Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Illustration in the USA – Workbook

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017


The AOI spoke to Workbook about what it takes for illustrators to reach art directors in the USA. As we know the markets are larger, projects are numerous, the budgets more generous and commissioners are searching for talent globally.

Workbook gave us their five essentials to get commissions from USA art directors:

1 Build a relationship by reaching out. Art Directors like discovering new talent. Make it easy for them by being on the right websites.

2 Establish your talent with visibility. Promoting yourself once is not enough. Let people know when you’ve updated your portfolio or created new artwork.

3 Customize your correspondences. Match your imagery with what the art director needs.

4 Work with local partners to help establish your brand in new territories.

5 Persevere! Always follow up.  Keep going! can help.

Workbook is one of the leading marketing portfolio sites in the USA.

AOI has negotiated great rates for illustrators – find out more by contacting Bob Pastore at [email protected]

Moving Kate – Exhibition

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

20th February – 20th April 2017

Show Studio 22D Ebury Street Belgravia, London, SW1W 0LU

Monday to Friday 10.30am – 6:00pm

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 13.57.54

Kate Moss’ collaborations with Nick Knight and SHOWstudio are celebrated at this show. Films from SHOWstudio’s first year, 2000, are on display alongside more contemporary projects with Knight, showcasing Moss’ ability to surprise and transform before the camera. To celebrate her ‘magnetism on the runway’, as well as on the screen, thirty of the world’s best fashion illustrators rendered looks hand selected by Kate Moss as being the most iconic catwalk looks of her career.

Elephant On The Moon – book review

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Written and illustrated by Mikołaj Pasiński and Gosia Herba

Published by Centrala ISBN: 978-0-9933951-2-3

Review by Allie Oldfield


Limited colour palettes have become quite a favourable design quirk in children’s publishing over recent years, simple yet striking, choosing only a few colours can lead the eye around the page and bring certain elements to attention. Elephant On The Moon by Gosia Herba and Mikołaj Pasiński offers a bold, contemporary cover that uses a few colours to intrigue and catch the eye. The strange connection between a girl in red star-filled glasses and an elephant on the moon baited my curiosity, proving it’s effectiveness as a cover.


The story begins with an astronomer (specifically named a ‘lady astronomer’, which I found a tad unnecessary to differentiate) who has an intense fascination with the moon. This then leads her to discover an elephant that has made the moon its home, and her struggle to convince her peers of its existence proves nigh impossible until she devises a plan. The illustrations by Herba have a cubist influence to them that complements the limited colours, and the compositions of the illustrations themselves are well designed to lead the eye across the page. The design duo utilise negative space frequently to enhance the impact of the illustrations, and this in turn works well with the text which is always thoughtfully placed.


Herba also displays a skill at portraying diverse and intriguing characters, which make the busy crowd scenes in the book a lot more engaging. However there are elements of the story that are left unexplained and I think children will struggle with finding the intent or moral to this story, which is a shame as the illustrations are so carefully thought out.


Overall I think Elephant on the Moon is a charming story filled with striking, contemporary illustrations that will grab your attention but may leave some feeling puzzled by the content. Nevertheless I’m looking forward to seeing what this duo will come up with next.

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Future Shock: 40 Years of 2000 AD – Exhibition

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Until 23 April 2017, 10:30am – 5:30pm

The Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London, WC1A 2HH, Tel: 0207 580 8155


Strontium Dog Artwork by Carlos Ezquerra. Starlord No.1. - 13 May 1978 © REBELLION A/S, ALL RIGHTS

Launched in February 1977, few could have foreseen that the weekly science fiction comic 2000 AD would outlive its own title, but iconic characters such as futuristic lawman Judge Dredd, mutant bounty hunter Strontium Dog, infantryman Rogue Trooper and 50th-century everywoman Halo Jones have ensured ongoing critical and commercial success. Ostensibly produced by its extraterrestrial editor ‘Tharg’ and an army of script and art droids, 2000 AD was the brainchild of writers Pat Mills and John Wagner, who were eventually joined by fledgling writers Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Mark Millar and Grant Morrison, among many others, who provided shocking, surprising and satirical scripts for an ever-evolving stable of freelance artists.

Among the many artists featured in the exhibition are Dave Gibbons, Brian Bolland, Mike McMahon, Ian Gibson, Henry Flint, David Roach, award-winning fine artist Simon Davis, and the originator of Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog, Carlos Ezquerra. Alongside 2000 AD’s longer-lived characters, we have pages of gone but not forgotten strips such as Flesh, M.A.C.H.1, The Visible Man, and the 1970s reinvention of Dan Dare. More so than any other British comic, 2000 AD has been influential on the media world within and beyond these shores. Many of its artists and writers have also worked for the biggest comic publishers in the US.

There have been two blockbuster movies featuring Judge Dredd; big-budget fan-made films are viewable online; and parent company Rebellion produce best-selling computer games based on characters past and present. There is also a thriving market in the sale of original artwork, and this exhibition features pages generously loaned by artists and collectors, as well as material acquired by the Cartoon Museum’s Comic Creators Project with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

…VS David Bowie – Exhibition

Friday, March 17th, 2017

11th Feburary – 5th April

The Barnsley Civic Open Monday – Saturday 10am-5pm

Free Admission


Over recent years, what was once considered a passing trend, has now become a staple of bookstore shelves and giftshops up and down the country. Adult colouring books have been touted as both a stressed buster and a means to reach your inner creative. One of the artists that was credited as helping to kick-start the adult colouring book boom was Barnsley born artist, designer and illustrator Mel Elliott and her much loved brand I Love Mel.

