Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mae Besom's Scrapbook

Mae Besom, one of our newest Chinese talents shares her love of handpainting & how the love of her dogs & cat play significant roles in her creative world.

Mae Besom's Scrapbook
Mae Besom's portfolio

The Spring 2010 Edition of our Scrapbook

Myebook - Scrapbook. Spring 2010 - click here to open my ebook

FRAME X FRAME June Animator of the Month

Moving fast this month is top animator Ian Naylor who says of his work "I love machinery and showing how things work", his Pinball Game is Wizard!



An emotional music video from Nick Murray Willis with his second animation for Angus and Julia Stone.


FRAME X FRAME Meet Your Strawman

Paul Daviz completes this controversial spoof educational film about the conspiracy surrounding birth certificates and our slavery!


Cannes Advertising Awards for Gail Armstrong


These spectacular images created by Gail Armstrong with JWT  for  Kleenex have won one Gold and two Bronze  awards at the Cannes Advertising Awards. This is incedible news as one of the awards was specifically for illustration using craft. Getting awards at Cannes is a huge boost for advertising agencies and something they strive for, good old Gail's got a glorious 3!

Info on Gold Award
Info on Press Awards
Gail Armstrong's portfolio

Pete Pachoumis's Scrapbook

A peek into the superhero & comic book inspired world of one of our newest illustrators; introducing Pete Pachoumis.

Pete Pachoumis's Scrapbook
Pete Pachoumis's Portfolio

Contemporary Lions

This eye catching illustration is one of a series of commanding images created by Caroline Church for Publicis in Zurich.

Caroline greatly enjoyed creating this series of amusing images, which depict lions involved in contemporary activites such as walking the dog and changing light bulbs, the illustrations will all be used within a financial report for the council.

Caroline Church's portfolio

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grahame Baker Smith's Scrapbook

2010 Greenaway Nominated Illustrator, Grahame Baker Smith opens the door to his holistic world of art, thoughts & dreams.

Grahame Baker Smith's Scrapbook
Grahame Baker Smith's Portfolio

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bompas and Parr launches a new book and Studio Opening

Our extraordinary artists/JellyMongers have published a book JELLY with Bompass & Parr and relocated to their new studio/kitchens in SE1 and had a great party to boot. animation showreel

Transcript of a lecture to Loughbough University illustration Students in 2005 by Harry Lyon-Smith on how to thrive as an illustrator, how to be a great illustrator

Good Afternoon

Thank you, and the AOI for inviting me to talk.

I have calculated that there are about 1000 illustrations commissioned a week in the UK. I have based this on the following set of presumptions:

There are about 3000 practicing illustrators (a 1/3 of whom are represented) with an average income of about £15,000 per year (this includes many who are making tens and hundreds of thousands a year, as well as the very large number of part-time and those just starting out)
This makes a market size of about £45 million.
We, as an agency, do thousands of jobs a year and the average bill is about £800, so I assume it is about the same for the industry as a whole. £45 million divided by 800 comes out at 56,000 jobs a year, hence about a 1000 a week, or 200 every working day.

Put like this there is a lot of work out there and the only challenge is getting hold of it.

Although knowing how to SURVIVE is important, it sets a pace that is, to my mind, flat and pitching low. My feeling is that this day could be called How to THRIVE as an Illustrator, or How to succeed as an Illustrator. Making the prospect of a career in this exciting, challenging and rewarding role much more appealing.

Ok so I am going to talk from an agent’s point of view,
·      covering a little about illustration Ltd,
·      a little bit more about the market,
·      our role as agents,
·      how we market ourselves.
·      11 general thoughts on getting on both with an agent and as an independent illustrator.
·      I asked some fellow agents and some of our illustrators what they thought it took to be a great illustrator and a great agent…so I will share some of their thoughts with you.
Hopefully there will be a few minutes for any questions before we finish.

So about the agency.

The agency first started in 1929 by Kathleen Boland and her 2 sisters. It was called the Kathleen Boland Studio. Sadly I know little about the agency in those early years but it prospered for 4 decades. John Havergal bought it in 1970 and changed the name to The Garden Studio, as the offices were in Covent Garden. I joined John in 1985 as an employee having been a motorcycle courier collecting and delivering Portfolios for him.
He taught me his very disciplined and effective style of agenting and the agency grew strongly. At that point we represented about 20 illustrator clients. In 1992, John and I became business partners. Then in 1997 John retired. Joined by Marie-Claire and Sarah who were with us, we changed the name to illustration ltd. It reflected the top quality range of illustrators that represented the very best of the genre, from wood engravers to hyper realists and everything in between.

We represented about 90 artists and with our close affiliation with a great agency in Hamburg called die illustratoren the joint count was about 140. This number has stayed roughly the same for 10 years or so.

In 2000 we did 3 things:
·      we merged with Jacqui Figgis illustration,
·      one we opened an office in New York
·      set up a sister agency called illustrationRGB, (now, which markets the work of the increasing number of illustrators who are now animating.

So that sort of brings us up to date,

The  Market…….

I gave you a broad-brush size of the market at the beginning, i.e. about £45million.

