There’s very little disruption in children’s books. All the alphabet books are the same and boring as batshit. That’s until Beck Feiner, a quirky mum of two from Sydney changed the way we learn and teach our ABC’s. Meet the Alphabet Legends, a fun brightly illustrated alphabet series featuring famous characters, scenes and motifs. The series have gone viral, earning her appearances on television and a book deal.
Beck comes from an impressive career in advertising. She’s worked for The Monkeys, the creative brains behind the infamous and controversial You Never Lamb Alone Australia Day ad. After her stint as Art Director, she decided to call it quits to follow her passion as an illustrator. I caught up with this cool cat where she shares her views on the importance of diversity in parenting, feminism and the #truthbombs about running your own biz while balancing parenthood.
1) How did it all begin – What inspired you to create the Alphabet Legends Series?
I was looking for an alphabet poster for my son’s room and I found all the art sweet but a little on the mundane side. I wanted something more impactful than ‘B is for banana’. And that’s how the Aussie Legends Alphabet was born. I wanted to brighten up kids’ rooms, and help them learn the alphabet while learning who some of Australia’s diverse legendary figures are at the same time.
Today, I’m proud to announce the launch of the Aussie Legends Alphabet Poster!!! Check it out here: beckfeinercreations.com Also, i’m really excited to have the support of the @fredhollows Every poster sold is another donation to this amazing cause. Thanks so much for coming on this journey with me and shout out to @digital_press for printing it so beautifully. Becks x
2) How important is it to show children diversity?
There’s never been a more important time to show kids (and adults) that the people who make the world great are of both genders, all ages, races, religions and make their contribution in various ways.
When I did the Aussie Legends Alphabet, I felt like each Aussie icons starts an interesting conversation. I wanted to show everyone (especially kids) that a diverse range of people have made Australia awesome. And that diversity is normal. Some of these legendary diverse people I included are Adam Goodes, Dame Edna, Lee Lin Chin and Edie Mabo.
3) You’ve had a highly successful career as Art Director and worked alongside big name international clients. How has motherhood changed your view on gender roles and working mothers?
It has had a huge impact. Before I became a mother, I never really realised how much being a female can impact your career. I didn’t want to work 5 days a week and not see my child but then I didn’t want my career to suffer. It was really important for me. I felt really stuck.At first I found it disheartening to realise that I might find it hard to rise to the top again in a profession after becoming a mum. However, when my second baby arrived, I used maternity leave as an opportunity to do something I always wanted to do but never had the guts to do. As it meant leaving a permanent secure job. While I was on maternity leave I used it as a chance to see whether this could work.
I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s never regular work. I am exhausted most days and probably work double as hard as I used to with a 9-6 job. I often work well into the night after I put the kids to bed. Usually in front of some Netflix.But I don’t regret it. And have never felt more fulfilled. I work from home and as a result can pick my kids up from school without feeling guilty for leaving work. I love being my own boss and being able to pick my hours. Everyone is different. I have just found something that works for me and I feel very lucky.
4) As a feminist, I’m excited for Lady Legends. There are so many amazing women in the world – how hard was it for you to narrow it down to just 26?
It was so hard! I wanted to make sure that a diverse range of professions, pursuits, talents, cultures, and ages were represented in the alphabet. For me personally, feminism in this day and age is being whoever you want to be. You can be a political activist or a country music singer, but I felt it was especially important to give a little bit of a weighting to Aussie Women – because basically Aussie chicks rock! So I chose a real range of people. A is for Amelia Earhart the aviation pioneer. B is for Beyonce the Queen Bey of music. K is for Helen Keller who contributed so much to breaking down communication barriers for disabled people. G is for Julia Gillard, Australia’s first and only female Prime Minister. And Y is for Malala Yousafzai a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest- ever Nobel Prize laureate. Oh and I couldn’t leave out my favourite – L is for Lee Lin Chin from the Aussie Legends Alphabet.
INTRODUCING THE WOMEN LEGENDS ALPHABET As a woman who has her own business, I have my highs and crap moments. But what often keeps me going is seeing other females before me being so brave. So I’ve decided to do a Women Legends Alphabet, featuring legendary women from Australia and around the world. Hopefully encouraging girls to dream freakn big. I just did the test print and will be taking preorders on my website (alphabetlegends.com) I will be posting on the 15th of Aug. I hope you like xxx
5) Whats next on the cards for you?
The Aussie Legends Alphabet book is due to come out on September the 18th and you can pre-order online. I am so excited to see the book on a shelf. I have been working really hard with my publishing team to adapt the Aussie Legends Poster into a wonderful children’s book. I am so pleased with the result and I can’t wait to give a copy to my mum (my biggest fan). I am also due to bring out my second children’s book with Harper Collins next year so stay tuned. Plus I am continuing to add more posters to my Alphabet Legends Series. There is currently Aussie Legends, Lady Legends, American Legends and about to launch British Legends. So stay tuned!
It was possibly the best ever parcel I have received. I pretty much burst into tears (happy tears) when I saw the book. Rounded corners, exposed boards and rainbow colours. The team @harpercollinsaustralia @chren_kali @evieglobal @hazellam___ did such an incredible job. I can’t wait for it to be on book shelves next month. 🌈👏🏼📚 #abcbooks
Note: This is not a sponsored post. All products have been purchased by myself.