Elliott’s book, Colour Me Good: Ryan Gosling, went viral at the height of the actor’s “Hey Girl” meme-phase and always on-trend, she has since published pop culture-inspired colouring books dedicated to Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, Taylor Swift, iconic album covers, redheaded male celebrities, and ‘girl crushes’. Perhaps her most popular title is The David Bowie Colouring Book, which in the last year has been picked up and republished by Quercus Books.

…Vs David Bowie is an exhibition that deconstructs exactly what a colouring book is. Here, a long roll-call of local artists of varying disciplines, decorate, ink, collage, embroider and digitally manipulate their way through the pages of The David Bowie Colouring Book, while at the same time paying homage to one of the greatest icons of Music, Fashion and Pop Culture and the colourful career that he had.

As well as Mel Elliott, …Vs David Bowie features the work of Lynne Barker, Mark Evans, Fabric Lenny, Gallons of Ink, Roseanna Hanson, Rachel Hufton, Hannah Elizabeth Jones, Julie Newton, Painty Face, AW Parker, Gemma Raynor, Caroline Reed, Lisa V Robinson, Samantha Stewart, Jamie Walman and Louise Wright.

For more information and to book visit or call the Box Office on 01226 327000.

Marking Domains one-day illustration conference

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Friday 7th April 2017, 11.15 – 17.00.

Cinema 1, Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

General admission tickets are £10 and are available through Eventbrite.

Marking Domains is a one-day conference that explores illustration and narrative art as domain. Examining the contrasting places they are encountered, from the traditional use and location of illustration in print to its new expanded developments beyond the page. Fast developing into a discipline capable of occupying positions once assumed the domain of other practices in art and design, illustration is rarely discussed as a visual form of cultural and social significance. In this conference we will specifically be contrasting illustration in the internal, domestic place of home with the external, public space of the street.


Speakers include Geoff Grandfield, Mireille Fauchon, Graham Rawle, Lotte Crawford, Olivia Ahmad, Paddy Molloy, Robert Sollis and Tom Kelly of the Bogside Artists will deliver a Keynote presentation.

This conference has been organised by the Department of Illustration Animation, Kingston University

For further information please contact Paddy Molloy at [email protected]

The Yellow Monkey Emperor’s Classic of Chinese Medicine – book review

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Written by Damo Mitchell and illustrated by Spencer Hill

Illustrated by Spencer Hill

Published by Singing Dragon, Jessica Kingsley Publishers ISBN: 9781848192867

Review by Rachel Morris


An array of animals – comically illustrated – guide you through 78 syndromes of Chinese medicine. As you travel through mountains, cross gorges and traverse deserts, wise animal sages diagnose sickly creatures. A horse with a chest as tight as a bear’s embrace, a rat with urine darker than soy sauce!


It’s a fabulous text book. If you’re a student who learns through visual cues, this is the Chinese Medicine book for you. The graphic novel, comic strip style, travel story is punctuated by diagrams summarizing the main symptoms of each problem, so it’s easy to navigate through the book.


The style of writing and even the type used are informal. Damo Mitchell shares his deep knowledge of the disturbances and illnesses that can affect the body, or Zang Fu, as they are understood in Chinese medicine. Spencer Hill has brought the content to life with his witty, lively illustrations.


There are Daoist jokes peppered through the book, so the information packed pages are nicely balanced. More text books should be put together like this. Perhaps this approach to learning would be exactly the way to engage visual learners in all sorts of subjects.

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Pictoplasma / AOI competition

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Our generous friends at Pictoplasma have given us 2 tickets to give away for their amazing International Conference and Festival of Contemporary Character Design and Art in Berlin this May.

This is a fantastic opportunity to attend the acclaimed festival and all you have to do is tell us which of the Pictoplasma speakers you’d be most excited to see. Go here to give us your answer

Saschka Unseld

Saschka Unseld

UWExiteers Brexhibition

Friday, March 10th, 2017

A small group of Level 3 Illustration students from the University of the West of England Bristol have been making work in response to the EU Referendum and Brexit  in collaboration with the digital comics journalism portal ‘Graphic News’ In Bologna Italy.


Each individual  project is intended to be viewed on line as  a digital interactive factual news based narrative. The students are also involved in an on-going intervention,  a ‘Brexhibition’ in the F block Gallery at UWE Bower Ashton until Friday 10th March, creating a thirty foot long full body portrait of Boris and Farage.

Elena Hatward

Elena Hatward

Senior lecturer in Illustration, Gary Embury adds, “Art Spiegelman said ‘When governments go bad, Art gets good.’ In the wake of a very good but pessimistic Policy and Politics Lecture this week at Bristol University by Will Self on the end of Champagne Socialism, it seems the only thing to look forward to is possibly good Art.”

Harry Sussams

Harry Sussams

Survey of freelancers Creative Industries Federation

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Help make sure the voice of freelance illustrators is heard. The Creative Industries Federation is running a survey of freelancers, saying, “self-employed creatives – freelancers, consultants, entrepreneurs, sole-traders – make a crucial contribution to the creative economy but are misunderstood and overlooked in policy-making.

This survey is intended to gather information about these individuals to better inform policy-makers of their needs and the way they contribute to the economy.”

It’s a basic income and attitude survey and can be found here.

Survey 1 – questions for freelancers and the self-employed – mapping the creative freelance workforce

A few notes for illustrators completing the survey:

Q4. If you are not a member of the Creative Industries Federation, please state the name of the Federation member who sent you this survey.

AOI is not a member of the Federation but our fellow association the Society of Authors are, and they have said we can put their name here.

Q5. How do you describe yourself – e.g. consultant, freelance photographer, writer, director, producer, designer?

This should be Illustrator or Freelance Illustrator

Q6. Which creative sector(s) do you work in? Please indicate your primary sector(s).

You should add ‘Illustration’ as your creative sector to the ‘Other (please specify)’ box for this question.

Thank you for taking part.