We chat to beloved Melbourne artist, designer, and illustrator, Beci Orpin, who shows us some of her favourite auction finds and shares what she loves about collecting. Her home feels like an extension of her artwork, with playful shapes and vivid colours…

Beci Orpin. Leonard Joel Auctions
Leonard Joel auction purchases displayed throughout Beci’s home.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your practice?
I run a creative studio in Brunswick, Melbourne. I studied textile design but now I work on projects across various mediums (from digital illustrations to hand made projects), for lots of different clients (from big internationals to small locals). My work is always varied and fun.

How did you first discover Leonard Joel?
I’ve always known about Leonard Joel – it’s basically a Melbourne Institution. I’ve forever been a keen op-shopper and vintage hunter; Leonard Joel was a natural progression from that. During lockdown one of my favourite things to do was check the online auctions every week, that’s when I started purchasing. The online aspect made it really easy for me (too easy)!

Beci Orpin. Leonard Joel Auctions
Leonard Joel auction purchases displayed throughout Beci’s home.

What do you love about buying at auction?
The surprise element – you never know what is going to be listed, it’s such a treat every week! Also finding something unique and original.

Do you have a favourite acquisition from Leonard Joel?
That’s a hard question! Probably the garden swing, which now lives in our backyard. My husband Raph is half Malaysian and lived between Malaysia and Australia throughout his life. The houses in Malaysia have very deep and wide porches, often with porch swings. It was one of the things which he was nostalgic about from his childhood, so I was always on the lookout for one. When this one popped up, it was perfect – I had to get it. It has totally changed the way we use our backyard too; we love it so much.

Beci Orpin. Leonard Joel Auctions
Leonard Joel auction purchases displayed throughout Beci’s home.

Is there anything you’re currently looking for at auction to add to your collection?
We are renovating our house in early 2023, so I’m looking for house fittings to include as part of that. I’ve already snagged the most amazing marble basin!

What’s coming up for you in 2022?
I’ve just leased a new studio – it’s a really unique stand-alone ‘70s building. I’m spending some time getting it renovated and designers Daniel and Emma are creating a fit out. It’s going to have a pop-up space and some of my friends are going to have studios there too – I want it to be a bit of a hub/creative commune. It also has a huge garden which we hope to turn into an event space for my husband’s hospitality business.

Thank you to Beci for welcoming us into her home and chatting with us! Follow her work at beciorpin.com and on Instagram @beciorpin 

Banner Image: Beci at home, sitting on the garden swing she purchased at Leonard Joel.

February 2022