Artists Ian Archie Beck

Ian Archie Beck was Born in Hove, Sussex in 1947. At school he showed an interest in drawing and painting and was encouraged by both the art teacher and the headmaster to attend Brighton College of Art Saturday morning art classes. He eventually went to the art school as a full time student in 1963, studying illustration and graphic design.

He graduated in 1968, and shortly afterwards moved to London, with his portfolio of drawings to try his luck as a freelance illustrator. He gradually built up a client list, mainly working for mainstream consumer magazines like Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, and Homes and Gardens. He also began making drawings for the recording industry. At first these were just trade advertisements for performers like Ry Cooder and Richie Havens. Later in the early seventies designing and illustrating album covers as well, for example the triple gatefold album ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, for Sir Elton John. He continued to work in this field until the early 1980’s, also producing work for most of the leading design groups, advertising agencies, newspapers, and magazines.

He was approached by the Oxford University Press, who had seen some drawings he had made for the Radio Times. The designer at the OUP felt that the style of the drawings would suit a project which they wanted to publish. This became his first book for children, Round and Round the Garden, an illustrated collection of finger rhymes and games. He also showed paintings and watercolours at both the Thumb Gallery and The Francis Kyle gallery through the 1970s, 80s and 90s. He married Emma, youngest daughter of the distinguished Wood engraver, painter  and letter cutter Reynolds Stone in 1977 and they have three children.

He has illustrated over one hundred and forty books. He has had three one man exhibitions at The Art Workers’ Guild, and one at London Framing. He has been president of the Double Crown Club, and Master of the Art Workers Guild. During the pandemic Lockdown he painted a whole series of pictures of his local suburban area in west London which were later published in book form, as The Light in Suburbia. He continues to paint full time, usually townscapes, flowers, houses and interiors. He is fascinated by the fall of light at different times of day and in different seasons.