Illustration Inspiration : Hungry Designs Interview

How did you get started as a Freelance Artist?
After graduating from studying an Honours Degree in Illustration & Printmaking in Scotland I could think of nothing worse than being a designer full time.  I took a break and worked in an office for a few years and created little trinkety type costume jewellery just to get my creative fix and I called the hobby based business Hungry Designs.  After I moved back to Australia I kept making the trinkety type jewellery but my family insisted that I start to draw again and attempt to make the switch from jewellery to art.  It definitely took a few months of them pestering me but I eventually listened and was stunned by the response my art received.  I had just 3 designs cut and made them into brooches and they sold out.  I illustrated 3 new designs and they also sold out.  Now I have over 200 individual designs! 
What do you look to for your inspiration?
I am a massive comic book fan and this is definitely reflected in my art.  I have been collecting comic books since I was 16 and still collect them today.  I also love anything Day of the Dead themed and am into more macabre themes, like horror, hunting and classic fairy tales.  I also love anything Disney and often watch cartoons and animated films while doodling and designing, so it’s safe to say that these play a massive part in my creative process.  I am also very much inspired by the people who follow me on my social networking sites – they always let me know what it is they hope to see, which is always so helpful! 

How long does it take you to do an illustration, start to finish?
Gee, it really depends on a lot of things.  I would say between 8 – 12 hours start to finish for an average, run of the mill illustration.  Obviously if there are lots of changes to be made it can take considerably longer.  I very rarely spend a lot of time sketching out ideas and tend to go straight for a finished product.  It’s a terrible habit that I have had since high school!

What is your process when working with clients? Can you explain your typical job?
Thankfully, all the clients that I have are all really wonderful and it is a very simple process that isn’t painful at all.  After chatting extensively about what my clients are after I then draw up the pencil illustration and send it away.  If they are happy with it I then move to the flat colours and send them to the client.  The flat colours are then approved or amended and the third and final stage begins (which is actually my favourite stage!): shading and highlighting.  This really breathes life into the flat colours.  After this is completed the client has their finished design.

What is the hardest thing about working for yourself?
The hardest thing I have found is finding the time to do everything I want to do.  I have a “proper” full-time job and it is impossible to cross everything off the to-do list – especially when it keeps growning.  Time management is key when working on Hungry Designs and although this doesn’t leave much down time, I am doing what I love.  Hungry Designs is my baby and without it I would be completely lost.

Do you get ‘Creative Block’ and how do you push through it?
I recently had a terrible case of creative block and it lasted for almost 3 months.  It was awful!  I felt so lazy not doing any illustrating and this put so much pressure on me to be creative.  I am so used to drawing/designing daily so when I couldn’t do anything creative or I wasn’t satisfied with anything creative I felt like there was a piece of me missing.  I actually think I started acting like a completely different person.  I actually don’t really know how I overcame the creative block I had, just one evening I sat down and started to draw.  That night I stayed up until 4am drawing, there was this intense outpouring of ideas and there were sketches and designs everywhere!  It was wonderful!

What Advice do you have for new kids starting out in the Freelance field?
I wish I had something profound to say but I don’t...  So, um, don’t be forced to work in a way that isn’t you, persevere and practice, practice, practice! 

Check out Hungry Designs here:

x x x


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