Artist Becca Human uses illustration and painting to inspire their filmmaking

“My illustration style was a constant battle between, and blending of, analogue and digital,” they describe. “I would draw in my sketchbook, scan the linework, and colour pieces digitally in Photoshop, and I had a cheap tablet so I never found it easy to draw straight up digitally.” This dedicated hard work ethic is perhaps what keeps Becca so distinct as an artist. They, unlike many artists, work with limited resources or financial means and proceed to flourish spectacularly. “It really informed my style to have this messy and convoluted way of working, and it feels very reflective of how my brain works, always jumping around in different areas and finding it difficult to settle,” they say.

Becca’s work is all about non-verbal communication: seeing how much of a story or idea can be communicated purely in the visual sense. It’s what informs all their work, from illustration to graphics to film. “You see a lot of repeating patterns and images of roots around the time I was making self-portraits and having conversations with people about intergenerational trauma, history repeating,” Becca says on how this influenced their visual style. “I’m still trying to find that balance between abstract and ambiguous.” But, most importantly, Becca doesn’t want to be ambiguous about what they’re trying to achieve with their work. No matter the medium or style, it’s “openly queer, Black, anti-capitalist, and about mental illness,” they declare. However, rather than lay it out in explicit terms, Becca’s work proactively guides the audience to this conclusion themselves. “But, you have to accept that people won’t always get it,” Becca adds. “I had someone share my work and describe it as a ‘colourblind’ world, a work without thinking about race – I thought ‘oh babe, you’ve got it backwards here.’”

As of the last two years, Becca has been busy working full time in a production company. “But, I can’t ever leave art behind as a practice as it affects how I see the world and how I tell stories visually,” they say. “It’s been really helpful to be able to storyboard films, compose frames and think about how colour affects a scene.” The ways in which Becca’s background with art and design continue to inspire their current filmmaking work is something to be admired. Often, it feels limiting when working away in one of the arts. But, as Becca demonstrates, they all harmoniously complement each other when picking out the skill sets which overlap. “Getting to work in lots of different ways has allowed me to stay interested and let each practice feed the other,” Becca says. “I like to draw and animate titles for my films and in turn, some of the compositions, stories or themes from the films find their way into my comics and illustrations.” As Becca continues working on their exciting narrative short film debut, and a comic to be released later down the line, we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on them.

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