Arrest All Mimics, the original thinking and creative innovation podcast, hosted by illustrator, author, art-director and Dot London Creative Agency of the Year 2015 Ben Tallon, interviews Illustrator Rod Hunt on his 20-year career and work with the Association of Illustrators.
Ben tells us more about the podcast below:
“A few years ago, during a particularly bleak spell during which I had no freelance work in six weeks, I was contacted by then chairman of the Association of Illustrators, Rod Hunt. I'd returned from a spell travelling, during which I worked for my existing clients from New Zealand and Australia, only to see five of my six regulars drop off inside four weeks. At this stage, I'd been in business two years as a full-time illustrator. The drop off caused a wave of frustration, a confidence crisis that spilled out onto a blog I set up explicitly to vent.
“It's funny what negative emotions can produce if you channel them positively. That blog, although very angry at the time, contained hard-truths about the freelance lifestyle and its challenges. My words caught the eye of Rod, who had been illustrating for around 15 years at this time. He found the brutal honesty refreshing and we discussed the possibility of me joining the AOI (essentially the trade union for Illustration) in an official capacity (I was already a member via my agency Illustration Ltd). This was a monstrous compliment coming from a man right at the top of the tree in our business. I was somewhat bowled over that someone so prominent had come across my digital leather sofa of the internet.
“Those rants eventually became my debut book, Champagne and Wax Crayons: Riding the Madness of the Creative Industries thanks to a sequence of important chance conversations. That book meant I could write for creative journals and talk at universities and colleges. Then, thanks to the vision of Illustration Ltd Director, Harry Lyon-Smith, I launched Arrest All Mimics, my weekly arts podcast, showcasing innovators and original thinkers in the arts.
“By this time I had moved to London and whilst we never did work out a role at the AOI for me, I became friends with Rod as we both had studios with Second Floor Studios and Arts. an impressive 20 years experience and a deep love of illustration have been hard-earned and Rod emits a passion so strong that he not only continues to thrive, but has channeled the fire into his work with the ICON conference and the AOI, strengthening and developing the illustration industry for the future. So with my somewhat puppy-like seven years of full-time illustrating, I was honoured to be given the opportunity to sit down and hear Rod's story first hand.
“In this business, you have to soak up as many stories over soggy pub tables as possible, increase the coffee budget as required and learn from everyone and everything. It's cutthroat out there and it's certainly not every day that the someone is Rod Hunt. Rod's email back in 2011 came at a time when my confidence was in the gutter and that willingness to tip his hat at my own passion had a huge ripple effect. I try to champion the arts at every opportunity in the same manner. Never underestimate the power of someone believing in what you do, the difference between a successful career in the arts and a near miss is so often confidence and I hope that this behind the curtain look at one of the best in the business's career and war-stories passes on that crucial encouragement to my listeners.”
You can listen to the interview at http://soundcloud.com/arrestallmimics
Follow on Twitter at @arrestallmimics
Ben Tallon is on Twitter at @bentallon
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