The AOI is absolutely the best trade organisation I've ever been part of. Actual experts, giving actual quality advice as many times as you need it. Amazing.
I found out about the AOI via my last-minute entry into the World Illustration Awards, which I entered mostly because I was still basking in the happiness of having just finished my latest illustrated book. Months later, I was informed of my win in the Books/New Talent category for the book (which was later joined by the overall New Talent win). I believe these awards have set me on a path towards achieving my illustration goals, and having my work recognized by the AOI is a first step in what I hope to be a long, colourful career.
I joined the AOI straight after graduating and they provided a very speedy answer to any enquiries I had. I find their help with pricing so helpful as it's difficult to know where to start when working out a specific quote. Since being a winner of the AOI World Illustration Awards 2015, I've had great exposure and am very proud to be part of the touring exhibition as well as being asked to give a lecture to university students about my winning work.
I’m not sure how I would have survived without the AOI - They’ve always been on the end of the line in a crisis and equally have been there to celebrate my successes – and to cap it all, through their recent publicity of my work on social media I have just secured a prime job.
My experience of AOI was zero when I was told to check them out to help with my portfolio. So I took a gander at the website and it seemed to have everything I needed. Since then the help and communication has been great. The information is there when I need it.
Joining the Association of illustrators has to be one of the best decisions I made while I have been progressing within the world of Illustration. They have been an invaluable resource when seeking advice and have been wonderful when having to find support when faced with particularly difficult enquiries and clients. I cannot recommend them enough!
In a job where you’re largely ‘on your own’, the AOI is a great support. I found membership particularly useful when I first began looking for work, and have continued to seek their advice on pricing in more recent years. I value the AOI not only for the support its offered me personally, but also for its work establishing and protecting the rights of the illustration community at large.
I am so glad I decided to join the AOI. I hadn’t been a member for long before my first commission came in, thanks to the online portfolio. And to be approached by the Barbican to produce their first ever film trailer and the supporting campaign was amazing. I had however, already decided that my membership fee was worth every penny thanks to the invaluable price guide which helps me to quote on projects with greater confidence.
When I first started out in this industry one of the first pieces of advice I received was to join the AOI. I followed this and have been a member ever since.
I organized a portfolio review with one of the AOI's helpful and friendly experts, which helped me to gain direction in my work, find sources of inspiration and obtain new work opportunities. More recently I requested advice on pricing my first full book, a bigger project than I had undertaken before, and this gave me the confidence of knowing what I should hope to achieve for this job.
I wouldn't hesitate to pass on the same advice I received by encouraging illustrators to join the AOI.
It’s great having the AOI as back up! Their pricing advice is an invaluable tool, especially when a client wants something out of the ordinary. It’s also a great resource when faced with legal issues, or with clients who don’t know how to behave themselves. When I speak to friends who work in other disciplines of design, they are always jealous of the AOI.
The AOI is a beacon of guiding light in the dark and treacherous ocean of illustration ignorance and random pricing. I’ve been a member of the AOI since starting Shotopop and they’ve been invaluable on numerous occasions, helping out with advice and insight whenever I need it. These lighthouse keepers are deeply in tune with the industry and know how to navigate it.
Having a portfolio review with Fig Taylor at the AOI was the most honest conversation I'd had about my portfolio in years. It put me back on my feet with a clear set of goals and a strong direction again. When you've been out of college as I have for a number of years and very few of the people you know anymore are artists, then it is so useful to be a part of the AOI as it's such an invaluable life line for a practicing illustrator.
No matter what level in your career you are at, as an Illustrator, I have found being a part of the AOI has helped me hugely. They are especially helpful without an agent, as you don't feel so alone in the field. The support and value of your work they give is essential. They have helped me with my recent live drawing events with Carven and Hobbs and my first commission for Rock Rose Gin packaging, both of which have been a huge success.
Aside from the practical advice, it is also great to gain a sense of perspective about my career in the now
I have found the AOI to be a kind, encouraging, knowledgable and efficient bunch of people. They are an essential resource and support for any illustrator starting out.
The AOI's pricing advice is probably the most crucially useful illustrators' resource out there (for me at least) - it's fast, clear, accurate, and is worth the membership fee alone. But the AOI have every base covered - their portfolios site is a great way to find work (as well as have a nose through that of other illustrators), their contact directories are super handy, the website's full of useful resources and the Varoom magazine is a wonderful bonus that drops through the letterbox to much cheer and excitement. And I haven't even mentioned their Awards, books, events, exhibitions, competitions, campaigning, etc... Their ace team really know their onions and the information they impart is gold dust for any illustrator, plus just knowing there's an organisation out there who's got your back at all times is such a huge boost in this occasionally fraught freelance world.