I don’t think much has changed over the last 20 years that I have been involved in the business, in terms of the overall amount of business. Sadly the fees have not gone up much, and in some cases they have gone down. Illustrators are being much more productive and efficient because of computers, so some of those losses have been re-dressed that way.
A big change for us has been the demise of the packaging illustration market, for 15 years it used to be about a 1/3 of our business, and represented good incomes for many of our artist-clients. The likes of Tescos and Sainsburys had illustration on all most every pack. Now it is largely photography and graphics. Packaging now probably represents 5-10% of our business.

The other big change has been the rise in the ready availability of Stock images. They say that there are 1 billion images for sale on the internet. There is nothing wrong with stock as such, however images are now sold so cheaply and the range is so huge that clients have a fantastic choice of ‘has-been’ images. Stock sold at comparable prices to commissioned work is fine and is a useful extra income for image-makers. Every image-maker has a duty, to my mind, to resist the Royalty Free collections in particular. I don’t miss opportunities to warn anyone of the Jam today, no work tomorrow reality that it represents. Every time a stock image is used, the chances are that an illustration or photograph is not commissioned; furthermore prices are held down by that considerable market force.

Another change is the number of illustrators.
We used to represent a very fine and charming gentleman by the name of Hargrave Hands, sadly now in the great studio in the sky. He started out when he came back from the war and in the 50s and 60s he was one of a dozen or so freelancers in London. In those days there were lots of in house studios at the ad agencies and publishing houses. Hargreave was always busy and he earned about £40,000 a year. In today’s language you can put a ‘0’ on that. Not many illustrators earn that year in year out nowadays.

OUR Role as agents

It is a multi-disciplined role. At a simple and functional level, we market the work of our clients, we negotiate and manage jobs, we invoice the customer, collect the fee and pay our client….less a commission.

When a job comes in, it is often the quickest, smallest and easiest part of our role, maybe 20% of the job. The biggest, by a long shot, is creating the environment that enables that job to happen in the first place. Years of building a great team, building good-will in the market, constant promotion, non-stop of chatting to clients and artists, keeping portfolios looking great, making sure that the agency is right up to the button with technology etc etc.

Some artists work needs very little marketing, As soon as they join, work just starts coming in…it is very exciting and rewarding when that happens, the trick is then to manage the work flow and keeping the dialogue open with the artist in terms of keeping the exposure balanced and the work evolving.
Other times you think you have got a brilliant star joining you and you launch them and then….nothing… call up clients and ask them what they think and they will tell you that, yes, they think they are brilliant, exciting and how much they would love to use them. You wait a bit more and see how things go, but to no avail. This is a challenging scenario…..either the market is not ready for the illustrator, or illustrator is not ready for the market, or you are the wrong agent to be representing them.  The first 2 scenarios can be worked on and given lots of hard graft to try and align the work with the market, the situation can be saved. If after months of effort on both sides, nothing happens then it is probably best to part company and accept that the combination was wrong. From the illustrators point of view, it could well be another agent can find a different market that works for them, or they find it by themselves.

How we market ourselves.

Our greatest single shop window is our website. We adopted the technology very early on and determinedly put the whole portfolios of each of our artists on it. We have pushed, honed, re-designed, added features and marketed the site continuously. Clients find it very useful and rarely ask for traditional portfolios, instead they often know who they want to commission, and send the brief over for a quote. That is often the first we hear of a project.
Both the artist and ourselves can change the content of the individual’s portfolio, and we have put a counter next to each image so one can see which are the most popular images…..bringing a bit of science to it. We have someone in the office working practically full time on the online portfolios, keeping them fresh and valid.
There are about 120,000 users a month on the site and it ranks higher than any other illustration website on the net. We are top of Google, Yahoo and MSN for the word ‘illustration’ and we enjoy a useful amount of inquiry from the site.
The area of the site that has been found to be particularly useful is the style galleries. We have selected the 12 most common general areas and in each area we show 3 images from each artist that best shows them off in that area. Because clients are generally highly visual people they find it the best way to review our team.

We promote ourselves as much collectively as individually. Every 2 months we send out what we call a jumbo card, with 12 examples of work, to many thousands of clients across the world, largely in the UK and USA. We also produce an e-newsletter that we send out.

We have also found it to be useful to have everyone’s work on various other illustration websites., and the in the UK, and in the States, are all good and for modest sums you build good web exposure.

We combine our client’s address data with bought in mailing lists. We use a company called Bikinilists, mainly because they ask companies if they commission illustration. There others such as FileFX and Creative Hand Book both long established and useful alternatives.

We are also out seeing clients a lot, showing off a general portfolio, which will have been honed to the client we are seeing. It is essential to be building and maintaining relationships in the buying community.
The directories such as Contact, the Art Book and Creative Handbook are widely distributed in the industry and certainly use to be a vital platform. They still have an audience, without doubt, however we see them as optional and not essential nowadays.

This all said the majority of work comes from existing clients, nurtured and enjoyed over many years.

Here are 12 thoughts on how to thrive as an illustrator: they are not in any order of importance, they are all important.

