When It Comes to Food Illustrations, Tom Hovey Takes the Cake

Illustrator Tom Hovey describes himself as “the guy who draws all the cakes.” An apt description for The Great British Bake Off‘s official illustrator – a coveted job he’s kept since it’s inception in 2010. His 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.

But it all started by sort of mistake. “It’s a real case of being at the right place at the time right time,” he told Vulture. “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.”

After his editing job took off, Hovey shared with the directors and editors that 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,” he recalled. “I sketched a few examples, we decided on a style that fit the bill and I got the gig.”

Throughout the many seasons of the show, his creative style has stayed consisted, creating appetizing illustrations of the deserts at hand. “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,” explained Hovey. “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.”

Follow his tasty creations on Instagram:

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With Series 10 of GBBO starting today I thought I’d show how my illustrations have developed and changed over the past decade. Illustrations of Series 1-9 winners, @theboywhobakes @jowheatleybakes @john_whaite @frances_quinn @nancy.birtwhistle @nadiyajhussain @candicebrown @sophiefaldo @bakewithrahul 🍰❤️🍰❤️🍰❤️🍰 Series 10 of The Great British Bake Off starts today. Which means I’ve been producing the illustrations for 10 years! I moved to London in 2010, and got a job logging footage in the edit of the first episode. The editor (Simon Evans) & the director (@andydevo) decided there was a visual element missing from the show. Something to help the viewers understand what was hopefully being created. I got the gig and the rest is history! Me and my team have drawn well over 3,000 bakes to date. Bake Off has been a life changing opportunity for me, it’s been the hardest, longest, most challenging and brilliant project I’ve ever been a part of. I’m grateful every day for the break it’s given me into the industry. (Sorry in advance for the long-ass Oscar’s speech 😭) I’m thankful for all the producers, directors, food researchers, runners, loggers and every member of the LOVE Productions, production team that I’ve worked with over the past 10 series. Thank you to everyone that has watched the show and continues to watch. Thank you to everyone that has sent me messages of love and support of my work, you have all inspired me to keep going when it’s 5am and I still have 3 croquembouche to colour! Thank you to all the amazing bakers whose talents and creativity makes my brain melt every year, with what they can create with some, flour and eggs. Thank you to all the talented illustrators who’ve joined Studio Hovey since 2016. @casparwain, @alex_hovey_illustration, Sophie Ridley, @liam_callebout & @laurengoreart . Most of all thank you to my incredible long suffering wife Candy who has had to put up with missing anniversaries, date nights and spending many weekends and evenings alone because I’m drawing cakes. Candy has been my rock throughout, massive love forever! 🍰❤️🍰❤️🍰❤️🍰❤️ #GBBO @britishbakeoff #CAKE #illustration #tv ##gbbs @channel4 #food #tomhovey

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