Sam Hadley

sam_hadley_spotlight_01How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it before?

I have various styles but I suppose my usual style is quite photorealistic but with an illustrative edge. I really enjoy working across a range of styles to keep it interesting and challenging. I have a retro pin-up style which is quite painterly.


How did you start off in the arts? How/when did you realise that you were an artist?

I’ve wanted to be an illustrator as long as I can remember. I used to study toy packages and comics when I was a kid and try to work out how they were painted. Painting and drawing were always my hobby growing up.

I studied at Falmouth College of art and have been a freelance illustrator since leaving.


Please describe a typical day of art making for you.

I work usual office hours. I find keeping a good routine is essential for staying on top of my workload. I tend to sort emails first and then settle down to concentrate on work. Twitter does distract me sometimes though (@SlumberBean ).

I’ll sometimes work on into the evening if I have a tight deadline, or if there’s something I’m working on for myself.


sam_hadley_spotlight_02What contemporary artists or developments in illustration do you find interesting right now?

I’m influenced by Japanese culture and illustration. I have a personal project ‘Slumber’ where I’m exploring some of my influences ( ). It’s good to see how much popular culture is embracing drawing and illustration at the moment.


How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?

It really depends on the job. Anything from a few hours to a few days. Simple drawings or image retouching can be fairly quick. A fully detailed illustration can be a long process.


sam_hadley_spotlight_03What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you’re not creating?Any advice for aspiring young illustrators?

When I’m not doing commercial work, I still enjoy illustrating for my side project Slumber. Apart from that I spend time with my family. I have a young son who takes up a lot of my free time.


Any advice for aspiring young illustrators?

I’d say concentrate on honing your skills and developing your craft. Illustration is very fashionable at the moment. It’s easy to find yourself following trends. If you have a good base in drawing and painting, whatever the medium, it should help you stay in work if the fashion changes.


See more of Sam’s work here