Six of the Best

April 16th, 2015 by Special Projects

‘Our selection of exciting illustrators’, as shown by the Illustration Cupboard

Exhibition open until 2 May 2015

Illustrationcupboard Gallery, 22 Bury Street, London, SW1Y 6AL

t: (+44) 207 796 1727

Opening times:
Monday to Friday 9:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday 11:00am – 5:00pm

The Illustration Cupboard currently presents an all-women exhibition of established and emerging illustrators, with works ranging from children’s books to reportage.

Participants include Anna Cattermole, Eva Montanari, Emily Sutton, Louise Yates, Helen Ward and AOI member Laura Carlin.

Anna Cattermole, published by Dovecote Press

Anna Cattermole

Eva Montanari

Eva Montanari

The display showcases original artworks from published children’s books. Examples include Monteneri’s recently released Pinocchio (Albury Books), Carlin’s A World of your Own (Phaidon Press) and Yates’ Dog Loves Books (Random House).

Laura Carlin

Laura Carlin

All artists’ exhibited work will be for sale throughout the duration of the event. These can be seen and purchased through the Illustration Cupboard’s website.

For more information, please visit

TAGallery Presents Stanley Chow

April 16th, 2015 by Special Projects

Exhibition open until 10 May 2015, 10:00am – 6:00pm

TAGallery, 235 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4EN

To mark the opening of Manchester’s newest art gallery, TAGallery are currently presenting an exhibition of work from the Mancunian artist Stanley Chow. The showcase consists of a selection of illustrations representing the City’s local landmarks, and the personalities of its most famous inhabitants.


Stanley Chow began his career within Manchester’s music scene as a DJ designing flyers for his gigs. As an artist, he is best known for his colourful and simplified geometric designs of locations and celebrity portraits. Chow now works internationally through design, editorial and advertising, working for clients such as McDonalds, the New Yorker and Ted Baker.


Based within ManchesterEscalator, TAGallery is a new exhibition space aiming to help young businesses flourish in the City, showcasing and selling new original artworks in affordable ways.

Challenged Children’s Books?

April 14th, 2015 by Special Projects

As Varoom does the last edits on our upcoming piece in Varoom 29 on Challenged Children’s Book, we hear this week that one of our featured books, And Tango Makes Three, is again riding high in the 2014 top 10 of frequently challenged or banned books in the USA. See LA Times article


And Tango Makes Three is the story of two male penguins who raise a chick at New York Zoo. Illustrator Henry Cole gives his views in Varoom 29, along side illustrators and writers of several other children’s books ‘challenged’.

‘A challenge is a formal written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.’ American Libraries Association

Varoom 29 is published at the end of April. Varoom is free to AOI members, and available to purchase at the AOI Shop.

Secret 7″

April 10th, 2015 by Special Projects

Terrace Room, South Wing, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Exhibition open until 4 May 2015, 10:00am – 6:00pm (last entry 5:15pm)

t: +44 (0)20 7845 4600


Secret 7″ returns for the fourth year, showcasing a selection of 700 designs responding to music by The Chemical Brothers, Rolling Stones, St Vincent and many more.

Contributors include established and emerging creatives such as Sir Peter Blake, Yoko Ono, David Shrigley, Sir Paul Smith, Modern Toss, Tatty Devine, Jean Jullien, Mr Bingo, Pure Evil and more, including many AOI members.

For the first time since its first appearance in 2012, the exhibition is currently hosted at the heart of Somerset House. It will run over three weeks, offering a wide range of events including workshops, talks and screenings, as well as the final sale of all exhibited album sleeves on the 4th of May. Each cover will be sold for £50 each, with all money going to Nordoff Robbins – a charity dedicated to aid vulnerable children and adults through music therapy-. All submissions are exhibited in fair anonymity until the final transaction takes place, where all creators will finally be revealed.


For more information about Secret 7″ visit their website at
To purchase tickets for any of their events, book through Somerset House.

Comica Festival – Pablo

April 7th, 2015 by Special Projects

Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie in conversation with Paul Gravett

Comica Conversation at the Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT

Wednesday April 15th, 7pm. This is a free event but you need to RSVP by sending an email to: [at]


SelfMadeHero publish Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie’s four-volume graphic biography of Picasso, entitled Pablo. Taking in Picasso’s early life among the bohemians of Montmartre and his turbulent relationship with his model and lover Fernande, the book shows how the artist’s style developed in response to his friendships and rivalries and follows the artist’s career from his origins in penury to the advent of modern art.

