Posted 04 September 2023

Starting out as an illustrator? Apply for our next IRL portfolio review

We’re back with another portfolio review event on Thursday 28th September, and this time we’re hosting it from our studio space in Holborn! So if you’re an emerging illustrator within the first year of your career, this is a great opportunity to meet experts and get feedback on your work.

This September, join us at The HudsonBec Group studios in Holborn where we’ve invited a range of expert industry reviewers – from experienced creative directors, artist’s agents and of course some fantastic freelance illustrators – to cast their eyes over your work.

Illustration is a broad discipline and industry that can lead to many roles and opportunities – from working as a creative to specialising in cover art, concept art, animation, graphic design, fashion and more.

So whether you’re a student, a grad or just simply in the first year of your career journey, this is a chance to meet industry professionals, get feedback and connect with fellow emerging creatives.

When and where will it be happening?

📍 Where?
The event will take place at The HudsonBec Group studio in Holborn, London.
Our full address is: 37-39 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6TP. The nearest underground stations are Holborn, Covent Garden and Waterloo. There are also bicycle racks available outside the studio.

The studio is located on the ground floor. You can let us know about any access requirements in the registration form, but for any additional questions please email us at [email protected].

⏰ When?
Thursday 28th September, from 6pm to 9.30pm BST. There are a limited number of places available, so make sure you register your interest before 11.59pm, 11th September.

How will it work?

The event itself is fast-paced: After a short introduction from our team and reviewers, there will be three sessions throughout the evening, each one lasting 45 minutes, and with breaks in-between:

A short introduction from the Creative Lives team and our industry reviewers

Session One
: 45 minutes
You will be placed in a randomly allocated group, made up of three emerging creatives and one reviewer. This will then rotate, so you get to meet different reviewers on the night. You’ll have 15 minutes to present your work and get feedback during each session.

: 10 minutes
A chance to take a breather, get a snack or network. We will be offering light refreshments, as well as a quiet space during breaks.

Session Two
: 45 minutes

Break: 10 minutes

Session Three: 45 minutes

Closing thoughts

Who will be there?

Niall Unger (he/him), illustrator, Koto
Niall studied graphic communication design at the University of Leeds, before a stint in Mallorca working for ABA art lab in Palma. He currently works as an in-house designer and illustrator for Koto, tackling the many challenges and opportunities that integrated brand illustrations offer. In his free time, he has a solo practice that revolves around community outreach and fundraising, in tandem with his other love, running.

Read more about Koto here

Claire Cheung (she/her), head of creative, Penguin Random House
Since graduating from Nottingham Trent University in Graphic Design, Claire has designed for Stylist, WIRED, The Guardian, The Times and Esquire and worked with hundreds of illustrators. Prior to joining Penguin, she was an illustration agent at Studio PI which champions artists from underrepresented backgrounds, an area close to her heart. Her biggest passion lies in storytelling.

Read more about Penguin Random House here

Kat Hassell (she/her), illustrator, Alive With Ideas
Describing herself as a “small, round, queer person who likes wonky ceramics and hates the wind”, illustrator Kat works in various disciplines, but favours digital work and in particular, portraiture. Having originally studied photography, she then went on to work as a teacher for eight years before deciding to focus on her first love, drawing.

Read more about Alive With Ideas here.

Ciara Phelan (she/her) co-founder and creative director, Grand Matter
With a background in design, Ciara established her career in the creative industry working as a collage artist illustrator specialising in mixing analogue and digital media. Her clients include V&A, New York Times, Kiehls and Benefit Cosmetics. Leading the creative direction and artist development of artist agency, Grand Matter, she works across marketing, studio campaigns and new business activities. In 2021, Ciara became a board director of the Association of Illustrators.

