We recently caught up with illustration student Beatrix Hatcher who has won our Behance Portfolio Award 2018! We fell in love with her feminine style and wanted to find more about her life as an illustration student!

Hi Beatrix, can you tell us a bit about what you are studying?

I am currently in my third year at Arts University Bournemouth studying a degree in Illustration. I was drawn to Bournemouth originally because I knew I really wanted to live by the sea having grown up in the countryside of Surrey, and I quickly fell in love with the community of the university itself. 

I did my Foundation degree here and absolutely loved it. I also got really lucky with the house mates I ended up living with (who I still live with now 4 years later!). That combined with a particularly inspiring Foundation tutor sealed the deal, and I stayed in Bournemouth for degree.

The support on campus both from tutors in illustration, student services & careers advice is really fantastic, and
the general creative vibes from working in the studio make me want to be there every single day.

Describe your typical day as a student?

In third year it’s pretty individually led, so the structuring of your days is left to each student to decide. You obviously get support from tutors if you come in, but there’s also freedom to work wherever and whenever you want! There are also set contact sessions with tutors and critiques that you have to attend to check in on progress from time to time but asides from that it’s down to you. So you have to be quite disciplined in organising your time.

Usual days for me consist of arriving in the studio at about 10 and working on a picture book I am making for my pre-major project work as well as researching for and writing my dissertation. There’s a good sense of community in our year group and a lot of my close friends are on the course so there is a never a shortage of people to talk to which makes long days a lot easier. I usually work up until 6 or 7pm although there have been a few late nighters lately! 

I also have a couple of other projects I am working on alongside university work, such as a collaboration project with a fashion student and an upcoming collaboration with another illustrator. Then I am usually home some time before 9pm and by the time I have eaten and sorted myself out, it’s time to go to sleep and do it all over again the next day! But I love it, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

You have a really unique illustration style and won the Behance Award 2018 for an amazing portfolio.

Can you tell us about your design process?

I find it really hard to take compliments as I am super self-critical but thank you! My design process is constantly evolving so it’s hard to say. I would always start with a sketch, whether that’s digitally on my iPad or just on paper with a pencil. I then normally work directly over the sketch for guidance, and I pretty much always work on a screen either on ProCreate for the iPad or using a Wacom tablet on Photoshop. So the final work is usually purely digitally. 

There are some exceptions though to my digital approach to working, such as an animation I created for my end of second year project, which was created from printed out Photoshop drawings however animated by hand.

I am currently working on trying to incorporate hand-made textures into my work, I hope there will be more of that in the near future in my portfolio!

Who is your design Hero?

Without a doubt, my ultimate design hero is Oliver Jeffers - weirdly enough I had the privilege to actually meet him almost exactly a year ago! The pairing of his visual language combined with his world view is something so special, and if I could ever be even fractionally as cool as him I could die happy 🙂

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What is your plan after graduation?

Right now it’s all pretty much up in the air, I feel as though I am running towards the edge of a cliff and I know I am going to have to jump but I don’t know what’s below yet! I am currently planning on (hopefully!) moving to London and living with my sister after graduation in 2019. But for the moment I am trying to work on building my confidence and as well as my portfolio, and networking with people already in the industry. 

My absolute dream would be to one day publish my own either fiction or non-fiction picture book, but for the meanwhile I have my sights set on freelance work / working within an agency.

Be sure to check out Beatrix portfolio for more inspiration!

We hope you found our tips useful! If you would like an in-depth knowledge, creative advice and surviving in the creative industry then subscribe to your Designers Survival Kit for FREE.

Want to continue reading and stay inspired then we recommend reading our post on 2019 Design trends!


from Adobe Certified Instructors and industry professionals

About the author 

Shumi Perhiniak

Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer, in 2012 she took one-year sabbatical career break, where she devoted her time studying Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In just after 6 months she started freelancing and within a year become a Certified Photoshop Expert. Over the years she worked both in-house and in agency roles as a retoucher, artworker and moved on from junior to senior design roles.

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