Olly Howe: Lessons of resilience


Olly Howe artist

When we face challenging times it’s important to see the bigger picture and keep focusing on the long term goal and vision. Like many artists, Olly Howe has gone through very challenging times and had to build his resilience. In his early days, Olly was working as a designer and illustrator, but his goal was always to become fully freelance. It took him six years to get to that points of spending a lot of those years working 9 to 5, then coming home and working on freelance jobs until the early hours.

It was a juggle but it was worth it in the end. He kept improving his skills and working on his style of work. These initial years were crucial in building the foundations. He was tested physically and mentally, working for delusional clients, which was not only suppressing his creativity but also very frustrating at times.

Having a drive

He said: “It’s taken me 16 years to become a full-time artist and my career has had a lot of highs and lows. At points, I almost completely stopped making any kind of art and just concentrated on “work” but the inspiration never died and always brought me back to making my own artwork that was free from client restraints. Having a good portfolio is great, but there also has to be that desire and drive to succeed and most importantly to push you through those time when the dream doesn’t see worth chasing.”

Keep being inspired

Inspiration can be a great motivator. Whether it’s someone you admire or you find motivation through quotes, books, podcasts, movies or creativity outside your industry, actively seeking out inspiration and acknowledging it can help you get out of your low moods quickly. Such positive influences on your mind can expand your knowledge and trigger experimentation in your own style of work.

Acknowledge your skills

Value your own journey and what you know. Acknowledge your skill set and apply it into the way you promote yourself. No one else has exactly the same mix of skills, techniques or experiences. Now it’s time to communicate what you know, how you approach each body of work and the inspiration behind it.

Olly said: “Each piece is its own entity, there’s always an initial spark of inspiration that will kick off a new one, but I usually don’t know how it will end up looking when I start. That’s the exciting part for me, experimenting with different elements and compositions until something clicks. That process can take a few hours or a few weeks, it’s not unusual for me to have five different versions of something going at the same time, eventually amalgamating them into a final piece.”

For more stories like this, purchase a copy of ESTILA Vol 10 issue – featuring creative men in the lifestyle, interiors and art industries, sharing their journeys of success as well as overcoming challenging times.

Olly Howe details:

Olly Howe website: ollyhowe.com

Follow Olly’s story on Instagram @ollyhowe

ESTILA Vol 10 issue



Fancy a launch discount?

Sign up and receive 50% off once we launch.