Freya Betts is the illustrator of Royal Mail’s Star Trek stamps. The 24 year old Cornwall based illustrator initially worked in the film industry, artworking and designing campaigns for Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros and Disney. Now freelance and represented by illustration agency Jelly, the Star Trek stamps are her latest commission.
Wildbrain CPLG: How would you describe your style?
Freya Betts: I would describe my style as realistic but painterly, so when viewed closely you are able to see subtle brush strokes in my work. Whilst working digitally, I aim to keep my approach as close to fine art as possible.
Did you find that working on artwork that would be reduced to stamp size presented difficulties?
FB: It was definitely interesting to see what details will translate when being viewed so tiny. Nevertheless, I worked at a large size so that every detail was still accounted for. I think it’s safe to say that this will probably be the smallest my art will ever be printed!
How much reference material did you use for each image?
FB: I was supplied reference imagery for each character, which is always great news when it comes to a job! The background I had less reference for but meant I had a little more free reign to create the galactic atmosphere.
Which of your stamp images do you like the most?
FB: My favorite one would be Kirk - I feel like he has a very striking portrait so it was really great to illustrate.
Are you a fan of any particular Star Trek series or character?
FB: It was one of my childhood memories to watch Star Trek: The Original Series with my dad on a cozy rainy Sunday afternoon, so you could imagine he was just as excited about this job as I were! My favorite character would be Spock. It took me years of practice and teachings from my dad to accomplish the Vulcan salute!
What attracts you to working with film imagery in your career?
FB: It attracts me because I am able to fuse together two of my passions of art and film. Although I worked on film posters during my employment, I never thought to cross the two together until stumbling across Posterspy, who introduced me to the world of alternative movie posters. I feel like being genuinely passionate about what you are painting can definitely show and help to create powerful art!
What artists or art movements have inspired or influenced you?
FB: When I see illustration used for film / TV it always gives me drive, such as Kyle Lambert’s beautiful illustrations created for Stranger Things. Although not as common as photographic posters, when it does happen, it’s so reassuring and inspiring to see that art is still alive in the film industry.
How did you find working with Royal Mail? And what does it feel like knowing HM The Queen has approved your artwork?
FB: I really enjoyed working with Royal Mail, this job was particularly rewarding as my first job was working in the village Post Office when I was 16. It’s been an honor to work for an iconic institution!
Fans around the world can order their very own Star Trek stamps from Royal Mail in a variety of package options, right here.