Amazing Adventures: Art Inspired by the Works of Jules Verne @ The Framers Gallery, London

Hire an Illustrator presents Amazing Adventures: An Exhibition of Art Inspired by the Works of Jules Verne, in collaboration with The Little Chimp Society. The group show will feature over 100 original works and high quality digital prints from our international community of talented illustrators, traditional and digital artists. This is not a travelling exhibition, so this is your only chance to see the artwork in person and, if you’re coming to the Thursday viewing, meet the attending artists.

The work will be on display from 9th-12th April 2019.

The exhibition viewing hours are:
– 9th Tuesday 10:00am – 5:30pm
– 10th Wednesday 10:00am – 5:30pm
– 11th Thursday 6pm – 8:30pm
– 12th Friday 10:00am – 5:30pm
The Framers Gallery
36 Windmill Street
London W1T 2JT

All of the artwork will be influenced by the Voyages extraordinaires series of novels by author Jules Verne: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in 80 Days and so on. All are welcome and invited to come and check out the show. There will be an open bar on the Thursday evening and all of the work will be avalible for purchase, including the prints and orginals. The accompanying publication will also be made avaliable for a limited time at the gallery.

I’ve set up an events page for the show. We’d love to have an idea of how many are coming and please do share the page with whoever may be interested. 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/events/2235118073397740/

And for those who don’t use Facebook:

Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/julesverneexpo

There’s also been a consensus on the hashtag we’re using on social media for WIPs and finished pieces related to the show see: #JulesVerneExpo or #julesverneexpo

Notable featured artists:


Paul Shipper is an English illustrator, artist and graphic designer, working from his home studio in South-West England. Shipper is renowned for making imagery for movies, entertainment and adverts and is known for keeping a retro feel in his artworks. He has produced posters for movies such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Infinity War, Warcraft, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, many Star Trek movies, Frozen, Batman and more. He has also worked wth the band Muse, including producing the alternative artwork for their upcoming LP Simulation Theory. See Paul Shipper’s Illustration Portfolio.

Rod Hunt is an award winning London based Illustrator, map designer and the artist behind the bestselling Where’s Stig? books for the BBC’s hit TV show Top Gear. Rod has built a reputation for retro-tinged Illustrations and detailed character filled landscapes for UK & international clients spanning publishing, design, advertising and new media, for everything from book covers to advertising campaigns; campus, amusement and theme park maps, and even large scale museum and exhibition installations. Rod served as PR and Media Relations Chair of ICON The Illustration Conference for ICON8 (Portland, OR) and ICON9 (Austin, TX) for 4 years until October 2016. He was also Chairman of the Association of Illustrators from August 2009 to March 2012, and was a Director for 9 years. The AOI was established in 1973 to advance and protect illustrator’s rights and encourage professional standards. See Rod Hunt’s Illustration Portfolio.

Brian Allen is the man behind the design of the Philadelphia Flyers’ new mascot, “Gritty.” The Flyers were one of the only NHL teams to not have a mascot. A representative from the Flyers organization reached out to Brian after seeing the campaign he did for Chick-fil-A promoting the Georgia vs Auburn football game last season. The Flyers gave him a list of about 10 ideas, and he did a 30-minute sketch of each of those ideas, and about 20 mascots in total. Reaction to the NHL’s newest mascot on social media was swift, and not all that flattering, with people comparing Gritty to the McDonald’s character Grimace after drinking too much orange juice, accusing him of being on drugs, and calling him “terrifying.” Despite the initial reaction to Gritty he became a PR goldmine and fans on both side have grown to love him in their own special way. – Central Daily Times. See Brian Allen’s Illustration Portfolio.