Read more about Grand Matter here

Amy Kate Wolfe (she/her), creative director, Scriberia
Amy graduated from the Illustration-Animation course at Kingston University in 2012. She has worked at Scriberia since 2015 on the animation team, becoming creative director for animation in 2020. With a love of storytelling and drawing, Amy strongly believes in the power of images to send thought-provoking and impactful messages. She also works as a freelance illustrator, mainly on editorial pieces, posters, and social media assets for various clients.

Read more about Scriberia here

Emily Spicer (she/her), director of creative production, Scriberia
Emily has worked at Scriberia for 10 years, and is now director of creative production. She loves helping creatives realise their ideas in real world settings and navigating the balance between the creative and commercial processes of a project. Emily loves finding and nurturing new talent, and seeing what new ideas spark when different creative minds are thrown into the mix together.

Read more about Scriberia here

Leif Zix (they/them), visual development artist and 2D animator, Myth Studio
As a self-described 2D generalist, Leif has worked across everything from character animation, motion graphics, illustrations and design, with a soft spot for storyboarding. Originally from France, Leif moved to the UK to study and work here. Prior to joining Myth, Leif worked at Shy Guys Studios and A Productions on shows such as Bake Off: The Professionals and JoJo & Gran Gran.

Read more about Myth Studio here

Freddie Griffiths (he/him), Art&Graft
After graduating from the RCA’s animation course, Freddie worked as a freelance, award-winning director, animator and designer. During this time he worked with studios and companies for clients such as Youtube, Sony, Netflix and Camden Hells. Now part of the team at Art&Graft, Freddie is a creative, specialising in 2D animation and design, and contributing to projects in a varied capacity – from early concepting and storyboarding through to animation and final delivery.

Read more about Art&Graft here

Megan Heath (she/her), designer, Jones Knowles Ritchie
Megan grew up in Leeds, attending Leeds Arts university for a year before studying graphic design at Nottingham Trent. She initially interned at creative company Jones Knowles Ritchie before landing a job there almost four years ago. Megan works on branding and packaging across brands like Mars, Costa and The Big Issue.

Read more about Jones Knowles Ritchie here

Raj Dhunna (he/him), freelance illustrator and digital designer
Raj initially studied visual communication at Birmingham City university, choosing the illustration pathway. He worked within digital design before proceeding to freelance in Illustration, working in various fields such as editorial and advertising. Today he counts the likes of The New Yorker, BBC, Netflix and The Guardian as clients. Raj loves exploring cultures, music and sport in his work.

See more from Raj here

Brigitte Ritchie (she/her), design director, Jones Knowles Ritchie
Brigitte is originally from South Africa, where she studied and started her career. She moved to London to work in a drinks design agency before joining Jones Knowles Ritchie as a branding designer in 2011. Brigitte has since worked her way up to design director, working across several brands including Pringles and M&M’s.

Read more about Jones Knowles Ritchie here

Raafaye Ali (he/him), illustrator, Mother London
Raafaye studied illustration at CCA, before dropping out in the final year due to bereavement. After being mistreated in his first role at a creative educational start up, Raafaye took his employer to an employment tribunal and won, all the while in doing an advertising night class with D&AD Shift in the evenings. Since then he’s worked at Design Bridge and has now been at Mother London since 2019. He’s been a D&AD judge for illustration in 2022, 2023 and is currently judging the Brand Impact Awards.

See more from Raafaye here and read more about Mother London here

How to apply

This session is open to students, grads, or those within the first year of a creative career. You are only eligible to register if you are:

• Not in full-time creative work
• Within the first year of your career
• Based in the UK
• Aged 18 and over

🚨 Please note
This event will take place in London. While we welcome applications from those who are based elsewhere in the UK, we are unfortunately unable to cover any travel costs.

Please note: Registration and deposits

Registering for this event does not guarantee a place. Those invited to attend will be emailed a week before the event, and asked to pay a £5 deposit. This is to confirm your attendance, and will be refunded after the session.

Attendees are selected based on their eligibility, so please be assured that if you are not invited, this is not a reflection of the quality of your work.

We hope to see you there!

Written by Creative Lives in Progress