Illustration

Interview: Rewina Beshue's Explorations in Lost Time

January 04, 2018

Rewina Beshue is a San Francisco based artist and illustrator who makes colorful arrangements that explore themes of time, space, and reality. A young artist who works primary in digital illustration, Rewina makes and sells prints and doesn't show much in the gallery setting, even though she certainly could. She is also a graduate of San Francisco State University, and has mixed elements of commercial graphic design and post-internet imagery to make beautiful compositions. We're excited to see all the potential directions her work and creative personality can take. 

Eben Benson: How and when did you start making art? When did this shift into the kind of art you make now?
Rewina Beshue: I didn't start to take my work seriously until I started college. Before that, my work was very personal, I never really would show anyone. I finally started to share my designs after becoming close with more people i could connect with on a creative level. I felt comfortable sharing my creative ideas with people in my community which encouraged me to start sharing my work on social media. It's opened doors and great opportunities for me today.

Your work seems to have such a precise, almost rendered look to it, what draws you to that style? What's your process of making a piece like?
I'm really into experimental design, especially from the 80's. I love perspective, alternate reality, rooms, time, and memory. I guess all those components mixed together make up what I produce. I mainly work with illustrator. I feel really limitless when I create work with this program. It's a vector based program using math to construct paths and shapes. It's fun to play around and create new weird funky shapes and find new colors and throw them together.

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Who are some artists, of any medium, that really inspired you growing up and today?
Aw man, there are so many people I look up to. It ranges from people who have had such a big impact on art and design to people in my own community that I see on the daily. I really look up to my friends. Just hanging out with them and being able to connect on a creative level is very motivating and inspiring. Having conversations with people on different creative perspectives is really empowering. I also really love artists who dabble in modern abstract expressionism like Frank Stella. He is for sure one of my favorite artists and printmakers. From the colors he uses to the composition and shapes he produces, it's all very beautiful. Another one of my favorites are graphic designers from Japan, like Kiyoshi Awazu and Ikko Tanaka, who are both just so fucking talented. Their work is incredible, bending design principles and giving it a modern twist. There's so much I can say and so many people to reference. 

What's the story behind the clock that's featured in some of your pieces? Do you find other small elements that you like to integrate into multiple pieces?
I always use to doodle clocks in my note books. It references my memory. I've always struggled with memory forever. Wveryone in my friend group knows that "Rewina always forgets" or "rewina doesn't remember". I don't have the worst memory, but it has definitely affected myself and the people around me, and it's something that I am constantly working on improving. The clocks represent lost time as a result from lost memory.

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What are some albums/songs that you've been listening to a lot lately?
The music I've been listening to lately varies everyday. I've been listening to Scenery by Ryo Fukui like everyday. It's so beautiful and helps me work fast. I've also been listening to Take Me Apart by Kelela, another amazing album. Dots and Loops by Stereo Lab is a really great album to listen to on any occasion in my opinion, especially if you have a long muni ride. Also a lot of Ethiopian Jazz.

How do you think living in the San Francisco Bay Area affects your art?
Growing up in San Francisco has definitely shaped me in every way. Just being exposed to all kinds of diversity at a young age has for sure shaped me to be the person I am today. The Bay Area has a huge effect on my work. Here in the Bay, you're encouraged to be yourself, no matter how weird that may be. That principle is reflected in my work.

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What are some upcoming plans for you? Do you show your work often?
I want to start working more on doing some production stuff. I want to start printing (especially large scale) and sharing more with people. I only sell prints at shows because it's easier that way, but I think it's time to take a bigger leap and make more of my ideas come to life. I have some fun stuff coming soon... maybe even a show :)

Thank You Rewina!