This Artist Makes All The Illustrations For The Great British Baking Show

Illustrator Tom Hovey has a distinct, recognizable style that features bold, rhythmic lines, vibrant colors, and lots of organic detail.

As Hovey tells BBC, he had just moved to London when a friend helped the artist land a job working in editing on a new television show called "The Great British Bake Off" (now known in the U.S. as "The Great British Baking Show"). Hovey happened to be in the room during a discussion in which the director and editor expressed the desire to add an extra "visual element" to production — so he volunteered his skills, submitted a few examples, and the rest is basically serendipitous history.

According to Hovey's website, he has rendered upwards of 3000 animated illustrations of various baked goods for the reality show since "The Great British Baking Show" first aired in 2010. This includes his work on the show's multiple spin-offs, as well as several seasons of ABC's "The Great American Baking Show." The artist explained to BBC that it took several seasons to develop the specific look he felt best represents the baking masterpieces, and that he's continually striving to improve his craft. Hovey is also quick to emphasize that when contestants' results are, shall we say, less than masterpieces, his job is to show television viewers a depiction of how the bakers intended their submissions to look, as opposed to what might have actually occurred.

The beginning of each GBBO season is a scramble for Hovey

In an interview with BBC, Great British Bake Off illustrator Tom Hovey says that a single episode takes around a week for him to fully illustrate. He's much busier early in each season, as there are lots of contestants and, therefore, many more baked treats to draw. Hovey's load is lightened week by week as participants are gradually sent home.

As each episode is filmed, Hovey receives a pack of photographs documenting the baked treats he will render. The artist shared that he starts by making a series of quick pencil sketches to capture the general idea of what he'd like the illustration to look like, then returns to each individual image to flesh them out with ink. Once the drawings are finalized, they're scanned, then Hovey adds coloring and text digitally.

Hovey has been bringing pastries, breads, and cakes to life for over a decade (as seen here via Buzzfeed), but conceptualizing the incredibly creative results of hundreds of baking contestants was not what he expected to do with his career. The Guardian reports that the artist originally thought he'd be a political cartoonist — and that he isn't even terribly fond of sweets! Despite his preference for savory fare, Hovey expresses love and enthusiasm for his super-awesome job.