Survey of freelancers Creative Industries Federation

March 8th, 2017 by Special Projects

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.

Being freelance in the age of precarious labour – event

March 7th, 2017 by Special Projects

- a how-to evening on knowing your rights in the gig economy

Brockway Room at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL.

11 March, 5-9pm.

The National Union of Journalists London Freelance Branch presents an evening of informed debate on the headlong rush by employers towards making us all freelance – regardless of whether we want to be or not.

Speakers: Guy Standing (SOAS, ex International Labor Organisation); Professor Ursula Huws; Mags Dewhurst – chair of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain Couriers and Logistics Branch; Nicola Hawkins – an executive council member for young members in Equity; and John Toner – Freelance Organiser for the NUJ.

Booking is required, with a deposit that attendees get back after signing in. For more info see

Illustration: A Theoretical & Contextual Perspective – book review

March 7th, 2017 by Special Projects

2nd Edition

Written by Alan Male

Published by Bloomsbury Visual Arts ISBN: PB: 978-1-4742-6302-3

Reviewed by Karl Andy Foster


I am an Illustrator. I have been one for over 30 years. I was excited about reading this book, as I know of the author by reputation. It is quite dry and academic and the writing style doesn’t flow as well as it might. I persevered because my interest wasn’t diminished, although I do wonder if some undergraduate students of design might be intimidated by academic writing.

This book will be a challenge to the uninitiated and is probably more useful for post-graduate level study. It will also be useful for academics and practitioners of illustration. It explores the meaning of illustration through historical contexts and contemporary examples (many from tutors and alumni of Falmouth University) showing the vast array of topics tackled. This second edition includes an additional chapter that focuses on the inter-disciplinary nature of illustration practice and the potential for it to take the lead in the development of design. It is this that is the strength of Male’s argument.


For a book that is supposed to display the power behind visual media and the relevance of illustrated products the size afforded to some of the examples doesn’t really work. Poster sized illustrations shown at postage stamp size, why? Cartoon strips where you can’t read the speech bubbles, why? The layout of the book should allow the power of the illustrations to shine through, as many art books do. This problem is not exclusive to this book. That being said, the images are carefully and appropriately captioned to help the reader to appreciate the context for the work and the manner in which drawing is utilized to communicate value.


Alan Male states that illustration isn’t self-expression but self-expression does lie at the heart of visual curiosity. Illustration is a commercial enterprise that has managed to maintain its relevance and importance regardless of technological advances and changing social mores. The section on how illustrators collaborate with science is really engaging and points to several ways that the status of image-makers can be enhanced. As a Professor of the subject Male knows his onions and fully embraces the variety of construction methods and complex applications used by those of us who channel image as our choice of visual communication.


This book contains a broad range of approaches deemed as illustration and shows how this work impacts on the wider society. Though dry to read in places this book is rich in description, breadth and scope of this subject. It is clear that the illustrator is at the heart of the destiny of this profession not the industry. Alan Male advocates that illustrators should be consulted at the start of a commission and we are essential to the development of dynamic and significant work. We are most definitely not ‘colouring in technicians’.

You may also be interested in these book reviews:

Illustration: Meeting the Brief

Understanding Illustration

Becoming a Successful Illustrator

How to be an Illustrator

George Hardie – exhibition

March 7th, 2017 by Special Projects

11 March – 7 April, 2017

Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm (closed Sunday)

University of Brighton Gallery, Grand Parade, Brighton BN2 0JY

A free exhibition of the work of George Hardie, the artist behind some of the most iconic album covers of 20th Century.

George Hardie, Half Timbered Calendar Illustration, 1988

George Hardie, Half Timbered Calendar Illustration, 1988

Hardie, a graphic designer, illustrator and educator, trained at St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art and worked as a designer/illustrator for more than 40 years, making illustrations for clients around the world. He was the cover artist behind Led Zeppelin’s debut album Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.


George Hardie taught illustration at the University of Brighton from the early 1980s until his retirement in 2014. He continues with PhD students, having become Professor in 1990. He is International Secretary for the Alliance Graphique Internationale and a Royal Designer for Industry.

George Hardie, self portrait, 1973

George Hardie, self portrait, 1973

See our review of Understanding Illustration, which features George Hardie

The American Dream: pop to the present – exhibition

March 6th, 2017 by Special Projects

9 March – 18 June 2017,  Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery

The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG


Richard Estes, Grant's from the suite Urban Landscape 1, 1972. © Richard Estes.

The American Dream: pop to the present will explore the creativity of a medium that flourished through some of the most dynamic and turbulent years in US history and that accompanied a period when its wealth, power and cultural influence had never been greater.

The exhibition includes important loans from institutions such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC as well as works drawn from the British Museum’s extensive collection of prints. Using more than 200 works by 70 artists, the exhibition traces the creative momentum of American art over the past six decades – from the moment pop art burst onto the New York and West Coast scenes in the early 1960s, through the rise of minimalism, conceptual art and photorealism in the 1970s, to the practices of living artists working today.

