A day in the life of an illustrator

Ask Katy Halford what it’s like to be an illustrator and she’ll explode with enthusiasm. Her fun, colourful illustrations have found their way into the advertising campaigns of Feel Unique and Caffè Nero. So what’s it like to be an illustrator? Take it away Katy…


Hi Katy! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company Katy Halford Illustration.
I am an illustrator based in the heart of Leicestershire. I have always loved drawing and have drawn ever since I can remember. I find drawing addictive and therapeutic. I have worked with clients such as Caffe Nero, Feel Unique and featured in Magazines such as Paula with a They draw and Travel map I produced for the rural capital of food Melton Mowbray.

What does a normal working day look like for you? What’s the first thing you do?
I have a studio at home where the creativity happens. I usually get up fairly early, have a bowl of cereal (love porridge) and make a cup of tea or coffee. I then put on some of my music or the radio; this really helps me to focus.

I check my emails and make a plan for what I am going to do for the rest of the day. If I have a specific project to work on I will spend most the day on that, if not my day mainly consists of drinking more tea, listening to more music, maybe a bit of telly and plenty of drawing. Usually doodles and portfolio illustrations.



How do you like to organise your time? Is there a specific method to your routine?
I always have a list in my calendar of any ongoing projects. This helps me to organise my time and make sure I meet deadlines to keep clients happy.

What’s your favourite part of the day and what makes it stand out for you?
My favourite part of the day is the afternoon, after I have had a good lunch and I can just draw. This of often continues late into the evening and is when I feel most creative. My characters and ideas are usually in my head before I put pen to paper.



We adore your distinctive illustrative style, what would you say has been your biggest influence?
Thank you. I wouldn’t really say that I have a biggest influence; I am constantly inspired by art, patterns and shapes all around me on a day-to-day basis. I love anything that is fun, bold, colourful and naive. I am addicted to Pinterest; it’s such a great source of inspiration.

I have a love of surreal art so I guess you can see this influence in my drawings as they always end up quirky and dreamy. My characters often end up with teapots and cats on their heads or a galaxy in their hair and flowers on cheeks. I seem to be fixated with drawing stars and space characters at the moment as you will see on my Instagram feed.

You can find more of Katy’s work on her site. Want to stop by and say hi? You can also find her on Instagram and Twitter.



About the author

Bex is our Creative Content Manager and lover of all things community. When she's not glued to her phone you can find her out cycling in the Chiltern Hills or braving the London commute on her Brompton.

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10 comments on “A day in the life of an illustrator

  1. Sally A on

    Katy your work is unique, creative and inspiring. I am a massive fan of yours keep going girl you are a very talented lady, proud of you! X

  2. Tam on

    You have a wonderful talent Katy, thanks for sharing your day ~ I’m like you and prefer to paint in the afternoon when my creative synapses start firing! Very best of luck with your continued success :-).

  3. Yiu on

    What sort of equipment would you say you couldn’t live without? I’m considering upgrading my 7 year old MacBook Pro, but not sure whether to go with Apple again or switch to something like the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. I love the idea of being able to use the stylus, but not sure how much use I would get out of it when I mainly design for print using photos and vectors etc. Not a lot of illustrations.

    Loving your work! Keep on inspiring!!



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