The Five at Five: Bee Illustrates

21 Jul 2022

From hidden-gems to places to people-watch, from bookshops to beauty spots – here is some inspiration, celebrating the independents in our local neighbourhoods around the world.

This week’s selection has been curated by queer illustrator and interdisciplinary creative, Bee – A.K.A. Bee Illustrates – who uses their platform to share distinctive, quirky illustrations paired with short essays to educate, empower and inform on a range of important topics.

Bee Illustrates

Bee’s work primarily focuses on mental health, Queerness, Feminism and current affairs. Their aim is to make complex theory and difficult subjects accessible and palatable for the modern millennial and Gen-Z audience.

Bee Illustrates


“So hard to choose, but I think it has got to be Paradise Palms in Edinburgh. I spent so much of my time at uni there, as it’s right next to the campus and art school. Their food menu is entirely vegan and they do the most amazing cocktails! They also host events, drag shows and club nights pretty frequently which are always great.”

Bee Illustrates


“I love the South Bank in London for sitting and people watching, but I especially love the Tate Modern. There’s something so interesting about seeing people see art, and observing how they react to it. I find myself spending as much time looking at people as I do the exhibitions.”

Bee Illustrates


“Definitely Lighthouse Books in Edinburgh. It’s a gorgeous independent book shop that highlights non-mainstream and political writers, and is so sentimental to me as it was where I had my first ever exhibition/pop-up event as @beeillustrates.”

Bee Illustrates


“I recently went to Berlin for the first time, and on my last night there I ventured up to the Humboldthain Flak Tower. It was such an interesting and melancholy remnant of the past, but also had the most unbelievable views of the sunset over the city.”

Bee Illustrates


“To be honest, I haven’t really shopped abroad (and I don’t shop that much at all really). When I do, I mostly look online, but if I had to choose a city, it would probably be London... There’s so many good charity shops, vintage stores and markets, as well as independent brands and little boutiques that I get most of my clothes from.”