel free to ask me something If you like. 

Bev: What’s your favourite thing about interviewing artists? 

Me: A good question. Actually, there are a lot of things with this that I really like and that I didn´t realise would be a deal when I started doing it. I love the feeling of making people happy. Some of the people I´ve interviewed have been really, really happy and greatful. That makes me happy. I guess I give them a sense of importance and they give that feeling back to me, making my work with this to feel important. A perfect win-win I´d say. But there is more to it, also, I think that I can learn a lot from other artists by asking them things that I (and others, all who reads, a win-win there too) can benefit from learning. Some of the people I get in contact with through this may become not just important contacts in the artworld but maybe even friends, some of my interviewees have become friends on my personal facebook page. You never know who you´ll get in touch with. I think it is really exciting. And also it is actually another way for me to be creative. Different than creating art, but creative nontheless with the editing and to come up with interesting questions and funny intro´s, etc.

Me: Where can one find your fantastic art?

Bev: You can find me in a range of places!

Instagram – bevacton.graphics

Facebook – Bev Acton Illustration and Design

Etsy – Bev Acton Illustration 

Me: Thank you for your time Bev, it´s been a pleasure. I wish you all the best and that you reach your goals whatever they are!

Below are some of Bev´s beautiful collage artworks. I suggest you check out the links to see some more of it. There are a lot more to see…really cool stuff.

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