My name is Owen Davey. I am 27. I live in Leicestershire, UK and I have been a professional freelance illustrator since 2009, after graduating from Falmouth University with a First Class BA (Hons) Degree in Illustration.
When did you decide you wanted to be illustrator?
I’ve always loved drawing since I was a kid. As I grew up, I didn’t really want to do anything else. When I was taught what an Illustrator was, I did everything I could to become one and make a living from it.
Would you recommend studying at art school?
Yes. Definitely. Theory can be very useful and make you a more rounded creative. It also gives you opportunities to meet other like-minded people who can become your best friends and who can help inspire you. It costs a crap load, but it’s only money at the end of the day.
How long was it before illustration became your primary form of income?
Straight away after graduating. I lived at home for a bit paying my mum minimal rent so my outgoings were less than usual, but I made sure I didn’t get another job because I knew it would make me lazy with my illustration. If I had nothing to fall back on, I HAD to make sure I succeeded. It made me proactive in contacting possible new clients and making new work, and it worked. I make a decent living and love what I do.
Could you describe your typical day?
No. That is impossible hehe. I have no typical day. It all depends on workload and what jobs I have on. A lot of it consists of sitting in front of my computer though.
What do you wish you’d know when you first started out?
More of the business side. That has been a huge learning curve. I knew enough to get by, but there’s just so much to work out. Everything from pricing jobs to filing tax returns. It’s epic.
What’s the best thing about being an illustrator?
Being my own boss and being creative.
What’s the worst thing about being an illustrator?
The occasional bad Art Directors and how much I work.
If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
Bored. Probably something to do with maths. Or an Art Director.
Any other tips you could share?
Work Hard. Meet Deadlines. Be Proactive.