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
Illustration book recs: Creative Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho; How to Be an Illustrator by Darrel Rees; Make Enemies & Gain Fans: The Snask way of becoming a Successful Creative Entrepreneur from Snask; This is Marketing: You Can’t be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin
Rick mentions a great free archive of Dublin’s OFFSET festival talks which you can peruse here.
Movie rec: 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.