Tom Hovey has landed the ultimate dream job for both foodies and illustrators. The Welsh Illustrator based in Bristol, is best known for his illustrated graphics for The Great British Bake Off – a job he’s kept since it’s inception in 2010.
His creative style is overall consistent throughout the many seasons of the show, with his food illustrations evoking a sense of nostalgia. “The concept was to create drawings based on what the bakers may have sketched out when deciding what to bake in the show in their own recipe sketchbook,” said Hovey in an interview with Vulture. “The style has grown with the show and I think as the contestants’ skills have improved year on year, so have mine, and in turn my ability to display their creations in the best light.”
The result are very appealing and scrumptious – something you’d definitely want to take a bite of (or two). But like most things in life, landing this coveted job was by mere chance. “It’s a real case of being at the right place at the time right time,” he says. “My best mate worked in television and suggested that I apply for a job in ‘the edit’ at this new cookery show. With no TV experience or idea about how edits worked, I blagged my way in and started two days later.”
But after beginning his editing job, Hovey shared with the directors and editors his passion was actually illustration. “It led to the director coming to me in the second week saying that he felt there was a visual element missing and maybe I could come up with some ideas,” Hovey recalled. “I sketched a few examples, we decided on a style that fit the bill and I got the gig.”
Today, Hovey’s multi-disciplinary approach has seen him apply his unique style across a broad spectrum of genres including TV graphics, food illustration, editorial, book illustration, storyboarding, animation, apparel design, and even murals. Here are some of our favorite creations by him.