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Debut Book: Champagne and Wax Crayons by Ben Tallon

Riding the Madness of the Creative Indutsries: A savvy, hilarious and original guide to navigating the ups and downs of a creative career.

"A funny and informative guidebook for anyone who’s thinking of trying to break into the creative industries, and a highly evocative reminder for anyone who’s forgotten what it felt like to go through."

This is the story of Illustrator and art director Ben Tallon’s journey from his childhood hobby of drawing, to a freelance career working with the world’s most glamorous clients in illustration, graphic design, music, film and television.

Detailing highs of securing dream client World Wrestling Entertainment and lows of unconventional methods of paying the tax bill, this humorous, brutally honest documentation of navigating the art world alone and breaking into new markets introduces the real side of the creative industry and what you need to do to make your way to the top.

The creative industry is built on opinion, ideas and ever-changing trends. Individuality is everything and how each person responds to adversity, triumph and disaster especially in the freelance world is impossible to teach or understand.

This original and engaging book contains savvy advice from someone who has survived the unpredictable and often surreal world of the creative industry.

Ben Tallon also designed and illustrated a CD cover for our Soundbytes CD 2012 which can be found at the bottom of this page.

‘Very insightful and entertaining. Some great anecdotes. The author paints an excellent picture of being a creative in the real world once you have graduated’

About the author

Ben Tallon is an internationally renowned Illustrator, artist and art director in film, music and TV. He works with clients including WWE, Channel 4, The Guardian, Russell Brand, Unicef, Manchester United and The Wall Street Journal.

To find out more about Ben and the book, click here.

To see more of Ben's work, click here.

To buy the book, click here.

Ben's business page:

Twitter: @bentallon


‘Ben Tallon pulls off the feat of bringing his story to life in vivid and engaging detail.
The endless brush-offs, the terminal lack of cash, the excruciating and crushing cold calls, the impassable brick wall between you and the elusive business you want to break into, and the surreal and random nature of working in media and the folks who live in that world.
Aside from his obvious talents as a creative, it’s clear when reading, that he had to call into play all of his natural tenacity and sense of humour (both of which Ben has in spades) just to stay on board the emotional roller coaster where others would have come flying off. ’


‘The author’s spontaneity, mayhem wit and enthusiasm shine through the manuscript - but the core of the book is one of very useful lessons for making it as a creative freelancer.
I’ve heard, and my students have been enraptured by so many of Ben’s stories over the past few years - Maybe I shouldn’t confess this, but when he’s not in attendance, I often find myself repeating them to my illustration students.
I know the rest of what he has to say will be wild, crazy... and eminently good advice!’