Interview: Amy Hodkin on Textile Design, Illustration as a Job, and Separating Yourself from Your Work

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A short but sweet interview today with textile designer Amy Hodkin. A recent graduate in Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design, Amy creates sweet and colourful designs, often depicting lovely animals and patterns. Today we chat about having an artistic career and separating yourself from you work when the feedback isn't what you expected.

Magic & Musings:
Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions, Amy! Would you like to introduce yourself and what you do? 

Amy Hodkin:
Thank you for interviewing me on your blog! My name is Amy Hodkin and I am a printmaker, illustrator, and textile designer based in Leeds, UK. 

Magic & Musings:
When did you first get into surface pattern and textile design? Is this something you’ve been formally trained in?

Amy Hodkin:
I was introduced to surface pattern design in 2012 and it was really good for me as I finally realised I could put my drawings and paintings to some sort of use. I’ve recently finished my degree in Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design and loved every single minute of it. 


Magic & Musings:
When did you first start sharing your designs online and did you find yourself overcoming any hurdles regarding your confidence?

Amy Hodkin:
I’ve always been sharing my work online but around 2014 is when I started to do it more frequently. It can be nerve-racking to put your work out there, especially as it’s quite a personal thing. My advice would be to try and separate yourself and your self worth from your work, as it is only a little part of you created and shared in that moment. The number of likes and engagement it has will not define your entire career!

Magic & Musings:
On Magic & Musings I love talking about female artists and their work. Which female artists, if any, would you say have been influences on your work? Do you have any favourites to look to when you need some inspiration or motivation?

Amy Hodkin:
I always adore the work of Maria Ines Gul, Carolyn Suzuki, and Gill Button.


Magic & Musings:
Of all of your designs, which are you the happiest with and why?

Amy Hodkin:
I’m happy with them all for different reasons. I design things to fit certain markets and concepts, so it’s hard to pick a favourite!

Magic & Musings:
I’m interested in knowing how people work and get things done. Do you have a particular place you work or find yourself the most productive? Are there a particular set of things that need to be in place for things to get done? A specific hot drink? A relaxing album?

Amy Hodkin:
I love working at a desk in a studio setting otherwise I’m easily distracted by YouTube. I also like drinking lots of tea!

Magic & Musings:
What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a rut creatively?

Amy Hodkin:
This is going to be a really annoying answer, but I haven’t really been in a creative rut. I suppose there are times when I feel overworked, so I just take a break for a few days. I like drawing in my sketchbooks when I’m out and about, watching movies, and visiting galleries for inspiration.


Magic & Musings:
What are your favourite tools you use to create your designs? Are there any books on creativity and/or working for yourself you would recommend to others?

Amy Hodkin:
I love to draw with ink and graphite, paint with gouache, and use Photoshop to put my designs together. 

Magic & Musings:
What one thing do you wish someone told you when you were first starting out working in this field?

Amy Hodkin:
Maybe that being a designer or illustrator is still a job and sometimes you will have to do things you don’t necessarily "like". I think because of social media we see the lives of these people through rose-tinted glasses and think how cool it must be to draw all day… But it isn’t always like that. You’re going to have the down days just like everybody else. 

Magic & Musings:
Can you recommend everyone reading a book you’ve enjoyed recently, as well as a film and an album or song?

Amy Hodkin:
It was a while ago now, but I enjoyed reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. I recently watched Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which was really funny, and I don’t think I’ll ever get fed up of listening to the album Death of a Bachelor by Panic! At The Disco.

Magic & Musings:
Five stars for mentioning Panic! At The Disco!
Is there anything else you would like to say before we finish? How can people find out more about you and your work?

Amy Hodkin:
To any aspiring illustrators, designers and artists: don’t stop creating things, and it’s normal to make bad stuff every once in a while! I blog over at www.thecreativeoutlook.co.uk and you can follow my Instagram @amyhodkin for more frequent arty updates.

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