Becky Donnelly worked with the renowned Carlyle hotel on their annual Carlyle Calendar last year.
Before Christmas Becky made a trip out to the Upper East Side of New York city to stay at the luxury hotel and see her illustrations on display in both the hotel itself and their new Assouline book, which has a foreword written by Lenny Kravitz.
Becky you finally got to visit New York with an opportunity to stay at the hotel and see the finished product. How was your trip and did you mana get to get your hands on a copy of the Assouline book?
I know it sounds cliched, but it was truly a one in a million trip! After spending so much time researching the hotel and recreating its iconic spaces for the calendar, getting to be there in person was the perfect way to round off the experience. The Carlyle has worked with the so many artists and creatives that I admire, so to see my work displayed in the hotel has been a real honor. And yes, I was given a copy of the book, it still hasn’t sunk in that my work features in it!
What was your fave illustrated month in the calendar and why?
I might be a bit biased because it’s my birthday month, but I really love the June illustration. Adding a touch whimsy with the animals and bubbles against the backdrop of the beautiful rooftop of the hotel felt very true to who I am as an artist; essentially I like creating weirdly wonderful worlds that I’d like to live in!
May would be a stand out for me too. The Carlyle famously host the Met Gala guests every year, so adding my own spin to the biggest fashion event of the year was such a fun theme to play with.
Tell us your biggest challenge of creating these illustrations?
Working on this project in the height of the pandemic definitely posed a lot of challenges, namely that I wasn’t able to travel to New York before starting the work and get a feel for the hotel in person. But thankfully, the Carlyle team were incredibly helpful in providing a huge amount of reference material for me to do research remotely, so when I finally got to be there myself, it felt almost familiar.
How long did you spend on the illustrations from initial sketches to final?
In total the project took four months from start to finish, which began in summer 2020. It was actually done alongside my apprenticeship here at One by One, so it was an exciting time with two incredible opportunities happening at once!
Head over to Becky’s website at beckydonnelly.art to see some more of her amazing work and perhaps even grab yourself a print!
We look forward to seeing more of Becky’s work here at One by One in 2022.