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

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 risqué. 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/

Love is in the air for Myrtle and Xaddrarth

We’d like to introduce our newest background, created for us by the very talented Emily Hare. We love Emily’s artwork and thought that one of her paintings could work really well with the site, so after discussing what was needed for of our backgrounds, we left it in Emily’s capable hands to come up with some ideas.

Here’s the first attempt and the work in process illustrations…

At this point Emily decided to go in a different direction, something a bit more cuddly. Although we did really like the previous image and were advising on direction, we gave full creative control over to Emily and we trusted her to complete the task at hand.

And here is the final piece…

We think Emily did a brilliant job and we love our new background! Please note: Emily may have already given the dragons names, but we’ve decided to call them Myrtle and Xaddrarth. 🙂

Promoting Illustration in 2018

This year we will be retiring our mail shot packs and refocusing our efforts on collectable postcard-sized art prints. They’re going to be high quality and of limited runs. Our hope is to build a collectable series of prints that will also work as a promotional device that our client base will treasure and retain. There will be more than one set as our clients work in a large variety of markets within the illustration industry, for example we’ll have a children’s series, a separate editorial series, and so on. Our hope is that this new direction will lay the ground work for our physical promotional items for years to come and create a buzz that will expand our customer base beyond our dedicated contact lists.

We’ve been sending out mail packs and printing postcards for just over ten years now, and we always aimed to make the process as simple and accessible as possible for our illustrators. We believe we achieved what we set out to do and the packs have always been very popular with our clients. It has now got to a point though were we believe that we need to evolve and do more than what we were doing to continue to stand out from the crowd. We’ve always had more success with our physical promotions than other companies have had, but that has probably been down to our unique and guarded contact lists. Also, maintaining a healthy relationship with our clients – and potential clients – doesn’t do any harm and I’m sure is appreciated.

We’re not going to be making a sudden switch to the new collectable prints, as we would like to test the water and get some feedback from our long-term clients and members first. The plan is to phase out the regular mail shot packs over the next 3-4 months, so until then it’s business as normal. Keep sending us your cards and designs and we’ll keep sending them out.

Postcards! Calling all members!

Calling all members! We’re doing a big postcard order this weekend. So if you’d like to be included in our current batch of mail packs, send Darren an email for printing information.

We send out our mail packs to clients across the globe and each pack is catered to the recipient. We’ve found over the years that physical mailers are still appreciated by the clients on our mailing lists. We think it’s also the personal touches we include and actually being able to hold something physical that makes this type of promotion we do so special. We’re not hipsters*, but we do feel old is the new new.

* Slightly guilty of having a beard**, owning a record player and wearing t-shirts with pugs on.

** Darren only, Jane does not have a beard. I repeat Jane does not have a beard. 🙂

You’re invited to the Showcase 100 Private View!

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There’s only three days left until the Showcase 100 exhibition at the Framer’s Gallery in London. There’s still lots to do, but it’s always exciting being part of a show like this. Showcase 100, in case you don’t know, has been run for our members by the Little Chimp Society (LCS) and consists of 100 illustrations that have been selected for the show and book by our panel of judges. All of the illustrations have been framed as high-quality, archival prints and will be for sale at the show. There’s a wide range of artwork created by an equally wide variety of illustrators, so there should be something for everyone.

The accompanying Showcase 100 publication, featuring all 100 final illustrations along with lots of sketches and notes about the artwork, will also be available to buy at the exhibition as well as online from the LCS shop.

The show runs from 7th – 11th April and the ‘private’ view is on Thursday 9th April, 6 – 8pm. Everyone is welcome to come along on Thursday evening to join us for an evening of excellent artwork, free drinks and general natter. The gallery is located in the heart of Fitzrovia and is easy to get to, with Goodge Street and Tottenham Court Road tube stations only a few minutes walk away.

Thursday 9th April 6pm – 8pm
The Framer’s Gallery
36 Windmill Street
London, W1T 2JT

If you’re on Facebook, there’s an event page for it with the latest updates too… https://www.facebook.com/events/710733742303427/

A New Year With New Rewards…

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Although there’s the slight smell of nepotism here, we’re very happy to announce the entire Little Chimp Award shortlist all happen to be members of Hire an Illustrator, yay! The shortlist are all fantastic and very professional illustrators who The Little Chimp Society has worked with or had a degree of interaction with over the last year. The nomination is a recognition of their talent and skill as a freelance illustrator and the winner for Excellence in Illustration will be announced in April. There will only be one winner per year, who do you think is going to get it?

While we’re mentioning The Little Chimp Society, they’ve just release their first printed artzine called Secret Self Volume One. All ten of the artists featured in the zine all happen to be HAI members too :). The zine is available to buy from the LCS now at only £5.99.