q. What was your journey into the arts?

I always had an interest in being creative at school and pursued art in college after my GCSE’s. I remember a tutor suggested to look into illustration and around the same time reading a novel by Colleen Hoover which further sparked my interest in visual communication.

The novel is based on spoken word poetry. At the beginning of each chapter there was a quote from the band, The Avett Brothers, I became inspired by them as artists in the form of music and their print making background. At HCA I was able to explore different printmaking and artistic techniques that strongly influenced my visual language as an illustrator.

HCA Graduate Talks - Lydia Hand 1

q. What’s more important to you, making money from art or creating for your own enjoyment?

A mixture of both. One day it would be nice to be making money from my illustration work. However, currently I am creating for my own enjoyment on projects I want to work on and matter to me, whilst adding to my portfolio. I am finding a good balance of setting myself small goals whilst working part-time.


q. Do you ever feel self conscious about putting your work out there, whether that’s social media or or exhibitions?

I do on social media. However, more recently my confidence is building and the best way to gain feedback is to share. I do enjoy exhibitions and hope to do more in the future and I am keen to collaborate with other artists.

HCA Graduate Talks - Lydia Hand 2

q. What was the most daunting thing about leaving university and what do you now miss?

Being in my third year in 2020, that in itself was daunting. HCA did make that situation in to a good experience and I was able to produce my major project in the summer of 2020 and have a one-year on degree show in June 2021. If it wasn’t for those 2 years (Covid years) I wouldn’t have explored/experimented with painting and punch needle embroidery.


q. Who would your dream commission come from?

To design and print an Avett Brother’s gig poster, they have been such a huge inspiration.


Learn more about the BA Illustration course here.