After doing a limited soft launch of our new website last Monday, everything seems to have gone well. So, today we’re rolling out our new site to everyone! Our new site includes improved portfolios and search options, plus we’ve gone fully responsive. Which means all of you who’ve struggled to use our site on your mobiles need struggle no longer. One of the biggest improvements to the site is that it’s now blazing fast; we’ve utilised all of the latest technology to make it as fast as humanly possible.
For our members, our dated administration has also had an overhaul to make it easier than ever to manage your profile and add new work. You may have also noticed we’ve increased the sizes of your images too.
To top off the launching of the new website, we’ve also got a new logo. It’s not a million miles from our old logo as there’s no need to change something if it works. We’ve just had it fine-tuned and embraced what it means to be an illustrator.
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
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.
The order of members’ (mostly) seasonal postcards for the final mail packs of this year have just arrived from the printer! We’ve also had some nice Christmassy ones sent to us directly from members, so the mail packs will be full of festive cheer.
We’ll be busy getting everything organised and posting out the sample cards to the illustrators today, then we’re ready to start putting the mail packs together next week. Once these have been sent out to clients, we’ll be holding back on sending any more mail packs until around mid-January to give everyone time to get back into the swing of work again.
It’s twenty days until Christmas and we hope everyone’s looking forward to it. We know we are!
We’ve made a few recent changes and added a couple of things to hai in the last few weeks. The first one is that members can now tell us if they’re looking for an agent to represent them or not. We have always helped illustrators out if they’re looking for an agent, but we’ve now made the process simpler. There’s even a secret page for selected agents to browse for new talent.
Other changes are that there is now a reminder on the member’s news submission page to upload their new work to their gallery. And on the gallery ‘add image’ page there’s a reminder to submit new work as news. We have considered combining the gallery and news archives in the past, but we find it works best to still have the two as separate things. The galleries give the illustrators more control over what they’re showing potentials clients and the order they see the work in. Plus if they find their style of work changes over time they can adjust their gallery to reflect this.
Four boxes containing just over 100 black edged frames for the Showcase 100 artwork.
With regards to the Showcase 100 project we’re running in conjunction with the LCS, all of the work from the final 100 artists is now in and the frames for artwork have arrived. Next on the LCS’s list is to get all the artwork printed up and the accompanying publication designed. You can find out more about the project at http://sc100.co.uk
I woke up on the final day of ICON to a huge mess of styrofoam food containers, dirty clothes and empty bottles. The obvious signs of a fun night. Once again, I made it to the Art Museum just in time for the continental breakfast. Much like the other days of the conference, breakfast was a good time to grab a coffee, make new friends and trade contact information.
Saturday’s presentations began with Chronicle Books. Christina Amini (Editorial Director, Chronicle Books) and Kristen Hewitt (Design Director, Chronicle Books), joined illustrators Lisa Congdon and Susie Chahremani for an informative talk about Chronicle’s relationship between artists and editors, the collaborative creative process and working on projects that you enjoy.
On the first short coffee break of the day I received a panicked phone call from my brother (who came along for the ride but was not attending ICON). I was informed that due to a miscommunication/booking error we needed to check out of our hotel immediately and that most of the hotels in the downtown Portland area were booked up due to the combination of ICON and some other conference that was going on. At this point I headed back to the hotel so we could figure out accommodations for the remainder of our trip. We called around to a bunch of hotels with no luck. Somehow during the call to the last of the hotels on our list, Ryan convinced the manager into giving us the presidential suite for the price of a regular room, as well as checking us in immediately. The room was pretty awesome… It had a living room with two couches, an office, a bedroom and a jacuzzi. I wanted to hang out and enjoy the room but also didn’t want to miss any more of the speakers.
I made it back just in time to catch the last presentation before the break. I spent my lunch talking to some of the familiar faces and new friends that I had met over the past week, then headed back to the third floor of the Portland Art Museum. The rest of the day was full of really great speakers and topics. Brian McMullen talked about weird books for weird kids, Lisa Wagner and Jason Holley (who were in charge of the amazing and ever evolving stage design) spoke about working together, and Souther Salazar showed the crowd how work is play. After that, Justin Hall educated the attendees on the history of queer comics. His talk was quite interesting, as I am not very familiar with this sub-genre of independent comics. Equally interesting was Robynne Raye’s story about suing Disney for copyright infringement. Don’t Bring a Mouse to a Dogfight and don’t steal people’s shit!
The day concluded with a keynote by Damian Kulash of the band Ok Go, who spoke about making music videos, being creative by accident and playing around. What really impressed me was that it seemed like the band had a lot of fun making the videos. That’s always something that’s really important to me… I want to be having fun and making something that I’m proud of, whether it’s illustration, graphic design or making/playing music with my bands. After that, Mark Heflin (ICON Executive Director) and Ellen Weinstein came up on stage to close the conference. They brought up a bunch of the behind-the-scenes folks that made this amazing event happen and it was all over.
Except it wasn’t over. We still had the closing night party! The theme of this conference wasn’t “Work and Play” for no reason. The attendees made their way back to their hotels and then to the Crystal Ballroom. We were treated to an open bar, a buffet full of food and a DJ while we mingled around. Later on in the night the headlining act, Portugal The Man, played a special set just for us ICON attendees (and I’m sure a few people who managed to sneak in). It was a great way to end this amazing week.
ICON 8 was an awesome conference and as attendees we were treated very well. I still don’t know how I was able to cram so much action into one week. Workshops, presentations, lectures, double-decker buses, happy hours, art shows, food, drinks, music and more! Needless to say, the trip to the airport was a bittersweet one. I was worn out after that week of work and play but I’ll miss Portland, OR and all of the new friends that I made while I was there. I’ll see you guys at ICON9!