I don’t know what I’d do without the AOI! They are always ready to offer pricing and contract advice and have recently helped me successfully negotiate with an international company over a breach of my copyright. Through their professional and friendly advice they have made themselves indispensable.
Joining the AOI is well worth it - they are quick to respond and very helpful with pricing/contract/license queries.
From having work exhibited as part of AOI Images in my second year as a freelancer in 2008, through to the pricing and licensing advice I was given just this week, the AOI has been indispensable in helping me build a career in illustration, and confidence in what I do. When I first became a member I had very little training or knowledge of the industry, and I would have really struggled to navigate self-employment as an illustrator without their various guides, directories, portfolio consultations and channels of support. I can't recommend them enough.
I've been a member of the AOI since I first started out as an illustrator, joining after I had my first tricky contract to negotiate. Over the past 6 years or so they've provided priceless support and I've been to lots of their useful events on issues such as licensing, copyright issues, and business masterclasses. For me, the most valuable part is their pricing advice which I still use regularly and I'm sure this has paid for the membership fee many times over!
Being a part of the AOI awards has been a very uplifting experience. I was very proud to be displayed alongside emerging and prominent illustrators. Most importantly it has lifted my confidence, and brought me considerably more attention from the creative industry.
I decided to represent myself a few years ago, so I now handle all my own contracts. I rejoined the AOI last year and since then have had cause to ask for advice and guidance from Matthew Shearer at the AOI on a number of occasions, about detailed contractual issues. I have always acted on the advice I have been given and I’m sure that I have managed to negotiate better terms with the weight of the AOI behind me than I would have done without that advice.
After illustrating for many years and working on commissions predominately in other parts of Europe and the US I thought I’d try out a portfolio on the AOI site. Within a few months I got a UK commission for Waitrose Weekend via Eye to Eye Media; it was a portrait challenge for a fantastic client who was excited about using illustration. I feel having your work on the AOI site is great value for money and a source of talent that is viewed and respected by commissioning clients. And the AOI… well, they are like good parents, you get the feeling of unconditional support and enthusiasm for what we do.
Being a member of the AOI is invaluable to my career as an illustrator. Working as a freelancer can often seem daunting when dealing with different clients and contracts, but the AOI are always on hand to promptly help with any pricing or professional advice. I really can’t recommend a more supportive and important resource for any illustrator. Membership is a must!
In the life of a freelance illustrator we all need support, someone guaranteed to be there, someone who knows everything from pricing to professional practice to preparing portfolios, for me that's The AOI. They are always first port of call on a tricky pricing negotiation (quick, clear advice, every time) and if I ever needed legal advice, I would trust matters in their hands. In 10 years as a professional illustrator I have always seen The AOI to be pillars of the community, the industry and the careers within it.
StartFragmentMonday started with an unexpected commission with a really tight turnaround and even tighter budget. Following a few really good chats with the AOI, they helped me with getting a bit of perspective on the clients 'budget' and what I should be charging, making sure I had a good contract in place which didn't undervalue the work before beginning it. With the assurance that their suggested costings were based on previous similar work, it was very comforting when in negotiations with the client, to know that I had the support and advice of the AOI. EndFragment
The AOI have been invaluable to my career as an illustrator. I never hesitate to contact the members department if I have a query about a job. Their extensive knowledge of the industry is priceless and has guided me through foreign contracts, assigning licenses, quoting fees and all other aspects of illustration. I highly recommend joining the AOI to every illustrator.
When I discovered that one of my illustrations had been copied and was being used as a print for a clothing line, I very quickly made the decision to sign up to the AOI for some advice. They were incredibly helpful and guided me through the whole process, even speaking to the AOI's advising lawyers for further feedback to help prove the infringement. I wouldn't hesitate to contact them for help in the future.
The AOI’s help developing a quote for Barnardo’s, lightened the load during the planning of the project. A special thanks goes out to Derek Brazell who was at hand to answer my numerous questions and was my sounding board throughout the process.
The AOI have been an extremely valuable presence alongside me throughout my first few years as a practising illustrator. In addition to their supportive role, the Association have given me some key exposure through their social media outlets, and through their always-wonderful annual Awards.