Illustrator’s Survey 2018

The 2nd annual Illustrator’s Survey is up now! We’ve teamed up with Ben O’Brien and we’re asking for anyone who worked in commercial illustration in 2018 to please fill in the survey and spread the word! #WeAreIllustrators

👉 https://illo.cc/survey

Last year I launched the first Illustrator’s Survey and with an overwhelming response was able to put together a well-received report containing some very thought-provoking statistics about the illustration industry and those working in it throughout 2017. This year I’m working alongside Hire an Illustrator to do the same, looking for responses from anyone who has worked as a professional illustrator (whether full or part time) throughout 2018. If you have been working as an illustrator over the passed 12 months then please do take ten minutes to respond to the survey and of course help to spread the word amongst your fellow illustrators!

The survey will run until the end of January when we will compile the results to be released in early February.

Ben the Illustrator

2018, Wow, OK, That Went Fast! Merry Christmas!

2018 went so fast and it was our 11th official year of serving our members; we don’t know about you, but we consider that an accomplishment. This year has been an amazing year and we can’t quite believe it’s nearly over with 2019 just being round the corner.

Over the last several months we introduced the Art Card Collections, which replaced our Mail Shot Packs. We were a little worried our illustrators wouldn’t take to them, but we shouldn’t have been concerned as they’ve been a big success and everyone loves them. In the new year we’ll hopefully be expanding the program to allow clients to order cards that they’re missing and let the general public to get in on the action.

We also announced our 2019 exhibition which will be at The Framers Gallery in London in April and will feature many of our talented members. For the first time this won’t be a showcase of our illustrators’ previous commissions, but will be a collection of new and creative works inspired by Jules Verne’s Voyages extraordinaires series of books. We’re very excited about the show and can’t wait to start showing off some of the amazing pieces we know our members are going to create! Read more: Amazing Adventures: An Exhibition of Art Inspired by the Works of Jules Verne.

And last, but not least we started our Artist in “Virtual” Residence (AiR) program. So far we’re on artist number two (Nathan Shelton) with several more lined up for the coming months. What this entails is working with a specific artist over a 1-2 month period who fulfils our creative needs and creates some cool merchandise for us too during the process. Working directly with the artists has been so much fun and I wish we’d started doing this years ago. A big thank you goes out to Tom Martin for being our first AiR and the test subject for the initiative.

During the following dates we’ll be operating a skeleton crew with regards to job requests and members’ questions… and our laptops will be turned off completely if we find we’ve eaten too much Christmas pudding or become a little too intoxicated during the family gatherings.

24th December 2018 – 1st January 2019

Wishing you all happy holidays,
Darren & Jane Di Lieto


The festive snowmen were created by “AiR” Nathan Shelton. Merry Christmas Nathan! 👋

Member Note: Please be aware that news submitted over Christmas and the New Year period may not be published on the site until 2nd January and there is normally a little bit of a back(yule)log.

Amazing Adventures: Jules Verne Exhibition

Presenting Amazing Adventures: An Exhibition of Art Inspired by the Works of Jules Verne. We’re partnering up with the Little Chimp Society again to bring our members the opportunity to be part of an exclusive exhibition and publication next April in London. The show will feature original works and high quality digital prints from our international community of talented illustrators, traditional and digital artists.

All of the artwork will be influenced by the Voyages extraordinaires series of novels by author Jules Verne: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in 80 Days and so on. This will be our first event where works are being produced specifically for the show, if you don’t count our involvement with Mail Me Art many years ago, and we’re really excited about it. So excited in fact, that our recent Artist in Residence Tom Martin has already produced a Jules Verne-inspired spot illustration for us for this very blog post – we can’t wait to see what our other illustrators create as well!

A special members’ update email will be sent out in the next few days with instructions on how to sign up for the show, and the requirements. We’ll also get events pages up on Facebook and Eventbrite as the gallery is already locked down and there’s no point in wasting time… and when it comes to the show, we’re hoping to see as many of you there as possible. It should be a fantastic event!

If you don’t want to miss out on future updates, make sure you’re signed up for our email newsletter and following our Facebook or Twitter accounts. Also if you have any questions or just want to say hello, leave a comment below.

Artist in Residence: Tom Martin

Over the previous month of October, we had our first ever Artist in Residence (AiR), Tom Martin – or more accurately, Artist in virtual Residence! This has been something new we had wanted to try out for a long time and we’re very glad that Tom was kind enough to come along for the ride.

