Becca Rand, Illustrator of Jackalo’s Beetle Mania Collection
Jackalo's Beetle Mania! collection is perfect for the insect lovers in your family. Future (and current!) entomologists love these modern art-inspired, bug-themed clothes. Meet the talented artist who designed these adorable bugs for us: Designer and Illustrator Becca Rand.
Tell us the story behind how you became a designer and artist.
After changing my major 5 times in college, I finally landed on Visual Communication with a design focus. It took me several years of working as a graphic designer and teaching myself front end web development after work (dark, dark days) for me to realize that what I really loved to do was illustration. I was more interested in making pictures than websites. I fought this truth, aggressively, because I wanted a stable, “normal” career. Luckily, I was able to ease myself into illustration by supplementing my income with freelance design work. I’m not a “jump in the deep end” person, so having a marketable skill made the transition more comfortable for me.
Have you ever felt like you’re “different”? If yes, in what ways has this contributed to your journey?
I’ve always been the odd-man-out in a family of scientists with traditional jobs. It meant that I forged my creative career on my own terms. It took me longer to get where I am simply because I didn’t know what opportunities were out there. I’m grateful for it, though, because I never felt any pressure to box myself in as a particular kind of creative professional.
What are your favorite things to create?
I like to work in many different styles, but I love to design anything with animals or kids. Having grown up in the Southwest, I’m also endlessly inspired by the landscape and culture of that area. My goal with my work is to bring joy to people’s lives and help them see the beauty in the world around them.
What appealed to you about this project?
I don’t think I could have conjured up a more fun project from my own imagination! It’s rare to have so much creative autonomy when designing, so that was a huge draw for me. I also love insects. Visually, they have amazing geometric shapes and so much variety. And from an ecological standpoint, they are totally under-appreciated. So this was basically my love letter to bugs.
Where did you take inspiration from?
I love Charley Harper’s work and how he uses simple, abstract shapes. With this design, it really needed to be fun and playful (instead of anatomically accurate), so I pushed the shapes and used my imagination as much as possible to get the variety I wanted. There’s a fine line between “cute buggies” and “yikes you’re covered in beetles”, so I had to keep that in mind when I was working.
As a new parent, how do you (or how do you plan to) carve out space for creative thinking or a creative practice?
This has been very challenging. I work best with a strict schedule, and my beautiful baby prefers total chaos. Gone are the days of endless hours of focused creative work (for now), so I am trying to train myself to work with the time that I do have. As a designer, I fundamentally believe that constraints are good—they make you think creatively. What’s most important for me right now is to just keep moving, keep making; becoming stagnant is much more dangerous than creating “bad art” for a while.
What’s surprised you the most about being an artist and a mother?
One thing that stands out is how quickly having a baby has influenced the kind of art and design that I’m drawn toward. I just want to make things for her. I would love to create a full wardrobe of designs—there is so much more out there than kittens, flowers and dinosaurs! (Which is not to say that I don’t love kittens, flowers, and dinosaurs…but I’m glad we’re getting some insects in the mix).
What would you tell your younger self if you were to start your artistic journey all over again?
Nothing in your career or art journey is permanent. Move confidently in a direction that feels right, and change when you’ve learned what the next best step is. You can’t think your way to your passions, you have to work your way to discovering them.