When I first started working as an illustrator, one of the first things I did was sign up to the AOI. I can now look back and say that it was a brilliant decision, having regularly used their pricing and legal advice over the years. The membership team are always friendly, professional and a pleasure to deal with, without them negotiating the business of illustration would have been twice as difficult. Thank you for the help so far!
I am so grateful to the AOI for their invaluable support over the years. They have provided contractual and legal advice, and helped me with pricing or negotiating on jobs, many times. It is so reassuring to know such support is available. On top of all this I have found the Portfolio site to be the best online site I have used. I absolutely recommend joining the AOI to all illustrators!
I joined the AOI 18 months ago and they have been an indispensable part of my business since. I must say I do regret not joining earlier in my career, I can think of many occasions in which there valuable advice and support would have helped me greatly in the past. Clients often want a quick response about rate and fees and the AOI have never let me down with their efficient service and the staff often go over and above to help. I have also had some difficult contractual and legal quandaries this past year and the AOI have helped me every step of the way. I would suggest the AOI to any illustrator with or without an agent, they are a fantastic institution.
Over the last 20 years I have used the AOI on many occasions. When starting out I used the portfolio surgery, which lead directly to getting an agent. A few years later I decided to go it alone. Having the AOI there for advice, particularly with contracts and pricing has been invaluable. I have also used the directories and been lucky enough to be included in the Images Illustration Awards. Illustration can be a very solitary business and it is great to know there is a professional body on your side, which is there to promote and support.
Just a phone call away, the AOI have been invaluable to me since I joined them 10 plus years ago. Always reliable and giving great advice on pricing and contracts. A must for all freelancers.
The AOI recently guided me through a publishing contract. The help given was detailed, constructive and very helpful and I’m pleased to say the contract is now signed and sealed! It is great to be a member of the association and to know they are there to help and support whenever they can.
I have had my work on the AOI portfolio website for longer than I can remember, and during that time it has more than paid for itself, bringing in several commissions that have been interesting, rewarding, and perhaps slightly odd - but that probably has more to do with my style than anything else.
Over the years since the AOI first started - founded by a small group of agents and artists, we have always pointed young artists in their direction for guidance. It undoubtably helps an artist to understand their rights and responsibilities both as an individual and as part of working with an agent, plus exchanging views and being aware of emerging talent can only be beneficial. A highly recommended association!
Illustration by Lynn Hatzius
Extremely efficient, knowledgeable and helpful, especially on pricing, contracts and all business matters. I can't imagine how I would have managed my career without your friendly help and advice over the past 2 decades. Thank you so much to the AOI!
I joined the AOI many years ago, and they are a lynch pin of my career as a free-lance illustrator. The advice and support they provide is superb; and their publications, competitions, and news is always relevant and fascinating. I would feel far less protected without them, and love that they’re there for me in times of need; and are a constant presence, fighting for the rights of illustrators everywhere. Thinking of joining the AOI? If you’re an illustrator, you’d be a fool not to.
Joining the AOI was a great decision for me as an illustrator. They have helped me to build a strong and confident career, giving advice when I needed it, and supporting me throughout. I have been lucky enough to get work through them also, and have been able to negotiate better working situations with my clients. They do a great job, and I wouldn't hesitate to join again.
The AOI have been amazing, out in the big wide world of illustration doesn't follow a formula, so as soon as I received a tricky contract, which I felt I couldn't deal with I turned to them for help. It help me have the confidence to put forward the right fees and understand what was being presented to me, often contracts can be hard to understand but step by step the AOI lead me into finding a solution. Its great because I now know the business side of my practice a lot better. Without them it would have been so much harder and a longer process when really I wanted to be making. Via phone calls, email and in person they have been such a key part in securing the correct contract. Just invaluable!
It’s always been good to turn to the AOI for guidance with tricky licensing and pricing proposals, and now that the newly launched portfolio site is bringing in new clients too, the AOI is a great partner for the lone freelance illustrator.
The AOI have been absolutely instrumental in securing my first illustration contract. They have helped me to negotiate better terms and conditions, something that I could not of achieved without their support. They are always friendly, helpful and professional, I would definitely recommend illustrators to join the AOI.
Joining the AOI is the single most important act of an illustrator's career. It will enhance your professional development and support the AOI's work to improve our industry.
I can not remember how long I have been a member of the AOI; it has been that long! They have helped me many times over the years as I endeavoured to learn how to make my living as an illustrator and artist. I have enjoyed attending talks, getting pricing help (always difficult to do) and sorting out other issues! Thank you the AOI!