The residency involved one of our members (Tom) fulfilling our illustration needs over the period of one month. You would have thought finding an illustrator would have been an easy task for us, but things aren’t always that simple. Our first problem was that any artwork produced would need to appeal to our members and also draw in a wide audience of art directors and commissioners, so we didn’t want to go for anything too niche or risquĂ©. Secondly, and most importantly, we needed to take into consideration that whoever we worked with would be a full-time freelance illustrator and we didn’t want them to be turning down commissions due to being too busy with working on pieces for us. You need to remember that part of our commitment to our members is that we’re constantly networking and finding them new opportunities and connections, so making sure that whoever was our AiR could handle the additional workload was essential.

When we asked Tom if he was interested in being our first AiR, we hadn’t quite ironed out all of the details, so there was some trial and error, but essentially we gave Tom directions and then allowed him to guide us. It was a misstep that we had Tom creating Halloween artwork for us in October that would be turned into physical items at some point, as lead time hadn’t been taken into consideration with all the excitement. There was no real need to worry about that though, as we’ll be getting the stickers and pins made up for April to show people at our next exhibition and we’ll have plenty in stock to give away as promo items to lucky clients when next October comes around. However with that in mind, from now on if an artist is working on something seasonal for us, we’ll get them to do it one or two months beforehand.

We really can’t wait to have the pins and stickers made and in our hands! The artwork looks great and we’re really pleased with the website background that Tom created for us, it’s brilliant! There were several other images that he created for us as well, two of them specifically for future posts on this very blog. You’ll have to keep an eye out for them.

We love Tom’s work and we hope you do to, he’s open for commissions and you can find more of his illustrations at hireanillustrator.com/i/portfolio/tom-martin/

Happy Spooktacular Halloween!

We love Halloween and we hope you do to. It definitely tops Christmas when it comes to festive holidays. To celebrate, here is a selection of all of our members’ spooky posts from the last week to today.




In no particular order, here is a list of all the contributing artists: Tom Martin, James Bousema, Alternative Aesthetics, Meritxell Garcia, David Clifford, Zoe Ranucci, Sam White, Kevin Myers, Jason Heglund, Scott Balmer, Caragh Buxton, Nathan Shelton, Helen Trupak, Sue Todd, Richard Huante, Jonathan Hunt, Kaela Graham, Josh Lewis, Elisabeth Alba, William Chajin, Merrill Rainey, John W. Tomac, Graeme Neil Reid, Bernard Lee, Elly Walton and Kate Oleska.

Have a fantastic Halloween from all of us at Hire an Illustrator and our talented members.

The Frankfurt Book Fair 2016

frankfurt

We found out a little while ago that HAI member, children’s artist Rachelle Meyer, was going to the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair and we asked her if she’d be kind enough to report back to us after the event. We felt it would be a good opportunity for Rachelle to share her experience via the staff blog. – Darren Di Lieto


I went to the Frankfurt Buchmesse with few expectations and lots of curiosity. I’ve been to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair many times and what I kept hearing was that in comparison, the Frankfurt Book Fair is huge and overwhelming. I had three days, a few appointments, an iPhone, and a sketchbook. I made a point of exploring beyond the English-language and European halls where I already had appointments to find unfamiliar faces and new experiences.

img-1

I can’t say for sure if my observations are the typical visitor experience or simply what I’m drawn to based on my personal preferences. My feeling about the trends in publishing is that there are more books now which are personal, political and hand-crafted. There was an entire stand devoted to the independent voices of INDIECON, with zines available for purchase on site. I bought this lovely comic by Tine Fetz. The side-stapled comic had crop lines still visible on many pages, which I found quite charming and added to its indy credentials.

Nils Oskamp’s excellent process sketches for his graphic novel, Drei Steine, drew me into the booth for the Amadeu Antonio Foundation. It was refreshing and empowering to speak to people who ardently want to make a difference in the world.