Image & text by Pat Higgins, to see more of his work visit:illo.cc/25631
The Little Chimp Society announced the final 100 illustrators who had been selected for the Showcase 100 project (which we’re the official partners of) a little while ago now. We just wanted to congratulate the winning illustrators on making it into the exhibition and book as they were up against some very tough competition with there being over 1,400 entries of high quality work submitted for only one hundred places.
At the moment, The LCS is busy creating a detailed publication to accompany the project and framing all the work for the show. As a project partner we would like to extend an invitation to the exhibition to all of our readers. If you’d like to join us in London (UK) next April you can find the details at sc100.co.uk or sign up to let us know you’re coming on the Facebook event page.
This year we sent Pat Higgins to ICON8 and he was kind enough to write about his experience. Pat heralds from Bear on the east coast, so although it’s not as far a trip as coming from the UK would be, it’s still a hell of a trek going from east to west (Portland) in the USA. – Darren Di Lieto
It’s taken me a couple of weeks to recover from the incredible adventure that was ICON 8. It was an amazing few days (July 9-12) in Portland, OR, filled with informative and inspiring presentations and workshops, meeting like-minded creative professionals and of course, lots of partying. ICON board president Ellen Weinstein pretty much summed it up for me when she said, “It’s a helluva time to be an illustrator.” ICON was a helluva time.
ICON is an illustration conference that is held in a different city every two years. Wednesday and Thursday (July 9th and 10th) included workshops, educator paper presentations and an educator’s symposium which were held at the PNCA (Pacific Northwest College of Art). On Thursday, I attended the “Adobe Creative Cloud: New Tools for Illustrators” lecture, led by Rufus Deuchler. This was quite informative, as I am a few versions behind on my Adobe products and have yet to switch over to the Creative Cloud. After the lecture I was able to catch a few of the educator presentations for the remainder of the day. They were all great, but the ones that stuck out to me were Robert Meganck’s presentation, “Mapping Color” (for some reason I’m a huge nerd for color and color theory) and Wendy MacNaughton’s Illustrated Journalism presentation. Later on that day I headed back to the Portland Art Museum for the opening ceremony which is too crazy to explain… Here’s a link to a video (http://vimeo.com/100758202). After that, ICON President Ellen Weinstein took the stage and spoke about the illustration industry being a beast that is changing and adapting rather than dying off and going extinct. VIVA LA EVOLUTION! After Ellen’s open speech, the crowd was treated to the keynote speech by Paula Scher. She had a valuable presentation about her years in the industry and showed us what the surreal staircase of creativity looks like.
After the opening ceremonies, the hundreds of attending illustrators, students, art directors, and other assorted oddballs headed down to the first floor of the Portland Art Museum for the ICON 8 Roadshow. The roadshow was an event where attending artists and sponsors had tables set up to promote and sell the work that they do. Being around so much great work made it really hard not to spend all of my money scooping up everything that I saw. After much deliberation I ended up with some prints, comics, post cards, business cards and a stomach full of whiskey. Following the roadshow, I ended up starting a late night by grabbing some pizza and beer with my brother and a few Portland friends at a place called Sizzle Pie. It’s a pretty cool place… All of their pizzas have names like “Police and Thieves”, “D-Beat”, “It’s Always Sunny in Portland” and “Raising Arizona”. After dinner, we split into two groups: the ones that were worried about getting up early and the ones that didn’t want the party to end. Guess which group I was in.
Later that night/morning as my brother and I were walking back to the hotel, we were greeted by a gentleman named Montez who was asking for money. My brother said that he would give the guy a couple bucks, but he wanted an interesting story about Portland in return. Montez explained, “So this guy was ridin’ on a skateboard real fast like. And ran into THIS stop sign right here… BOOMCRACK!”. Pretty lame story, but after that we wandered into a secret figure drawing workshop at a local establishment called Mary’s. It was different than any other figure drawing class I’ve ever attended… First off, it was 2am. Secondly, Khrystaal (the instructor) kept collecting the workshop fee in the form of one dollar bills throughout the night. Weird stuff. I did manage to learn how to draw shoes with clear heels and glitter though!
Stay tuned for Part Two, which will be coming later this week.
Image credits Pat Higgins, to see more of his work visit:illo.cc/25631
As soon as you do that we’ll be on the ball checking out your site and sending you a reply. The reply might be a short comment, advice, praise or a confused look if you’re not an illustrator or artist. Please note all replies will be public, so if you don’t want the world to know what we think of your work, don’t ask. We’re not planning on taking any prisoners!
Please make sure you’re following @hireanillo on Twitter before taking part. If you’re not we can’t DM you if needed. Also please note that this time round due to the unprecedented response we had last time we did this, we’re going to be reviewing as many as we can for a set period of time. Which means we’ll be sending public replies on Twitter until 18:00 (13:00EDT) and no later. Looking forward to checking out your sites and work, the quality last time was outstanding! If you don’t get a review before 18:00 don’t worry, we’ll be doing more reviews in the not-to-distant future.
We’re super-pleased to announce that we’ve entered into a pact with Art PACT! hire an illustrator members are eligible for a $10 discount off PACT membership, while members of PACT can get 10% off an annual membership when they join us!
But what is Art PACT, I hear you cry? Well, if you don’t already know, Art PACT is a fabulous resource for illustrators – think interesting articles, reviews of clients, sample contracts, advice and good old fashioned encouragement to succeed in the wonderful world of illustration. We heartily encourage you to go and take a look: http://www.artpact.com/