Having recently joined the AOI, my only regret is that I did not know about it sooner. The advice and support I have received has been invaluable, particularly in terms of negotiating a recent contract, and appropriate rates for commissions. Whereas before I was sitting alone in my cottage studio with only a couple of passing pheasants to ask for advice, I now feel part of something much bigger, with the confidence and assurance of knowing expert advice is at my disposal at any time. As my business grows, and exciting new challenges and opportunities appear, I am so happy to know that I can rely on the AOI for support in the year ahead, and I feel very lucky to be a part of it.
Since joining the AOI just under a year ago, they have become an invaluable resource for me as a professional illustrator. They have offered help and assistance with pricing and contracts on numerous occassions, and always quick to respond to any email enquiries I have.
Throughout my career I have recognised the AOI as the 'one and only' place for all illustrators who seek professional advice, a social forum and great places and events to showcase work. Take it from me, I know, I've been around from the year it all started.
My experience with the AOI has been incredibly valuable. I joined 2 years ago at the start of my career and the advice and support that I have received (especially for pricing commissions and dealing with clients) has really helped me to start work as a self-employed illustrator. It can be difficult at the start of your career after leaving studies to have the confidence to manage what is essentially a small business, and the AOI's help has given me the education and experience in order to work professionally.
I’ve found that my Portfolios subscription with the AOI has been the most effective web portfolio service when it comes to reaching clients. The majority of commissioners that have come across my work online have done so through the AOI and the service is easy to use from my end as well.
I can't thank the AOI enough for their support and professional advice given to me regarding a recent copyright infringement query. Knowing that the AOI were behind me 100% on this matter gave me the confidence to pursue it, something which I don't think I would have done otherwise. Always quick to respond to any questions I had, I really can't fault their service. I am pleased to say the matter is now fully resolved and this is down to the AOI's valuable advice, thanks again!
Throughout my career The AOI has always been there for me, from tentative first steps to established professional dealing with major global clients. Their support & advice has directly enabled me to have a successful & sustainable career as a professional illustrator. From pricing commissions correctly, advising on copyright infringements to dealing with contracts written in lawyers' gobbledegook they've never let me down. Thank you AOI, I couldn't have done it without you!
The AOI are my go-to resource for the illustration industry.
Through their publications (such as The Illustrator's Guide), workshops & talks, portfolio reviews, even help with contracts, pretty much all of my business knowledge regarding the illustration industry seems to stem from the AOI.
I never complete a quote without consulting their pricing guide. Access to this information is worth the membership fee alone and helps you put real value to your own abilities. A recent pitch for a rather large job was successful, and thanks to the pricing advice given over the phone by the friendly AOI, I had the confidence to quote my full worth. And I got it!
I joined the AOI at the start of the year when I needed some pricing advice for an advertising enquiry. I find that often the world of illustration in terms of pricing is very varied and secretive and the AOI help with de-mystifting this with up to date pricing to act as a guideline. I didn’t realise how much I would use the AOI this year! They have been a fantastic help with contract negotiations also - It’s wonderful to know that there is someone at the end of the phone or email who is on your side, who can decode all the legal jargon and offer up advice. I didn’t know what I was missing out on all this time! They are a lovely bunch. Thanks guys!
The AOI have been a crucial part in these early stages of my career; from the exposure and oppurtunity of the award I won with them, to the daily essentials of business advice, they are always there to support illustrators with up to date knowledge and a friendly face. I could not recommend them more and truly believe every Illustrator should be a member. It is like being part of a family, a family I am proud to be a member of.
The AOI really helped bridge the gap between art school and the commercial art world for me. Their resources and personal advice made working with large clients much more comprehensible. We need people like those at the AOI, to help reinforce the value and importance of illustration.
I cannot thank the AOI enough for the reliable service and professional advice they gave me throughout my negotiations with Kettlechips. My first ever advertising campaign was a steep and exciting learning curve but the information AOI provided and the questions they answered, enabled me to represent myself and negotiate a good deal. It just goes to prove that an independent artist and illustrator CAN represent themselves with the right professional support. I am so pleased I joined the AOI, a society which supports and promotes illustration and is on OUR side.
The AOI has been a vital companion to me in this profession ever since college days. The team has help me with many different issues throughout the years and I couldn't imagine my professional life without them.
I've found the AOI to be an invaluable resource for pricing and general business advice.