I loved the textural richness of the crafted books. Take, for example XY Printing Group‘s folded accordion style book which was illustrated entirely with paper cuts. It’s a gorgeous retelling by Anne Montbarbon of the traditional Three Little Pigs story. The hand-printed pages at Tara Books smelled so delicious from the inks they used. In addition the Flanders and the Netherlands (99 Flemish and Dutch authors and artists from every genre) were the guests of honor this year and in the guest pavilion, you could snag a beautiful limited-edition Parade magazine. Another nice detail was the Happy Hour, hosted by the Netherlands and Flanders, which featured typical Dutch/Flemish treats like mini-beers and tiny bowls of french fries with mayo.

To prepare for the book fair, I reached out to my publishing contacts and printed up a new batch of cards for distribution. Once there, I had a meeting that led to a new assignment and I also received an email from a publisher I had worked with before. The publisher had received my promotional postcard at just the right time to offer me a new project, showing in my opinion that my advertising was paying off. As a working illustrator, the fair was not just inspiring, but also rewarding from a financial and professional standpoint.

img-8

Being in Frankfurt allowed me to touch base with a number of professional groups. I’m the International Illustrator Coordinator for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and they hosted a very informative and motivating workshop called “Supercharge Your Submissions with agent Hannah Sheppard” on the Saturday morning during the fair. I also got to catch up with some nice people from the SCBWI local chapter.

Chatting with people from the IO (German Illustratoren Organisation) left me feeling energized and hopeful about our direction and place in the industry. They’ve been around for ten years and have grown exponentially in this relatively short time. With these sort of positive communities and support bases, we have a greater chance of setting better terms for illustrators and making the industry we work in, work for us.

img-9

I don’t know if I’ll go every year, but it was a very rewarding trip and I’ll definitely go again. – Rachelle Meyer (professional illustrator)


If you attended this year, say hello, share your experiences or leave a comment in the section below, as we’d love to hear from you. For information about Frankfurt Buchmesse 2017, please visit buchmesse.de

Have you found what you’re looking for?

ISOcover2

Following on from the recent redesign and rejuvenation of our website, we’ve continued to make modifications as the dust has settled and we’ve seen what worked and what needed to be changed. Our first stop was a small modification to our search criteria that should have a big impact on usability. When the redesign was launched we suddenly allowed all of our members to select a job title from a predetermined list and this was then searchable on our search pages. This didn’t work as the majority decided they want to just be called an illustrator, so now the job title is no longer searchable, but is displayed in their portfolios next to their name. What has been added to replace the search aspect are two searchable job descriptions. This should allow members to add the terms that help people find them without feeling they need to keep their options open by not committing to a specific title. This change in the options available to our members and within search system inspired a blog post I wrote about job titles for the LCS a few days ago. Read: Finding your niche as an illustrator!

Self-Portrait

As a side note: Since the redesign had been a longtime coming, I decided early on I would try to remove as much of the 9 years worth of bloat as possible. I may have gone a bit too far. Information about our postcard printing and mailers has now been re-added to the members’ administration along with a viewable archive of all the previous member-only updates. A new addition though is a series of downloadable and useful content that should be in every freelance illustrators’ digital toolbox. If you’re a member, login and have a look. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Image Credits…
1. ISO&AGENT Magazine cover (cropped) by Mario Wagner.
2. 2010 Self Portrait by Marcus Cutler.

Exclusive Member-Only Discounts

discount-screenshot

We all love a good deal or bargain, and this is why HAI has teamed up with a number of reputable companies and organisations to bring our members some very nice discounts. On your behalf we’ve negotiated deals on screen printing, on and offline art-related educational courses, merchandise and hosting. All our members need to do is visit our discount page while logged into their account to reveal the discount codes.

http://www.hireanillustrator.com/i/discounts/

We’re always on the look out for new discounts and offers that we can arrange for our members, which means we’re going to be constantly updating the discount page as new partnerships are formed. So keep an eye on it and check back from time to time.

If you’re one of the companies or organisations offering us a discount on one of your products, thank you kindly.