Octavia started to draw after she came back to live in Dorset from London after suffering from a severe mental health episode. Her illustration practice was completely self-taught and was a means to feeling better. Octavia then sought support through Culture+ to help her steer her work into a more professional route. She was keen to explore how she could develop a career from her passion and earn a living from it.
Octavia attended a 2-part programme called Brand Designs that encouraged local illustrators to think more like a business and learn how attract and retain new clients. The second part of the programme encouraged the illustrators to present themselves to invited guests who were local businesses with the aim of pitching for work and building new networks locally. The second part of the programme also encouraged local businesses to think about how branding can positively impact their business.
This workshop was instrumental in encouraging Octavia to make the decision to choose illustration as her main profession. She then went on to secure numerous commissions as well as being awarded a place as an Adobe Creative Resident in 2019; only 7 places were available to illustrators from across the world and she is the only resident representing the U.K this year.
“The feeling of empowerment I got from the workshop carried over into my work, any my work ethic. Since then I have worked on an International Women’s Day campaign with Coppafeel! and generally levelled up not only the number of clients I’m working with, but feel I’m working more where I want to be”
Octavia is now more confident in all ways, not only with her illustration work but she also regularly runs business development courses and talks for emerging creatives. She is also earning a good living solely through her illustration and has travelled to the United States, France and Germany with her work in the past year alone. She is now looking to set up her own additional business helping emerging creatives to improve their own business skillset.
Read more about Octavia on this interview we had with her