Archive for March, 2012

Pro-Action introduction event

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The Pro-Action group held an Introduction to Pro-Action campaigning on the evening of Wednesday 28 March at Finers Stephens Innocent LLP, 179 Great Portland Street, London


Pro-Action – visual artists in business, are a group working to protect artists’ rights in the commercial world, campaigning to established better terms for visual creators and promote professional practice. The petition to support our activites has been a great success, garnering over 1300 signatures so far.

All signatories were invited, along with representatives from the organisations which make up Pro-Action (Association of Illustrators, Association of Photographers, Society of Artists’ Agents and Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation), and other organisations such as AIR and the Royal Photographers Society.


Pro-Action Chair, Robert Lands of Finers Stephens Innocent law firm introduced the group and its aims, and committee member and AOI chairman, Andrew Coningsby, covered some of the cases the group has taken on and expanded on what the group are doing to improve the position of visual artists, including putting submissions to government on copyright consultations.

Illustrator, Tim Ellis, confirmed the positive aspect of organisations’ protecting the rights of visual artists and how he’d benefitted from them. Pro-Action members then talked with attendees over drinks and nibbles supplied by FSI, answering questions and describing ways that they could support the group’s aims.


Pro-Action Goals

We ask that all contracts for the commissioning of visual artists (illustrators, photographers, cartoonists, fine artists etc) be:

•In plain English;

•Fair and reasonable;

•Agreed with the artist before work starts.

We ask for an end to indiscriminate “rights grabs” (copyright assignments or very broad exclusive licences). In most cases a licence for specific uses will be sufficient.

We ask that the moral rights of visual artists are respected. In particular, they should not be asked to waive their right to receive an attribution (or credit) for their work or the right to object to derogatory treatment of their work.

We ask that fees paid to visual artists reflect their investment of skill and labour, the use of the work and the scope of rights obtained.


Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

AOI member Di Lorriman reflects on diversity in illustration

I always find it a joy to go into the children’s section of any library (whilst libraries are still here!) and take immense pleasure in looking at the illustrations in books; flipping through pages, enjoying the artistic talents of others – and looking for diversity within the characters.

So few books feature diverse characters that, for me, it is a fun challenge to seek them out. There are of course a few gems:

Jane Ray has again illustrated inclusion beautifully in Moonbird by Joyce Dunbar.

Quentin Blake’s ‘Larger than Life’ illustrations for the Vincent Square Clinic for people with eating disorders are positive and optimistic.

Annie Kubler consistently features disabled children in her signing and nursery rhyme books for Child’s Play.

And look out for the projects of Alexandra Strick and Beth Cox who are working together to make children’s books more inclusive and accessible.

Fortunately there is a movement encouraging more diverse illustration, and I am pleased to say I was on the steering panel of Scope’s In The Picture campaign.

During the last three years I have illustrated a series of children’s historical cartoons for a Leicestershire Museum; a pictorial timeline of A2 posters recording the Iron Age through to the present day.


You can see the cartoons in Ashby-de-la-Zouch museum in North Street, Ashby LE65 1HU (telephone 01530 560090) Wherever possible, and in a casual and incidental way, I have tried to reflect the diverse society in which we live, in the past as much as the present day; my aim is to try and break down any barriers to inequality.

In addition to illustrating children and adults with learning difficulties, I have also included a few characters using British Sign Language. I agree that a line of Victorian children would most likely  not have finger spelled ‘jubilee’ in 1887, but how inspiring for the next young signing museum visitor when they recognise a skill they use in a character from the past  and how thought provoking for all museum visitors.


Illustrations by Di Lorriman

The Scope website contains lots of helpful advice and information  to help illustrators, so do look it up and have a go. It is great to see that inclusion and diversity are being thought about and acted upon by more and more illustrators.

You could be one of them.

Pick Me Up 2012 preview night

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Pick Me Up 2012 is the UK’s only contemporary graphic art fair. The preview night was a who’s-who in the world of illustration, so naturally The AOI were there.


The fair showcases the best in contemporary UK and worldwide graphic art. Much of the work is for sale as original artworks, limited edition prints, hand-made cards and books.


Throughout the 11 days of the show there are daily workshops, live projects and talks with a host of different graphic art, design and illustration talent.



Varoom editor and Pick Me Up judge John O’Reilly, helped to select the Pick Me Up Selects: a selction of 20 of the best rising international graphic artists.


Pick Me Up runs from 22 March – 1 April 2012 and is open 11am-8pm with a late night opening until 10pm on Thursdays. Find out more about Pick Me Up here.

SCBWI Norwich social

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Report by Izzy Wingham

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), hold social events where published and unpublished writers and illustrators bring their work for a day of critique, workshops and networking.

This particular event was held in Norwich’s Playhouse on February 25th, hosted by SCBWI members Joyce Taylor and illustrator John Shelley, where two workshops were held simultaneously; one being for writers who worked with Gemma Cooper, a literary agent at The Bright Agency, and the other for illustrators, working with Amanda Addison a tutor from Norwich City College. Later on we then formed groups with writer/illustrator to collaborate with one another.

The event was thoroughly enjoyable, a good opportunity to receive valuable feedback from other writers and illustrators and a great chance to network with others in the industry, in a creative environment.


Members at the event


Transmission LCC show

Thursday, March 8th, 2012


2ND YEAR Illustration show

15-16 March

10 Bermondsey Street

Join 2nd year illustration students for their Work in Progress exhibition. Titled ‘Transmission’ the exhibition will showcase a vast array of outcomes inspired by the theme ‘Electricity’.

The private view will take place at 6pm to 9pm on Thursday March 15th. Located at 10 Bermondsey Street, a new gallery space located 5 minutes from London Bridge station.



Thursday, March 1st, 2012

They Shot Him Down by Gold award winner Robert Hodgson, BA Illustration, University of Plymouth

The Gallery, Plymouth College of Art, hosts Images 35: Best of Illustration 2011, the longest-running illustration exhibition and annual in the UK.


On display is a selection of 90 artworks showcasing the talents of illustrators who have made a significant contribution to their industry over the last year.  The exhibition features luminaries in the field such as Ian Pollock, Simon Spilsbury and David Hughes and includes work by new talent that is driving future trends.

The exhibition will run from 5th of March till 13th of April 2012

click here for further information