Episode 17: Hedof
On Building a Thriving Career Around Your Interests
In this episode, I talk with Dutch illustrator Rick Berkelmans AKA Hedof about his amazing career as a commercial illustrator, how he got to where he is now and what he's learned along the way.
Rick Berkelmans AKA Hedof is an illustrator who has worked with big brands from all over the world on imaginative campaigns and projects. His signature style consists of flat shapes interwoven together to form surreal visual puzzles. His unique ability to translate a mood into distinct visuals has helped Rick grow an impressive list of clients including Nike, Ikea, Samsung, KLM, The Hoxton Hotel, WeTransfer, Google and the Lotte World Mall.
We talk about:
how to discover your voice and style as an artist
how to build a portfolio around your interests and passions
how to reach out to people you want to work with
how to use group shows and exhibitions to build up your reputation
how to set realistic goals
how to embrace constraints and restrictions
how to push yourself out of your comfort zone and learn new skills
how to deal with the more boring side of freelance work (i.e. administrative details and emails)
Rick’s whole process for creating his signature illustration
why sketching is so important in Rick's practice and how he approaches sketching
Why you need to educate yourself about the business side of illustration/ design as a freelancer
some resources (many are free) you can use to learn the basics of business
how to balance freelancing and family life
Illustration book recs: Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho’s Creative Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business; Darrel Rees’ How to Be an Illustrator; Snask’s Make Enemies & Gain Fans: The Snask way of becoming a Successful Creative Entrepreneur; and Seth Godin’s This is Marketing: You Can’t be Seen Until You Learn to See.
Rick mentions a great free archive of Dublin’s OFFSET festival talks which you can find and peruse here (highly recommended!).
Movie rec: Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s 2015 movie The Revenant.
I mention Blender, an open-source and free 3D software option for those who want to experiment with 3D.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I may get a small commission from purchases made through them (at no additional cost to you). This helps to support the show.