Interview with Linzie Hunter

Linzie caught our eye last year with a fantastic self initiated project “Hand Draw Resolutions”. She called out for new years resolution submissions from folks around the internet and illustrating one per day throughout the month of January. The full series can bee seen on her website, Twitter, and Instagram.

What made you start the fantastic self initiated project “Hand Draw Resolutions?

I thought it would be a great way to kick-start the year. It’s so important to make time for personal work but that’s often easier said than done. A daily project encouraged me to set aside a couple of hours every morning to do non-commercial work and just enjoy creating lettering for fun again. It was also a really great way to
connect with friends and followers on social media.

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Your work is so playful and features such fun funny little characters where do you get your inspiration from?

All sorts of places. Like many artists and illustrators my studio is full of strange knick-knacks, vintage ephemera, little toys and a collection of goofy figures I’ve collected over the years.

Those help but inspiration comes from lots of different sources. Recently I’ve been looking at a variety of different cultures and art movements for inspiration: Bauhaus, Art Deco, Bavarian folk art, Mexico, Space Age, The Aztecs, WWI Propaganda… I have a huge list. Pinterest is a great resource for keeping everything in once place for future reference.

Your sketchbooks are works of art, we imagine you get through a fair few packets of crayons each month – how often do you put pencil crayon to paper?

Almost daily but sometimes I do give myself a day off completely. I try and stick to sketchbook work first thing in the morning. It’s a quieter time (US clients aren’t up yet so theres less email to sort through) and it’s a good way to warm myself up for the day. I tend to use those small jotter-style sketchbooks so they are really easy to pop in my bag. I try and take one wherever to go.

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What would be your advice for budding illustrators wanting to do something like you?

Aside from the creative side of things, be prepared for the challenges and hard graft of running a business. Take some time to learn about (withholding) copyright, contract negotiation and how to quote for a job. Even if you sign with an agent, you will still need a strong grasp of these areas. Marketing, self-promotion and book-keeping is next not the list. When I mentor students and graduates, it’s the business side of things that aspiring illustrators seem to struggle with the most.

What is the best aspect of working for your self?

I value having autonomy over my working day. I have been freelance and self-employed my whole working life so I can’t imagine anything else.

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What are your top tips for promoting your work online?

Invest in a website that’s easy to update for your main portfolio.

Instagram is a good way to connect with other artists and designers. Try and use social media to share not just your work news but your creative process, influences and inspirations. Avoid reposting and repeating exactly what’s on your website. When it comes to sharing your successes, keep in mind that there is a fine line
between self-promotion and outright bragging.

Lastly, don’t rely solely on internet promotion. Direct – and targeted – marketing and the printed postcard still work!

Tell us something fun your have lined up for 2016!

I have a lot of exciting publishing and art licensing projects starting soon, but most fun of all, I’m having an extended and overdue holiday in January. That’s got to be the best way to start a new year!

Sunny Sundays, sausage dogs, and eating fizzy Haribo tangfastics makes us grin, what makes you smile?

Two south-east London treats: Dog watching in Peckham Rye park and the natural history collection at the Horniman Museum.