The AOI was established in 1973 to advance and protect illustrators rights and encourage professional standards. The AOI is a non-profit making trade association dedicated to its members professional interests and the promotion of illustration.
Experiment is the theme of Varoom issue 22, the Summer edition of the indispensable large formatillustration magazine published by AOI (free to members).
In Seven Thoughts on the Cult of the Sketchbook Jane Stanton writes that the point of the sketchbook is that it gives you permission not to come to conclusions. Bryony Quinn argues in "The New Wave Sci-Vi" that the power of the new scientific imagery is as a medium for greater understanding rather than understandings final destination.
Marian Bantjes turns the sterility of the scientific experiment into an object of beauty, while Laurie Britton-Newell and LigayaSalazar reflect on Memory Palace, the new V&A Museum illustration exhibition thats a Walk-In Book, What does it mean to read a story? How far can you push the format and still call something a book?
Varoom 22 also explores the moment in history when visual argument, and the rich use of illustration in the field of Alchemy, disappeared from the field of science. How can science, and our understanding of it benefit from using the image?
As in each issue, Varoom contributing editors experts from academia and the creative industries from fashion to graphic novels highlight significant new imagery and Stuart Kolakovic has created an exclusive image for the cover. Whats up in the Lab?
Varoom is available in good book stores and as single issues and subscriptions from the AOI online shop shop.theaoi.com/.
AOI Illustration Awards 2013
We are delighted to announce the Category Winners for the AOI Illustration Awards 2013. Each category has a Professional Winner and a New Talent Winner. Many thanks are due to our 24 judges for providing such lively discussions and careful adjudication in each category.
The category winning work and other shortlisted work will be featured in the Awards Exhibition at Somerset House from 2 - 27 October. The overall New Talent and Professional Award Winners will be selected from the category winners and announced at the Awards Ceremony at Somerset House on 8 October.
Tuesday 11 June, 6.30pm
The Foyles Gallery, Third Floor, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0EB
Varoom 22 tackles how we make Experiment part of our practice, and why clients need more of it. The launch at Foyles Bookshop in London features distinguished panellists from three very different areas of the industry discussing their encounters with experimental image making. Illustrator Katie Scott makes images inspired by the greats in scientific illo and explores whether scientific illustration should always be accurate and representational. In an exclusive preview of Memory Palace, a major new experimental Illustration show at the V&A, Curators Ligaya Salazar and Laurie Britton Newell explain how they used illustration to challenge our perception of sequence, time and location in the traditional exhibition space. onedotzero CEO and Creative Director Shane Walter demonstrates how digital platforms are providing new opportunities for illustrators to experiment with the moving image and why experiment works for clients.
The event will be chaired by Varoom editor, John OReilly.
Admission free, pre-booking required, please email
for further information.
This event, organised by the Association of Illustrators (AOI), is open to illustration students and working illustrators at different stages of their professional career as well as anyone with a lively curiosity about the industry.
Non Members £50
Students, AOI Members £40
Advanced booking is recommended as places are limited.
April at Somerset House saw the return of one of the most popular graphic arts festivals in the UK. The AOI were delighted to be part of this 11 day celebration of graphic art, design and illustration which featured original artworks and limited edition prints from both emerging and well known graphic artists, design galleries, collectives and publishers.
Each day of the festival featured an exciting and eclectic mix of family workshops, evening events and creative forums. Derek Brazell, Projects Manager and Matthew Shearer, Membership Coordinator for the AOI provided talks which explained the importance of copyright and accurately pricing and accepting commissions.
The AOI also delivered an event in partnership with Royal Mail which explored the commission of 30 stamps which celebrated the 2012 Olympic Games. Catharine Brandy, Design Manager, Stamps and Collectibles for Royal Mail, Art Director David Hillman and Illustrators Lara Harwood and Andrew Davidson provided an invaluable insight into the creative challenge of such a project. First Hand Collective were on hand to capture the event with live reportage drawing. You can find out more and see all of the fantastic imagery generated from the evening here.
Pick Me Up was a great opportunity for the AOI to raise awareness of what we do. It was great to meet both existing members and non members, provide advice, inspire and offer our expertise. Those lucky enough to attend were able to take advantage of discounts on publications like Varoom Magazine and each new member was treated to a copy of The Illustrators Guide to Law and Business Practise, the Holy Grail for any practising illustrator. For those members of who werent able to attend the event we will be posting a podcast of Matthews pricing talk in the members only section next month.
The Art of London 2012: Illustrating Royal Mails Sports Stamps
The AOI delivered an event at Pick Me Up graphic arts festival at Somerset House in partnership with Royal Mail, which explored the commission of 30 stamps that celebrated the 2012 Olympic Games. Catharine Brandy, Design Manager, Stamps and Collectibles for Royal Mail, Art Director David Hillman and Illustrators Lara Harwood and Andrew Davidson provided an invaluable insight into the creative challenge of such a project.
A range of topics were covered, including how illustrators were chosen for the commission, the challenges that both illustrators and the commissioners faced and how two illustrators with very different styles and techniques tackled such a challenging brief, discussing in detail the processes which allowed them to so successfully encapsulate a sport in such small scale.
First Hand Collective were on hand to capture the event with live reportage drawing. They generated some fantastic imagery and picked out just a few of the many gems of advice and thoughts that were shared that evening.
University of the Creative Arts is now hosting the AOI Images 36 exhibition
The winners of the prestigious Images 36 competition will be on show at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Maidstone this month. Following its London launch, the free exhibition will visit UCA Maidstone from 26 April to 24 May 2013 as part of its national tour.
Images 36: Best of British Illustratio presents the winning work of over 50 artists from the length and breadth of the UK who entered the AOI's annual flagship competition.
It features exciting new talent and established names such as Chris Haughton (Booktrust best new illustrator), Lizzie Mary Cullen (Design Week's 50 Hot people), Stephen Collins (Jonathan Cape/ Observer Graphic Short Story Prize, 2010), Steve May (shortlisted for British Animation Award, 2008) and Olaf Hajek (AA Directors Club, Europe Gold Award, 2003).
Jane Cradock-Watson, BA (Hons) Illustration course leader, said: "I am delighted that UCA is hosting the Association of Illustrators Images exhibition. It's a real opportunity for our students to be inspired by the best of British Illustration, as well as seeing an exciting variety of new and contemporary illustration work first-hand. For the course and the University, it's a great celebration of UCA Maidstone's long history and contribution to the development of British Illustration over the last 35 years."
UCA Maidstone has produced a string of famous artists and illustrators, including Tracey Emin, Tony Hart, Paul Blow, Geoff Grandfield, Russell Mills and Where's Wally? creator, Martin Handford.
Images 36 at UCA Maidstone runs from 26 April to 24 May 2013 and is open to the public weekdays 9.30am-5.30pm.
Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (ERR)
1 May 2013
The EER Bill completed its passage through parliament on 24 April 2013, and amongst a host of other new measures included within it the Government is pushing through ill thought out changes to copyright. This is information that all those making income from creative works should be aware of. The Government claimed that allowing use of Orphan Works and Extended Collective Licensing and the broadening of exceptions through this Bill would generate income to UK plc, even though their own assessments on the maximum benefits of the proposed changes have been reduced by up to 97% since the original - unsubstantiated claim of £26bn. A huge drop.
Copyright ownership of your work is the foundation on which illustrators base their income; it is the right to copy (reproduce) your artwork. Elements of this Bill will take this right and allow usage of certain works in certain situations. It doesnt mean a literal co-opting of your artworks, however it will mean that that works may be allowed to be used more broadly without your specific permission: