Today we’re talking to Beverley Hopwood, a designer and illustrator with over 25 years of industry experience. This is a good one – so grab a cuppa and enjoy!
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Beverley Hopwood, or Bev. Also known as beverleyhopwoodillustration. I’m a freelance illustrator and designer and have been very lucky to have been able to sustain this throughout my working career. I illustrate for various markets including homeware, gift, greeting cards and fashion. I love pattern, colour, typography and I love drawing characters. I don’t like to pin myself down to a particular style which allows me to work for such diverse clients. I find myself swapping from watercolour botanical drawings, to fun slogans, to cats in diving suits! (one of which is a card I designed for Wuzci!) Check out this card here.
What medium do you like to work with the most? Has this changed since you began your creative journey?
I tend to mix it up from hand-drawn or painted, to digital. It totally depends on the brief and how I want the end product to look. I will either draw directly onto the Mac or hand draw or paint in a sketchbook, then scan it in and manipulate it. I also use both Photoshop and Illustrator, again depending on the end feel of the design. My medium has most definitely changed from my early days at Uni to the present. Seen as there was only one computer in the whole course department; paint, paper and pens were the only option! Which in hindsight, I think it allowed far more room for creativity and mistakes, the latter being crucial! As computers became more accessible, in one of my first in-house design positions, I was given the opportunity to learn to draw digitally which, as a result, enables me to now have multiple choices to create.
What or who inspires your work? Do you ever suffer with creative block?
A cliché, but there’s inspiration everywhere! I am very visual and take in details all the time which affect my work. In a digital age, galleries, other artists work, what’s in stores, are all so accessible, especially during the past covid year, so Pinterest, blogs and creative art sites are all regularly visited for inspiration. Creative blocks of course happen but when you are working to continuous tight deadlines, there’s not much room for swanning off to a gallery for the day! 5 minutes away from my desk to grab a coffee normally sorts it! I find that just stepping away for even a short space of time allows your brain creatively to problem-solve.
Do you think greetings cards are important in the world today?
Most definitely!…..but as a greeting card designer, I would say that! Personally though, a handwritten or personalised card or letter means so much to me so I can only assume other people feel the same. Because we are all so entwined in digital worlds, in home and work life, receiving something physical that you can hold in your hands or place on a mantel holds far more weight to me than an email or text.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to a creator at the beginning of their journey, what would it be?
Sit up, sit straight and get a good chair! Ha ha! Apologies that it’s not creative advice but most of your working lives – especially in the creative sector, you will spend the rest of your life sat down and almost everyone I know in creative jobs suffer from some sort of back or neck problems, so take heed!
In relation to the actual career though, to survive as a freelancer you have to be willing to multi-task. You are the creative team first and foremost, but alongside that, the media manager, the accountant, photographer, admin, HR, editor and general dogs body!
Finally, do you have any exciting projects in the works that you’d like to talk about or anything that you’d like to plug?
I am very lucky to regularly work on such a lovely mix of end products, from greeting cards and childrenswear to homeware. Because they all launch at different times, in different stores and different continents throughout the year, it can be very hard to keep up with launch dates to plug anything!
In regards to new clients, I am working on some lovely children’s book concepts with one client and a new games project with another which are both new areas to me and very exciting. I’ll try and keep you posted on how it goes! Otherwise my instagram account @beverleyhopwoodillustration shows more day to day work and my website: beverleyhopwoodillustration.com showcases my portfolio.
Thank you Beverley for giving us such a great insight into what your creative journey looks like!
If you’d like to see more of Beverley’s card designs, check out her profile and socials via the button below.