‘Unstoppable creatives’ Rebecca Osborne and her husband Paul have just opened No. 1 Ingate, a studio and gallery in Beccles. Here, the illustrator behind the #notallsuperheroeswearcapes drawings explains how they aim to support up and coming new artists and students
I am Rebecca Osborne, I am an illustrator and graphic recorder – which means I draw live at events and conferences, creating large visual summaries. I had started to do this work digitally a couple of years ago, so was fortunately able to quickly pivot in 2020 to live virtual events. During the pandemic, when at a loss to see how I could help, I started to create illustrations celebrating the “ordinary” people who were keeping us safe. My #notallsuperheroeswearcapes drawings were shared by many people wanting to say thank you to those key workers. I didn’t charge people to use the images – I just asked them to pay it forward by doing something nice for someone else. The pictures went viral after an image of Captain Tom was shared by the national media.
How has everything been going since we featured you in autumn 2020?
Things have been really good. I had been worried, after all my work was cancelled at the start of the pandemic. But we formed Rebecca Osborne Studios Ltd and working with my husband Paul, we built a new version of the work I was already doing. We now have an in-person, virtual and hybrid offering, meaning we can stream the work live. We also work together on animations for big clients like the NHS.
What has led you and your husband to opening No. 1 Ingate in Beccles?
I was recently asked in an interview “what’s next?”. I had a dream of starting a design studio which would enable us to support other artists and train staff. We have moved down the path of this with our gorgeous new studio and gallery in Beccles. With this new space we can employ staff when we have bigger commissions. The gallery areas have original illustrations and prints for sale as part of a rolling exhibition. Every month we reset the gallery to set up our New Talent Showcase. This features work by up-and-coming illustrators and students – we don’t charge artists commission on the New Talent Showcase sales so not only do they get experience, if artists sell work, they are earning money too! In the studio we also offer professional printing with our fine art, archival printer. We opened to the public last week, and we are currently receiving illustration submissions for both the gallery and our New Talent Showcase.
What are your hopes for the gallery space?
The first big job I got from my illustration work came after I was spotted online, and it taught me that the biggest hurdle in an arts career is visibility. I will always be grateful for the opportunities I had because of my journey and would love to play a part in supporting others too. Using the gallery space and online presence, we hope to build a creative community and enable other creatives to become more visible. Our New Talent Showcase is for students and up and coming illustrators to display and hopefully sell their work in a professional setting, giving them real life experience and exposure that will help their careers.
Are you hoping this is the start of a new creative community in the town?
Both Paul and I studied art in East Anglia at NUA, we know what an amazing creative community there is both in the region and in the beautiful town of Beccles. It’s a privilege to be part of it.
Where can people find your studio?
We are at 1 Ingate in Beccles (NR34 9RU). Our what 3 words are SPIDER.WOLF.TROMBONE.
Any future plans for 2023 you can share?
Lots! We are very excited to showcase all the new talent in the gallery, and with regular events. We have lots of work booked already including the fantastic Norwich Science Festival. We are part of the amazing Suffolk Open studios in summer 2023. We plan to run some art workshops and competitions which we hope will forge lasting links with local businesses.
Featured image: Paul and Rebecca Osborne. All images supplied by Rebecca Osborne