This event is co-hosted by COMICA Festival, the Institut Français, SelfMadeHero and the London Book and Screen Week.

Off Life isue 11 – review

April 7th, 2015 by Special Projects


Editor: Daniel Humphry Art Director: Steve Leard


The eleventh issue of Off Life is intriguingly eclectic, with cartoons critiquing consumerism (with chocolate covered rice cakes as the culprits), and the ‘war on terror’ transcribed to a war on magicians. There is a variety of different approaches from the contributors, and it’s encouraging to see unusual topics investigated in this form.


The individual comics are often untilted, taking the reader straight into the story with no preconceptions. Some are observational – such as a possible case of mistaken identity in a post office queue or reasons for shaving off a beard via the effect of inane radio DJ chatter. Others are a bit stranger, including one story tackling the moment before death.


There’s an interesting frankly-expressed interview with Ed Piskor, creator of Hip Hop Family Tree: “I’ve been gambling my whole life on comics being a respectable thing.” And Jack Teagle writes on illustrators being too liberal with their influences: “…it’s important… to set yourself apart from your peers”.


Off Life is available free of charge, and I can think of no reason why any lover of narrative art wouldn’t want to pick up a copy. Or read online.

Off Life are keen to feature new, up-and-coming creators and you can submit for their next issue here.

AOI office closed – Thursday 2 April

April 2nd, 2015 by Special Projects

Due to a major fire in the Holborn area, much of the surrounding London area is without power, including Somerset House where our office is situated.

As a result the building is shut down and there is no access to our office or telephones. Staff will try and respond to email where they can (if possible), and we thank you for your patience during this time.

We apologise if this causes any inconvenience, and will update as soon as we have any further news.

Please note AOI office will be closed over the Bank Holiday period.

AOI website

March 30th, 2015 by Special Projects

Tuesday 31 March

We are currently experiencing some issues with the AOI website, due to hacking, and some content is not viewable. We are sorry for any inconvinience this may cause, and are working to get the issue resolved.

If you’d like to join the AOI please go to this link to information in the AOI Shop.

Here you will find information on all the AOI Membership categories

AOI_RobertSae-HengIllustration by Robert Sae-Heng

The AOI Team

Mac Conner: A New York Life

March 30th, 2015 by Special Projects

The New York story of one of the original ‘Mad Men’

1 April to 28 Jun3 2015, 10:00am – 6:00pm

House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross London N1C 4BH

This show features 70 original works by McCauley ‘Mac’ Conner, one of the defining illustrators of America’s golden age of advertising, and is the first time the work of one of New York’s original ‘Mad Men’ has been the subject of a major exhibition in the UK.

Connor1The Man Between © Mac Conner

In the 1940s – 1960s, Conner’s captivating advertising and editorial illustrations graced the pages of major magazines and helped shape the image of postwar America. One of the influential group of commercial artists at the heart of Manhattan’s thriving advertising and publishing scene, Conner’s hand-painted illustrations capture the style and spirit of a pivotal era in American history.

Mac Conner: A New York Life will present Conner’s published work alongside reference photos and preliminary designs, a selection of fiction stories accompanied by illustrations from Conner and his contemporaries, advertising tearsheets for major clients such as Ford, United Airlines and AT&T, correspondence letters with editors and art directors and more – presenting a window on the dynamic world of the illustrators who created the look of a generation.

Connor_07-we-won-t-be-any-trouble-mac-conner-1953-courtesy-of-mcny-jpgWe Won’t Be Any Trouble © Mac Conner courtesy of the artist

April 1

House of Illustration has a Mad Men/Wild Women: Mac Conner gallery late – ‘a night of music, martinis and mid-20th century American glamour’ 1 Apr 2015, 6:00pm – 10:00pm

The Wind In The Willows

March 27th, 2015 by Special Projects

Illustration cupboard Gallery, 22 Bury Street, St. James’s, SW1Y 6AL

The Wind In The Willows9d957c01

Opening times Monday – Friday 9.30am until 6pm, Saturday 11am until 5pm

First published in 1999 by Walker Books, Inga Moore’s The Wind In The Willows artworks are on display.