A day in the life of UK illustrator Von, aka Hellovon.
(Image credit: Press)

A day in the life of UK illustrator Von, aka Hellovon.

What was the first thing you thought about when you woke up this morning?

How pleased I was that I got to sleep in.

What do you wear to work?

The usual male uniform of t-shirt and jeans. Sometimes when I think I should feel more business like I'll go for a shirt and trousers combo.

What do you have for breakfast?


Do you read a newspaper/watch television/click online?

I have a regular staple diet of Frasier on Channel 4 in the morning. Although in the summer they annoyingly replace it with Big Brother so I have to go online for the fix. I must have seen each series at least two or three times now but it never seems to wear thin.

How do you get to work?


What time do you first check your inbox?

After the first cup of tea.

Where are your desk and chair from?

My desks are from Ikea and chair by Eames

If you could save only one item from your office/studio what would it be?


Do you listen to music whilst you work? If so, what are you listening to at the moment?

All the time! Music is a huge influence on me and is a very rich source of inspiration. I have an old Bang & record player Beo system that takes pride of place in my studio and is in pretty much constant use alongside an extensive iTunes library.

I love the crackle and pop of old vinyl. I love listening to old soul records, lots of Sam Cooke, Phil Spector etc. I have a love of music, whether its acoustic, electronic, rock, soul, etc - that is fairly lo-fi and not over-produced sounding. An R&B mega mix CD is my worst nightmare.

Where would your ideal lunch be and who would it be with?

With all the friends I don't see enough, somewhere sunny, catered by the goddess-like cooking skills of my girlfriend's French auntie.

Summarise in three words your work ethos?

To get better

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

The tendency to get too lost in work.

What do you think is the most overrated virtue?

The air of bullet proof confidence that only estate agents are born with.

Is there any single person that particularly inspires you?

My grandfather. He fought in WWII, was taken as a prisoner of war a number of times, was smuggled across borders, and despite suffering a huge stroke when I was about eight remained one of the happiest and most heart warming members of my family to visit for twenty years.

Where do you feel most inspired?

Every time I go on holiday I come back with a ton of new ideas I'm itching to get on top of.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Turning my doodling into a viable career.

How do you switch off?

It is difficult because when your job is the one thing you've loved doing since you were a kid you're constantly thinking of shows you'd like to do, images you want to create, how to move up to the next stage, develop something you didn't think worked out as well as it should, finding the next opportunity, etc.

My girlfriend is also an illustrator, which I think helps a lot. I can imagine if she had a non-creative job she'd have got pretty sick of me long time ago. This way we can get excited about the possibilities and avenues of each other's careers as much as we do about our own.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

A stunt man.

What excites you/terrifies you on a daily basis?

Excites - my girlfriend's cooking

Terrifies - at the moment US politics / Palin

Would you like to be your own assistant?

I am quite a perfectionist and never like the idea of handing over control in my work. So in terms of being an assistant to someone who does all the work that would be pretty good. Being my own assistant would be way easier than being me.

Is there anything about retirement you look forward to?

With any luck a sense of achievement.

If you could choose to come back as person or thing, who or what would it be?

I don't have the life experience to answer that yet.