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A Guide to Freelance throughout Lockdown: Hollie Fuller

This past year has been incredibly tough on us all – and we bet that that is becoming quite an obvious statement to read in any blog post related to this past year, but we’re not going to talk about that!


We’ve teamed up with a number of different creatives over the years to produce all kinds of designs for different causes. For World Book Day 2021, we collaborated with one of our favourite illustrators – Hollie Fuller, to create some Awesome bookmarks. During the making of this we had the opportunity to speak to Hollie to find out more about her and she even gave us some great advice on how to successfully do freelance work. 



Hollie Fuller is an Illustrator from Lincolnshire, UK, she graduated from Leeds Art University in 2019 with a degree in Illustration. Since graduating she has worked with a number of different clients, including The New York Times, Hepworth Wakefield and The Tetley. Her playful approach to image making is inspired by people and things, and often influenced by the mundanities of life. 


We wanted to dive deep into the world of freelance with Hollie, and find out a little more about her and her creative process.

How have you found this past year in terms of creativeness? 


It’s definitely been a tricky one. During the first lockdown I had no client work and, to be perfectly honest, no motivation to create full stop. I spent that time reading and playing an embarrassing amount of Animal Crossing. I decided not to force it, and patiently waited for that motivation to come back, which luckily it did. I ended up being able to focus quite a lot on my online shop, creating new merch to sell and I’ve now got a collection that I’m really proud of.





We’ve noticed that you’ve done a book club during lockdown, what gave you the idea and can you recommend some books?


In the midst of not working and being stuck at home, I decided that I wanted to get back into reading and give my bookshelf the attention it deserved. Lockdown Book Club never really functioned as a book club as such, it was more just a space for me to share the books I’d been reading and talk to people who had read them too. I hate the feeling of reading a book, going through all the emotions of that story, then having nobody to discuss it with! 

Some of the books I’ve really loved recently are: 



Talking of books, how did you find the process of working with us here at Awesome? Were you pleased with your bookmarks and the final outcome? 


It was good! Sean – Awesome Marketing Manager, was really happy for me to take the lead on the bookmark design as I already had the Lockdown Book Club illustration that was perfect for this project. I’m super happy with how they came out! It’s definitely an improvement on the old train ticket I’ve been using as a bookmark.





When did you begin your freelance journey? 


I work freelance alongside a part-time job. I was really lucky to start working on freelance projects before graduating, but I think it’s good for me to also have the security of a part-time job (despite being furloughed for the majority of the last year) as well as the social aspect too, as illustrating can be quite lonely. 


How do you complete a project / brief? 


I start everything in my sketchbook, scribbling down ideas or sketches. For me sketching is definitely the most time consuming part of a project – I like to figure everything out on paper before I take it into Procreate to finalise. 


What equipment did you find most helpful in the beginning of your freelance career? 


Buying an iPad totally changed the way I was able to create illustrations, so that’s always been the most important tool. Also a good mechanical pencil and, for me, a nice floppy sketchbook! 


What things do you need to take into consideration when starting work for a client? 


I think it’s important to understand what the client needs from you and go from there. Often they’ll have a brief prepared, or they’ll chat to you about what they’d like – that’s always the starting point. 


If you could work with anyone anywhere in the world, who would you choose and why? 


What a big old question! I’d love to work on something really big for a cool museum or gallery – that’d be a dream. I really enjoy making work about places and the way that people interact in those spaces, and there’s nothing I love more than wandering around a gallery or museum.



We’ve really enjoyed getting to know Hollie and if you’d like to know more about her or see more of her work, click here.


For more tips and tricks, we have a number of Awesome blog posts to help you throughout your creative journey here.



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