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Hannah Jayne Lewin

Freelance Illustrator

What I do:

Hi, I’m Hannah, a freelance illustrator based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. I love drawing and creating fun characters to make people smile. My work has been used across a variety of areas from children’s publishing to wall murals, licensing designs, to window art. I’m happiest when I’m drawing and I’m always excited by my next creative challenge.

What steps I took to get where I am now:

My love of drawing led me to complete art GCSE and A level. I continued my studies by completing an Art Foundation course and then a degree in Graphic Communication and Illustration at Loughborough University. After graduating in 2018, I set up my own business as a freelance illustrator. Since then my work has been used across a range of areas. Between 2019 to 2021 I was a mentee on the Pathways into Children’s Publishing Programme, where I made more industry contacts and refined my skills within the children’s publishing market. It was during my time as a mentee on the Pathways Programme that I received my first large picture book publishing commissions. Since completing Pathways I have continued working on commissioned jobs and building my art licensing portfolio.

What creative opportunities I'm looking for:

I’d like to be considered for creative opportunities from publishers, businesses and organisations based both locally and further afield. I would be interested in working on more picture books and young fiction titles with publishers. I also love to write my own stories so one day I would love to see my author illustrator picture book Pedro the Pufferfish offered a book deal. I hope to develop my art licensing portfolio further and get more of my work and products into retailers. I have also previously painted a wall mural which was fantastic fun. I would love to paint some more murals and large scale artworks. I would love to paint some more window art too. My work is strongly character based and I really enjoy bringing a sense of fun and playfulness to a variety of products and places through my illustrations. I’m always excited by my next creative challenge, so whether you have a project in mind, or just want to chat through some ideas, it would be a pleasure to hear from you.

An unexpected thing about me:

At school, I won a competition to design a rollercoaster and I got to take my whole class to Alton Towers! This was one of my first successes in the world of art/design and it still makes me feel so happy that my design was chosen.

My proudest moment:

One of my proudest moments in my career was working with Scholastic on two picture books Somebody Crunched Colin, and Somebody Woke Wilson, written by Sarah Roberts. I illustrated both of these stories and its such a special feeling holding the printed book. It also brings me so much joy to see children enjoying the books. Working as an illustrator is a very competitive area to work in, so even the small jobs and little opportunities make me so happy and grateful to be able to do what I love.

My dream creative collaboration:

I would love to work with a large publisher on my author illustrator picture book Pedro the Pufferfish. It would be a wonderful opportunity to bring my story and artwork to the world in this way. I also hope that my story may go on to have merchandise and an animation made of it too! Also, as a young child I was very inspired by Disney theme parks so it’s still a big dream of mine to do some imagineering for Disney. It would be such an honour to work for a company that has inspired me so much!

What does Wakefield mean to me?
When I think of Wakefield I think of how down to earth and friendly the people are. There is a lovely sense of community, especially among the city’s creatives. So many local artists are hard working and ambitious and this in turn encourages me.
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