Our Amazing Adventure with Jules Verne

We had a wonderful week in London and met dozens of brilliant artists! By all accounts the Amazing Adventures exhibition was a big success and we can’t wait to start planning our next show. We had around 140 visitors on the main day of the show and just over 200 throughout the week, with about 30 of our 127 UK and international participating artists making an appearance, which isn’t bad considering it’s not the biggest of spaces for the amount of work we normally showcase. It was a tight squeeze at times, but worth the effort.

We sold just over a thousand pounds worth of merchandise at the exhibition with most of the profits going directly to the artists. The majority of the sales were the open edition prints, and I think this was a fantastic figure to reach considering their low cost and unlimited edition. I’d like to have sold more of the original artwork, but I’m just happy that I’ve got a decent amount of money to transfer to our illustrators over the coming week. We’re committed to selling five copies of each print, after that the artists will be free to sell their work directly and hopefully make even more out their Jules Verne artwork if they’re not already doing so. We’ll be making the prints and the accompanying exhibition catalogue, along with a couple of original pieces, available via The Little Chimp Society webstore shortly – with the artists continuing to profit from the products we sell on their behalf via the site.

Now that the show is over, I feel that Jules Verne was the perfect subject for this occasion and it felt right to have the show at this point in time. I did have my doubts before the artwork started being handed in that not enough people would really know his stories or narratives properly, but I had no reason to worry, my concerns were unfounded. “Sea monsters” and “amazing adventures” were all most of our illustrators needed to pick up their pencil and run with it. The artworks created were some of the best I’ve seen them produce and I’m very proud to be part of this project with them. What makes this exhibition and project very special for me is that this is the first time I’ve asked our artists to create something specific for an event. With the exception of Mail Me Art we’ve always asked our artists for pre-existing artwork for our previous gallery shows. I know creating something from nothing or being inspired to create something new is what creative types do, but it always felt selfish to ask them to do that for us, even when it’s for a group show and their own benefit. I’m just pleased it worked out the way it did and I hope our illustrators are as proud of themselves as I am of them.

I personally got to meet so many wonderful people during the exhibition, but at the same time looking at the social pages the day after the show, I missed meeting a lot of people too, some that I didn’t even realise were there, sorry. If you got to chat with me, thank you for putting up with me and I really appreciated how far some of you had travelled to come to the show, even if I only got to speak to you for a moment before I rushed off for one reason or another. One artist called Gal Weizman had come all the way over from Israel and I wish I’d been able to spend a bit more time with her and should have taken her up on her offer to help me set up show, I just didn’t want to take too much of her time up when she had the whole of London to explore during her short trip. It was very nice to see Brendan Purchase (and wife) again and I was very happy that he noticed that we hadn’t put his original illustration up before people started arriving. It was also appreciated that David Cousens let me know that I’d hung his excellent illustration upside down… I’m not sure how that happened, I’ve been staring at the Jules Verne artwork for several months now and I know most of it inside out, although apparently not upside down. After the private view, which was actually open to everyone on the Thursday evening; Mark Borgions, Davor Bakara and Bruce Richardson along with a few others joined me at the Fitzroy Tavern. Tthe conversation was interesting and company was very enjoyable… there was a lot of drink. So much so, a couple of us, including myself almost missed the last trains out of Central London just making it with only moments to spare. All in all, things went very well and everyone had an excellent time, even the gallery staff enjoyed themselves.

Being able to talk to so many of the artists in person about their artwork was a pleasure. Learning about their process and new tidbits about the finished work was very interesting to say the least – there is so much that never crosses your mind and it gave me a renewed appreciation for the work our artists do. I can’t wait to start organising our next show and working with our amazing members again to bring it all to life.

The Gallery is located in fashionable Fitzrovia, the heart of London’s media, art and design centre, at the showroom of Artefact Picture Framers. Conveniently situated a few minutes walk from both Goodge Street and Tottenham Court Road Underground Stations, close to many of London’s long established galleries, just around the corner from the trendy restaurants, watering holes of Charlotte Street and close to bustling Oxford Street.

The Framers Gallery

See our previous pre-exhibition post: Are you ready for an Amazing Adventure?

Happy Holidays!

So, as we seem to have survived the Mayan Apocalypse, we’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We hope that you all have a lovely time over the Holidays and look forward to a fantastic 2013!

Artwork is by the wonderful Emma McCann ©

– the hire an illustrator team


We recently bought issues 0 and 1 of the British comic, Overload. Published by The Copydesk, they feature collections of work by both new and established artists and writers.

They are particularly note-worthy as, apart from being really rather good, both editions are adorned with cover art by hai members! Roy Huteson Stewart‘s Marines and monster of southern State folklore can be found on the cover of Overload #0, while Graeme Neil Reid‘s zombie Prime Ministers take over the front of Overload #1.

You can buy the comics over at The Copydesk website!

What’s new Pussycat…?

It was always our intention with the Hai! website to continually keep things moving by making improvements and adding new and (hopefully!) useful features for the benefit of members, clients and others interested in the creative industry.
Our tech-head and all-round genius, Darren, has been hard at work again (actually he never stops, even to sleep) to bring you our most recent additions to the site!

First up is the new Video Showreels page, designed to put more of a focus on our wonderful animators and motion artists. Nice and simple, it brings together videos showcasing animation work by members from these categories.

We also have a Resources section on the site, which has been available for a little while now. Here we have links to carefully selected articles and videos created by professionals within the industry, which we feel are essential resources for artists, illustrators and potential clients. This section currently includes advice from Charles Hively (3X3 magazine), Nate Williams (illustrator and more!), Dani Jones (illustrator) and Marcus Cutler (illustrator).

Our newest addition is The Bookshelf, where we have listed books recommended and owned by us. We’ve split this into Business & Resources, Children’s & Young Adult, Showcase and General Interest sections. To make The Bookshelf as useful as we can, we will be working our way through posting reviews of the books here on the blog.

And finally, some changes have recently been made to the news headlines on the home page. You can now click through the headline articles, rather than having to wait for them to rotate, giving more exposure to all headline news.

Hope you enjoy!