Ben Tallon has learned a thing or two in six years as a freelance illustrator and, later, art director. He's put those things into his first book, Champagne and Wax Crayons – which has its official launch tonight. A very personal tale of success built on a lot of graft, there's a brutal honesty about the highs and lows of freelance work that you don't get in most stories of creatives' lives - where successes are celebrated and failures brushed aside.

Instead, in the book, Ben wants to tell those in the early part of their career how to deal with both of those two imposters - and show through his own example how a genuine love for what you do can get you through the bad days and help you have more good ones.

I caught up with Ben to find out more about adding 'published author' to his list of accomplishments. You can buy Champagne and Wax Crayons here.

NB: Why were you compelled to write this book?

BT: "In 2011, after three years of full-time freelance illustrating, I hit a six-week spell without work. I felt quite bitter and very panicked and began ranting on a blog set up exclusively to let off literary steam. To my surprise, thanks to social media, I received kind feedback from fellow creatives - who had connected with my admittedly over-angry words.

"A couple of them had experience in editorial and suggested my writing style had a real identity and that it was refreshing to hear about this more personal side of things. I continued to write and any passing conversations revealed that the majority of creative professionals are dealing with all of these issues in their own completely personal manner, so I calmed it all down and started to refine the idea in book form."

>> Read on for the full interview, including why Ben ended up drawing David Beckham naked.

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