Where does the majority of your work take place?
I have the odd meeting in person, but pretty much all of it takes place in the studio. A lot of my time is spent in front of a computer. When I’m doing illustration, there’s always a computer around, but if I’m working on stuff for the gallery I can spend a whole day away from it, which is really nice. The business side of this does take up a big chunk of time, but you just have to be on top of that as well.
How does your freelance work usually come about?
I’ve got an agent in London, (CIA based in Kingsland Road) and another in America, (Bernstein and Andriulli) who get me about 15–20% of my work. The rest are repeat jobs, cold emails and a few pitches. Generally if a client is choosing between two or three illustrators and then contacts you, that normally means you’ve got the job.
Clients tend to come to me, which I’m quite thankful for. It means I can pick and choose what I do a lot more now. After I graduated, I literally said yes to everything because I needed the work. I went down a route of doing what I found to be really boring illustrations for business magazines that I didn’t care about. But even on those jobs, you should try to integrate an element of yourself into the work – that’s a good way to start. Focus on what you like and what you want to make work about. Now, I’m very much picked for what I do, which is really nice.
I always want to be learning with a job, so if I’m doing something that feels repetitive, I know I’ll be miserable and won’t put enough effort into it – and you can see that in the image. I want to always be doing work that is challenging or that takes me in a slightly different direction.