Escape Artists #4: From Media Communication to Drawing Domination with Illustrator Hannah Asen

Today I interview freelance illustrator Hannah Asen who abandoned a promising career as a Media Communications Manager to pursue her passion for illustration.

Escape Artists - Hannah Asen

Photo by Marie-Cecile Embleton.

Born in London, Hannah relocated to Berlin in 2010 to take advantage of the vibrant creative scene, but three years later found that she had spent more time advancing her day job than her creative pursuits. Deciding that she wanted to do work that she was passionate about, after a few months of preparation, Hannah made the leap into full-time illustration. Producing all her illustrations by hand with a traditional dip pen and ink, Hannah splits her time between work on her own children’s books, editorial and private commissions. She has produced illustrations for Broke In London, New York Tartan Week and the Scotland Now Shop, with plans to open her very own Etsy store later this year.

You can watch the interview below or on YouTube, and listen above, on the iTunes podcast feed, or on Stitcher.

We discuss:

  • How easy it is to fall into a job, even though you might not be passionate about the work, and why you must decide to break free
  • The importance of setting aside enough money to live on before you take the plunge
  • How to research the industry and pick a niche within the field of illustration
  • Creating a portfolio to showcase your work and why you shouldn’t wait for commissions or briefs to get started
  • Using your existing network to make contacts and get feedback on your work
  • Where to get practice, advice, support and training as an illustrator
  • The importance of building a web presence and the opportunities that can come from sharing your work via social media
  • How crucial word of mouth and maintaining professionalism in your work are to your success
  • Structuring your day and why flexibility is key
  • The importance of setting goals, staying motivated and networking to avoid loneliness
  • How to ensure you still enjoy your passion once it becomes your day job

I love hearing your feedback and questions, so please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me here.

More Hannah



Prints for sale at Scotland Now Shop

Prints for sale at NY Tartan Week

Support and Opportunities

Association of Illustrators

Illustration Friday

Edinburgh College of Art


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