Hedof is the one-man creative studio of illustrator Rick Berkelmans. We chat with Rick about how living in a small city forced him to operate on a larger scale, the funny little zines & clubs he created as a kid, plus the skills he looks for in a graduate will give you the warm & fuzzies.

Any hilarious stories about you as a kid being creative?

Not in particular (haha), but as a kid I was always the one making things and coming up with ideas for me and my friends to do. I founded a nature club with our own zine, we had an underground headquarters with a chimney in it and made fires underground, which almost killed us haha. Later I started my own skateboard magazine with a friend, we did 5 issues on my dad's photocopier and supplied to all skate shops in the Netherlands. When I was in my late teens, I discovered graffiti, which really changed my perspectives of what is possible in showing your "designs" to a larger audience.

How does the local culture where you live affect your design work and getting clients?

As a homeowner and young dad, I am kind of stuck here in Breda, a small city in the south of the Netherlands, which isn't necessarily a bad thing because the city is nice and without too many distractions I can just focus on work other than going to parties, meetings, and events all the time. And of course, there is the internet. I think, especially since there are no local clients, I was forced to operate on a larger scale online, which has really helped to raise my profile on a global level. I now work with clients that want to work with me because they are a fan of my work, instead of bullshit local clients that want me to paint dolphins on their garage door because I am "that artist guy that lives down the road".

Design work by Hedof The Design Kids interviews Hedof work-2

Who are your top five design crushes globally right now?

Pfewwww, hard one, I am always thinking about this, and it changes by the day but let's see, in no particular order:

  • Owen Davey, those colours, the amount of work he is putting out there at such a high level. This guy is just incredible!

  • Grand Chamaco, I recently re-discovered his beautiful 3d work and it is giving me so much energy. Makes me want to learn Cinema 4D.

  • Janine Rewell, Her work is just amazing and so well put together. Super professional.

  • Mar Hernandez (Malota), so many cool characters and lovely textures, nice and weird with feelgood vibes.

  • Marie-Laure Cruschi (Cruschiform), this level of talent and attention to detail is insane.

What qualities and skills do you look for in a graduate?

I am looking for someone who is smart and wants to learn. Someone who knows about the design scene today and who works on finding his or her place in this scene through hard work, strategy, and planning. Someone who is a maker pur sang and has a go-getter mentality, but most of all, someone who is nice and has absolute fun in what he or she is doing.

Design work by Hedof The Design Kids interviews Hedof work-4
Design work by Hedof The Design Kids interviews Hedof work-4

Be excited about your own work and others will be too

Whats the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Stop being so fucking shy and go for it.

What advice would you give students graduating in 2018/19?

Be excited about your own work and others will be too. Without excitement, work looks boring, no matter how well designed. So find something that you enjoy and start close to your personal interests so it will be fun to work on. Try to learn as much as possible by reading, listening, watching and meeting others, and create your own personal story.

Design work by Hedof The Design Kids interviews Hedof work-6
Design work by Hedof The Design Kids interviews Hedof work-6

Where to find Hedof online.

Website: www.hedof.com

Instagram: @hedof

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