Finding creative freedom outside the 9-to-5 | Vicky Meets

Vicky meets... Hope Bullen, illustrator at A Little Bit of Hope.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 9:30 am

• Will you tell me about your work?

I create colourful designs to go on prints, totes and cards with the aim of bringing sunshine to somebody’s day. I also design bespoke wedding stationery, book covers and basically anything creative I can get my mitts on.

• How did you begin A Little Bit of Hope?

Hope Bullen, illustrator at A Little Bit of Hope

In 2018, I graduated with a degree in magazine journalism. However, due to family commitments, I realised the trek to London really wasn’t an option. So I started a small, but very telling stint in digital marketing (and an even briefer toe-dip into teaching). After multiple battles with my mental health it was clear to me that I needed to pave my own path. The freedom to create and be my own boss is what led me to start A Little Bit of Hope. It makes waking up every day so much easier.

• Do you think creativity is healing for people struggling with mental health issues?

Definitely. When I wasn’t being creative (when I was working a nine-to-five job) I was at my most depressed. During lockdown I think many of us have had time to enjoy that slower and more creative way of life. Don’t let making something perfect be your main motivator. Just do something for the pleasure of getting completely absorbed in creativity.

• What do you love about what you do?

I’ve always been innately creative. When I was about nine I even had a dream of being a fashion designer and having my own clothes shop – it’s a shame I can’t actually sew and that I can’t design clothes with much success! I’m truly at my happiest when I’m allowed free reign over my creativity, and I honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything else. It’s also super-duper to have the flexibility to work where, and when I can. The nine-to-five grind might be great for some, but it’s definitely a no from me – plus, I probably end up working more hours than nine-to-five because I love what I do!

• What inspires you in your work?

I’m inspired by so much; food, places, animals, people – all sorts of things. But what I enjoy the most is taking something conventional, and making it colourful and a little bit messy. I’m pretty rubbish at being neat, but I’ve been practising digital art for the past few years, and it’s definitely helped me hone my style and appreciate what my brain can come up with. Even better, I don’t have to clean up, which is a big pro! My ideas come to me at really random moments in the day, so I also have a notes section of ideas that I gradually delete as and when I orchestrate them.

• What about the future?

I’d love to earn a full-time living from my art. And maybe to have a couple of small shops to sell my stuff and that of other artists.

• Where can we find out more?

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