For more information, click here.

The Coningsby Gallery – Henry Miller

March 3rd, 2017 by Special Projects

27th of February till the 11th of March

Coningsby Gallery, 30 Tottenham Street, London, W1T 4RJ

The exhibition will be open daily Monday to Saturday, 10am until 7pm. Closed Sunday 5th March.

Henry Miller Fine Art photographs prints

Edgar Holloway, self portrait

Henry Miller brings his collection of paintings, drawings, photography and prints to the Coningsby Gallery for the first time between 27th February and 11th March 2017. The collection includes works by Keith Vaughan, Glynn Warren Philpot, John Minton, Jean Cocteau, Pavel Tchelitchew, Augustus John and Noel Coward. Unbound by any particular time period or style, the collection is curated thematically around representations of the male form. The central theme enables the collection to display older pieces alongside more contemporary works, and in doing so, creates a stunning visual representation of the male form through the ages.

Unbound by any particular time period or style, the collection is curated thematically around representations of the male form. The central theme enables the collection to display older pieces alongside more contemporary works, and in doing so, creates a stunning visual representation of the male form through the ages. Particular works of interest include Dancing Men (Tanzende Männer), a lithograph by Erich Heckel from 1917, and an early self-portrait by Edgar Holloway, a self-taught artist, who created a series of self-portraits throughout his life. This work is particularly sensitive and captivating, and especially extraordinary as it was created when the artist was only 18.

Henry Miller is the founder of Henry Miller Fine Art, a gallery which ‘focusses on the male form’ and which is situated in a beautifully restored East London period home.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair EIF Illustrators’ Dinner party

March 3rd, 2017 by Special Projects


Bologna Children’s Book Fair

are pleased to invite you to the 6th Illustrators-only Dinner Party (Un)DRAW the LINE on Tuesday April 4th 2017 from 20:00 on at restaurant Golem cucina e dintorni, Piazza San Martino 3/B – 40126 Bologna Tel 051 262620

AOI MD, Ren Renwick, and Projects Manager, Derek Brazell will be attending.


Set price menu 20€ (first course, second course with side dish, dessert, water and coffee, drinks and wine excluded).

Vegetarian menu available (please mention it when you make your reservation).

Make your reservation at [email protected] as soon as possible.

Bring your markers, brushes, pens for the unmissable after-dinner creative activity.

Come and meet us at our stand! AI-EIF Pad.26, B88 Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2017

Drawn to Science – the AEIMS Congress

March 2nd, 2017 by Special Projects


Drawn to Science – the stories we tell Maastricht, Netherlands 17-18 March

Calling medical and scientific illustrators…. the 26th European Congress of the Association Européene des Illustrateurs Médicaux et Scientifiques (AEIMS) will be hosted by the Master Scientific Illustration (MSI) at Hogeschool Zuyd from 17 to 18 March 2017.

The program includes promising lectures and fun social events. Student scientific illustrators are encouraged to bring their portfolios and present their artwork during the portfolio discussions, as well as the breaks between activities.


More information here

World Illustration Awards Tour at Roe Valley

March 1st, 2017 by Special Projects

18 February –  18 March 2017, Roe Valley Art and Culture Centre
mon-wed: 9.30am-5pm | thurs-fri: 9.30am-9.30pm | sat: 9.30am-5pm
free admission


For the second year in a row, the World Illustration Awards touring exhibition has arrived in Northern Ireland and will be on display until 18 March 2017 at Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre.

The exhibition showcases over 50 of the very best artworks across the diverse field of illustration. Selected from submissions to this year’s World Illustration Awards, the breadth of work is celebrated across 8 categories, including advertising, children’s books, editorial and public art. The shortlisted and winning pieces comprise posters, book illustrations, animations and GIFs to sculptural pieces and textiles.


Roe Valley Arts & Culture Centre runs ArtySmarties and Illustrate! courses on Saturday mornings, using the exhibition as inspiration to create lots of fantastic artwork and stories themselves. Can’t wait for these budding artists to enter their work to the competition in 20 year’s time!


Photos courtesy of Roe Valley

Talk: Make your Mark – Tristan Manco on Street Art at LTM

February 27th, 2017 by Special Projects

Date: Thursday 2 March 2017
Tickets: £10 for adults and £8 for concessions
Time: 19:00 to 20:30

Join WIA2017 Site Specific category judge, author and designer Tristan Manco – who has collaborated on Banksy’s Dismaland Bemusement Park and his iconic album cover for Blur’s Think Tank, as well as Mexican Street Food restaurant Wahaca, and uncover the history of street art. Street. Urban. Public. There are many names for the art forms people find in public spaces. So what is street art and how is it defined? Manco will discuss the dichotomy between the commissioned and un-commissioned, as well as the creativity and community of this art form which responds to its environment and the people who exist and pass through it.