Being Freelance / Bake it till you make it! - Illustrator Tom Hovey

Listen on

Episode notes

For Tom, the guy behind the illustrations on the Great British Bake Off, freelance life was years in the making. After studying illustration at university, Tom worked in a series of full-time, temporary jobs while pursuing illustration on the side.

Tom’s break came when, by chance, he landed a role as an editing assistant on a TV show. Tom was honest about his situation: “I’m not interested in a career in telly, this is just something to pay the rent. I’m going to be an illustrator.” Management paid attention and came back to him later with a proposal.

That TV show was the very first series of The Great British Bake Off and, while maintaining his full-time role as an editing assistant, Tom spent his evenings and weekends illustrating for the show.

Skip ahead to today and Tom’s running his own studio with a team of freelancers and a new intern every year. They’re producing work for the Bake Off franchise and other clients in the food industry, as well as selling prints through an online shop.

Listen to hear how Tom's freelance life has evolved since Bake Off began ten years ago.


This episode is kindly supported by With Jack!

With Jack help keep you in business by supporting you financially or legally if you have problems with a client.

Get the freelance insurance you deserve.

Visit and be a confident freelancer.


Love learning from other freelancers like this? Check out the website, be part of the Being Freelance Community!

You'll also find useful links for this episode. That's

Like VIDEO? - Check out the Being Freelance vlog -


Who the hell is Steve Folland?

You know how everyone bangs on about how powerful video and audio content can be? Yeah, well Steve helps businesses make it and make the most of it. Find out more at
Track him down on Twitter @sfolland or lay a trail of cake and he'll eventually catch you up.