Rebecca McConnell: STL Illustrator Plunges into Freelance
Moving from Springfield, Mo., to St. Louis hasn’t stopped Rebecca McConnell’s unique and customized illustrations. After realizing her real love lies within art a year ago, McConnell focused all her energy into freelancing and hasn’t looked back since. Fueled by her love of art and freedom to make her own hours and creations, she inspires other creatives to take their dreams to the next level.
McConnell creates custom illustrations by commission as well as selling her own pieces through Rebecca Lynn Illustration, including prints, stickers and greeting cards. She offers custom home, pet, couple and family illustrations and/or portraits. In fact, her pieces often reflect earthly themes with warm pastels, soft plants and animals. Each illustration gives off an ethereal energy, yet a feeling of familiarness, almost like being at home with the art.
However, McConnell sets an example for artists to pursue their goals and go with their intuition. Although freelancing isn’t always easy, she brings the reality of it to life and how art is ever-changing.
How long have you been making art?
I have been making art since I was little. However, I didn’t start taking myself seriously until I was in high school. I plunged myself into every art class I could get myself into. Professionally, I have been illustrating for a year!
You are from Missouri and currently live in the St. Louis area, right?
Yes! I was born and raised in Springfield, Mo. My fiancé and I just recently moved up here for him to get his masters degree at UMSL for museum studies.
Are you a self-taught artist?
I consider myself both self-taught and taught. I had an amazing art education and educator in high school; however, I was never ”formally” taught in a college for illustration or design.
What is your favorite medium to work in? Why?
My favorite medium is digital. A couple years ago I would have said colored pencil or acrylic paint. However now that I have been working on my iPad Pro digitally, I can only say this! It is so compact, easy to travel with, so versatile and the possibilities are endless as it recreates all the different types of media!
How did your art evolve into your current style?
This is a hard question because art, I feel, never stops evolving -- just like fashion -- [Art] changes with the popular trends, the events in the world and how the artist’s life is going. Even looking back six months ago my art was noticeably different but with similar line work and coloration.
Are there any sources of inspiration for your work? What got you into making pet and house portraits?
I would say my main source of inspiration is my work to help others understand how important it is to spread love, encouragement and acceptance. Especially in my personal work, they almost all have a deeper meaning and imagery conveying these messages.
I got into portraits when I went full-time freelance. I always loved the idea of recreating a photo of the clients beloved pet or the home they just bought or so on. It’s such a special job and knowing that they will cherish it forever makes me job even better!
Do you have any goals for your art or new things to try?
Goals galore! When you run your own business and work from home I feel as if your brain never turns off. You’re always trying to think of ways to better your business and come up new ideas. A few goals are more editorial work, make more time for personal illustrations, finish a zine or short book, get more of my product selling out of physical shops, of course grow my instagram following, do more craft markets and so much more!
What future projects and/or plans do you have?
I really want to publish an illustrated guide of my work. Between working on commissions and everything else that comes with running your business, it’s hard, but I’m working toward it!
What is the best parts of freelancing and also the not so good parts?
The best parts of freelancing is making your own schedule, creating your own policies for your business and creating your own brand. The not so good parts are the financial part of it and the separating of work and home life.
Do you have any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
I do! I so love thrifting, taking my dog, Teddy, to the dog park, coffee shop exploring, gardening and reading.
What soda flavor describes you best and why?
Ohhh hard question, probably cherry Pepsi! It’s the best!
Please share your social media profiles and the best way to reach you for buying or commissioning your art.
To learn more about McConnell and to order original or custom illustrations, go to her website https://rlillustrations.squarespace.com/
She can also be found on Instagram @rebeccalillustrator and Facebook @Rebecca Lynn Illustrations.
Written by Lauren Leady
All photos are courtesy of Rebecca McConnell