Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Friday, 12 December 2008
How to be an Illustrator Darrell ReesOne of the more useful "how to be an illustrator" type books. Worth spending your hard earned on. Written by someone who knows (and works in the business) rather than someone who has to write a book to fulfill their research quota in a university.
"Why do people think the world owes them a job? This is definitely true in the creative world. That's not to say there aren't any jobs. It's just that proportional to the number of people graduating with dreams of being a designer, there are few. I think in this industry you have to create the job you want."
Petra Storrs 2008
Thursday, 11 December 2008
The Association of Illustrators are almost like a trade union for illustrators. They have many publications available to help you get started, this is what they say about themselves:
The AOI was established in 1973 to advance and protect illustrator’s rights and encourage professional standards. The AOI is a non-profit making trade association dedicated to its members’ professional interests and the promotion of illustration.
Members consist primarily of freelance illustrators as well as agents, clients, students and lecturers. The AOI is run by an administrative staff responsible to a volunteer Council of Management.
As the only body to represent illustrators and campaign for their rights in the UK, the AOI has successfully increased the standing of illustration as a profession and improved the commercial and ethical conditions of employment for illustrators. The AOI is a member of the British Copyright Council (BCC) and Creators Rights Alliance (CRA). It helped to establish the secondary rights arm of the Designers and Artists Copyright Society, (DACS), the UK visual arts collecting society.
Responsible for establishing the rights of illustrators to retain ownership of their artwork, the AOI aims to expose and resist rights abuses and exploitative practices within the industry whenever they occur. On behalf of its members, and with their continued support, the AOI can attempt things that it would be difficult or impossible individually. As part of the BCC, for example, the AOI is able to lobby parliament for changes in UK law, aligning it more closely with those of our European neighbours, widely seen as more creator friendly. AOI have produced a Code of Practice for member agents to promote good practice within the illustration industry, and inform illustrators what should be expected from an agent.
The Pro-Action committee was established in 2006 by the AOI and the Society of Artists Agents to deal with the problems facing illustrators in today’s market place. These include fee erosion, copyright grabs and the issuing of retrospective contracts from commissioners which are becoming increasingly prevalant.
The European Illustrators Forum (EIF), a group of 20 associations (at 2008), was formed to safeguard illustrators' rights and to assist the continental promotion of illustration through the co-ordinated action of member associations on a local level, and with a series of common initiatives on an international level. AOI was a founding member of EIF.
Information and support services
Objective advice is given on portfolio presentation, content and suitable illustration markets and agents.
Varoom - the journal of illustration and made images
Varoom features interviews with leading illustrators and image-makers, and plots new developments as well as looking back at schools and figures from the past. The magazine is published three times a year. Available at good bookshops around the world AOI members receive their issues free of charge.
Illustrated quarterly UP poster covering AOI news, events, industry developments and exhibitions. Each edition has an image exclusively created for AOI members.
The AOI publishes Rights: The Illustrator’s Guide to Professional Practice, a comprehensive guide to the law for illustrators. It provides detailed advice on how to protect against exploitative practices and contains a model contract for illustrators to use. We also produce Survive: The Illustrator’s Guide to a Professional Career which is a comprehensive practical guide to beginning and continuing a career as a professional illustrator. Survive includes information about marketing, ethics, agents and a guide to fees. These publications are available to members at reduced rates.
The AOI currently has three illustration client directories. The Editorial Directory has details of over 200 contacts in the newspaper and magazine industries. The Publishing Directory is a comprehensive list of over 180 important contacts in book publishing. The Advertising Directory has details of over 180 contacts from the world of advertising.
Members are entitled to a free consultation with the AOI Chartered Accountant who can advise on accounting, National lnsurance, tax, VAT and book-keeping.
Members receive discounts on AOI events, publications and a number of art material suppliers nationwide.
Full and Associate members receive advice on ethics and contractual problems, copyright and moral right disputes.
Students and new illustrators
Our seminars and events combined with the many services we offer, can provide practical support to illustrators in the early stages of their career.
The AOI runs AOIportfolios.com a dedicated website aimed at promoting illustration to the creative industries currently featuring over 10,000 images by 500 artists.
The AOI runs an annual programme of events which include one day seminars, evening lectures and thematic exhibitions. These include talks by leading illustrators as well as representatives from all areas of the illustration field, and cover such subjects as children’s book illustration, aspects of professional practice, new technologies and illustrators’ agents. AOI members are entitled to discounted tickets.
To request further information or a membership application form please telephone +44 (0)20 7613 4328 or go here for more information.
www.theAOl.com has details of the Association’s activities, including samples from current and past Journals, details of forthcoming events, the AOI’s history and on-line portfolios.
AOIimages.com contains all the information you need on Images - the UK's leading illustration competition, annual, awards show, and touring exhibition dedicated to showcasing the very best contemporary illustration published in the UK. Members receive discounted entry and publication fees for Images.
Images is Britain's only jury-selected illustration competition, judged by a highly regarded panel of industry experts, spanning multiple categories, and is an annual competition.
Design Initiative are a Manchester based organisation who can give you advice on running a small design business and also put you in contact with other designers.
Tel: 0161 8343722
Also look at Artists Newsletter in the library (and A.N. publications)
1. Start with your strongest piece of work and end with your second strongest.
2. Start with work that you regard as your most experimental or ‘arty’ and progress on to more commercial work as you go through the portfolio.
3. Less is more… don’t have too many pages in a portfolio 10-14 (ie 20/24 images)
4. Generally have one image per page (but you can break this rule and still live!)
5. Group work that is associated together.
6. Don’t mix portrait and landscape pages in a portfolio, have small runs of each.
7. Don’t display work on that awful cheap black sugar paper that comes in portfolio sleeves, in fact don’t mount work on any paper, buy some quality printer paper and print directly on to this.
8. Vary the sizes of the image in the portfolio, try to have a rhythm or story to tell in the portfolio.
9. Don’t be tempted to print images too big, your work will look better if you give it room to breathe.
10. Only show your best work, as art directors often say they remember the worst image in a portfolio not the best. If in doubt leave it out!
11. Have both unity and variety of work in your book, but remember that too much unity is boring and too much variety is bewildering.
12. If you work in two or three different styles or have different skills ie animation and illustration have two separate portfolios for each.
13. Always have cards or samples of your work with you and in the front or back of your portfolio, name address, e-mail website telephone number etc.
14. It is essential to have some presence on the web ie a virtual portfolio, increasingly this is the way imagery is commissioned. Consider using a blog as an online portfolio if web design is not your thing.
15. ‘Drop Offs’ are sometimes used by clients so your portfolio has to speak for its self. You may consider small explanations to accompany the work. Use a small, understated typeface in a subtle grey, always put the text in the same position on each page if possible.
16. With this in mind if you can afford to have two portfolios it helps to make the most of your time on visits to clients.
17. Try to make your book memorable or stand out from all the other A2 Daler/Artcare portfolios……but in a good way not a tacky way! We suggest that you buy an A4 or A3 portfolio dependant on your work. There is metaphorically and literally no room for A1 or A2 portfolios especially Daler/Artcare ones these are DEAD.
18. Pratt (sold in Paperchase) or Panodia make some nice portfolios you can see both here: http://www.portfolio-store.co.uk Buy one with removable sleeves rather than fixed sleeves.
19. You might want to consider other alternative presentation methods, a box file type portfolio similar to the kind used by photographers, or something you have had bound or constructed that fine, just make sure its beautifully made.
20. Combined with promotion your portfolio and your website are your ticket to commissioned work, invest time and effort in them and it will be rewarded.