Episode 17: Hedof

Building a Thriving Career Around Your Interests


In this episode, I talk with Dutch illustrator Rick Berkelmans (a.k.a Hedof) about his career as a commercial illustrator, how he got to where he is now, and what he's learned along the way.

Hedof has worked with big brands from all over the world on imaginative campaigns and projects, using his signature style of interwoven flat shapes to form surreal visual puzzles. His ability to translate a mood into distinct visuals has helped Hedof grow an impressive list of clients including Nike, IKEA, Samsung, KLM, The Hoxton, WeTransfer, Google, and the Lotte World Mall.

In this conversation, 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 and embrace constraints

  • how to push yourself out of your comfort zone and learn new skills

  • how to deal with the more boring side of freelance work (like emails!)

  • why sketching is so important in Rick's practice and how he approaches it

  • why it’s important to learn about the business side of illustration/design as a freelancer (plus some resources—many of them free—for learning business basics)

  • how to balance freelancing and family life


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.