There are so many awesome and inspirational women in the UK's music and arts scene. Women Underground is a series of articles showcasing female creatives. The purpose of these interviews isn't to complain, to undermine men or to cast women in the roles of victims of an unfair society - it's to highlight the sheer volume of amazing music, art and creative contributions to the world population made by women right here, right now.
Rebecca Eaves from Rebel Radical DIY is no stranger to adversity. Starting her own bespoke hand-painted patch and t shirt business from scratch in her bedroom, she now sells her work to a huge selection of bands.
Even temporary homelessness didn’t prevent Rebecca from continuing to create art, and now she’s registered as self-employed with her own a small business.
Recently she moved into her own flat and a purchased a screen-printing kit bought with the help of a crowdfunding campaign.
Hi Rebecca! Seems like your hard work is finally paying off!
Hows it going with the new screen-printing kit? Is there a huge difference with some of the strain taken off your arms from endless painting?
Hey jenny. Haha yeah, thankfully! Things are going great and it's made a huge difference. I still do some hand-painted items and its fun mixing things up. I've always put 110% into the business and no pain, no gain is only fine up to a point haha. I’m getting a lot better at working certain hours and not pushing myself too far which means I'm enjoying everything more.
You’ve overcome so many obstacles to get where you are now! Could you tell us a little more about that?
Such is life really isn't it? I think regardless of anything else I've seen too many people become victims of their circumstances (me included). One day i just decided that it didn’t matter how fast or slow my journey went- as long as i had the courage to take the journey I'd be content. Life is going to constantly throw obstacles at you and how you react defines your character. I may have had more life lessons than most people my age already, but I've learned alot and that's all you can do.
The DIY scene is full of underground talent and usually made up of lovely folk helping each other out by sharing knowledge and resources. This is the way that communities should be. You’re based in Kirkcaldy at the moment. What’s the DIY art and music scene like there?
Yeah that's right and luckily the diy scene in Kirkcaldy is amazing! there's music projects at the YMCA getting people into bands and auld kirk collective who have raised over 2 grand for different charities with their suggest donation gigs. Im sure there's loads more going on that im unaware of, all i know is there's a lot of good bands to go see coming from good old Kdy lately.
What are your plans for the immediate future?
Continue to grow naturally with the business. I don't want to give away too much but im planning a photo shoot for t shirts very soon.
Drawing from all your experiences, what advice would you give other artists wanting to start their own business?
Do it, do it, do it! Can't stress enough how good it has been for me. Confidence boost, feeling more creative and being able to meet other inspiring creatives is amazing as well!
What do you love most about your art?
I think the thing i love most about my art is how fun it is, i escape every time i pick up a brush.
You’re a big fan of punk! Any bands you recommend people go see?
Im a big fan of music! Anything raw i adore. I'd say to check out Gay Panic Defence, Riskee and the Ridicule, Sleaford mods, New Model Army, Skelped, Critikill, Autonomads…..the list goes on, haha.
Do you listen to music while you paint? What was the last song that you listened to before this interview?
I listen to music all day every day haha the last song i listened to was Beans on Toast- stinging nettles.
As well as bulk-orders of patches for bands, you also design t shirts and can paint on just about anything! What have been some of your favourite orders and requests from bands so far?
Yeah I’m loving the t-shirt design too, my favourite tshirts to paint are space themed. I made one for a friend that said comet me, horrendous pun but i love it and so does she haha.
Where can we find your work online?
On my Instagram @rebelradicaldiy
Facebook page www.facebook.com/rebelradicalx
Thanks for your time!