1.    Keep right up to date with technology. It is fast moving and catching up is a lot harder than keeping up.

2.  Know your market. See what illustrations are being commissioned and evolve your work so that your clients can see how they can use you. You can be the most brilliant, both technically and stylistically groundbreaking, but unless your customers can use the work, you will not get any.

3.  Be great to work with. As in all businesses being just good at what you do is only part of the battle. Clients must enjoy working with you, and if they do they will return to you and recommend you to others.
One of the best books that I can recommend is DaleCarnegie’s ‘How to win Friends and Influence People’.   Even if you are good with people, this will make you better. Written nearly 100 years ago it is still very relevant and a very sound £7 investment.

4.  Remember that if you are with an agency every job every artist does through the agency it will affect everyone else in the agency. So every job that we do each month, all the good ones keep the door open for everyone else, a poor job can as easily close it for all as well.

5.  If it is not working with your agent, be it not enough work, an issue of how they are representing you, or there is a personality clash, and you have exhausted any prospect of getting things to work, it is better to move on. No one will thrive if someone in the team is not happy.

6.  Work really hard. Both at your portfolio and at promoting yourself. You need a marketing strategy that you can see through, evolving and adapting as you go. Get your portfolio looking fantastic, get your website up and running, get cards printed and get out there. You can easily call 20 people an hour to make appointments, you wont get into see everyone but you wont see anyone unless you call. Cold calling is hard for many but it does not bite and once you are in a rhythm it is a lot easier.

7.  Join the AOI they are a great help and the camaraderie of fellow illustrators can be very useful in a sometimes-lonely world. You will always take away more from days like this than you came with. If you stop wanting to learn more, it is time to retire.

8.  Try and visualize the future all the time and adapt your work for that future. Clothes fashion, product, packaging, music, magazines, they are all collectively windows on the future.  It is said that to foresee is to rule.

9.  Be creative in all aspects of your business. To be creative you need to give yourself some quiet, some time and permission.

10.  Research your investments and think of your overheads as investments, if you do that you will look at them positively and constructively. If you are thinking about going into a directory, getting a mailing list or joining an on line recourse, ask the sales person for some telephone numbers of others who have taken up the service. They should be willing to oblige. If they are not it may raise some questions in yr mind.

11. If you don’t want to pay tax, go and live in Ireland.  Once the tax authorities have accepted that you are an artist, you are zero-rated.

You know, I think I must have one of the best jobs in the world. I am surrounded by illustrators whose brilliantly creative intelligence makes each day full of possibilities and fun.

I have created this graphic that I think breaks down what it takes to be a great illustrator. When one has these three elements and the center is a deep colour, you will be cooking with gas.

Please keep this in Mind when I read from these replies to my questions: What makes a great Illustrator and What makes a great Agent?
I think you will begin to hear repetition and emphasis that correspond with the Great Illustrator Graphic above.

I will start with the Agents first:

Philip Reed from Art Market

What makes a great Agent. I think it’s to do with "matching" an Illustrator to a Art Director’s brief .

What makes a great illustrator. I think its the ability to turn a concept or an idea into something tangible

Paula White from New Division

What makes a great Agent?
Honesty, a generous supportive nature. Belief in good illustration and the rights of your artists. All this should be accompanied with good knowledge of the media industry, ability to handle any type of brief, to be able to stand your ground and negotiate good fees and time scales and to have a good creative background and understanding.

 What makes a great Illustrator?
Ability to draw! So many can't! Ability to understand the demands of a commercial industry and to be flexible within that structure. If working with an agent you need to see it as a partnership,  installing trust and time into it. Having the courage to move on and progress your work is also a must if you want to be in it for the long term!

Tamlyn Francis of Arena
 What makes a great Agent?

Being able to guide an illustrator to a more successful career by keeping up to date with clients needs.
Encouraging  new work. Keeping  abreast of deadlines. Handling  marketing and promotion. Taking  proper care of illustrators  copyright  and getting the best price for individual licenses  and subsequent  2nd rights. Handling  contractual  obligations, chasing  royalties.
Invoicing  and money chasing  on the illustrators  behalf, paying the Illustrators  promptly  good book keeping.
Understanding  and being able to pass on briefs effectively. Being  a barrier for tricky situations  which may arise between  client and illustrator  and sorting out issues between the two should things get out of hand.
(Oh and being agony aunt, shoulder to cry on and surrogate  mother.)

 What makes a great Illustrator?

Creativity, excellent workmanship, 110% dedication, honesty, integrity.

Christine Isteed of Artist Partners

What makes a great Agent?
Someone who is in it for the love of it ! who want's to help artists  to
reach their dreams and aspirations , and to keep them there.
An agent who is someone the artist can trust, and work with -  in an equal
partnership, and someone you can talk to openly.
Someone who cares.


What makes a great Illustrator?
An great illustrator is someone who is ever striving to do the perfect artwork, who loves experimenting, and working, and trying new approaches whenever possible.
Who is proud of his or her work, who keeps their portfolios up to date and presentable, including their images on the websites. Who actively gets involved with developing their career with the agent  by taking time out to produce new samples, or suggest areas they would like to work in where they have a special empathy.

Lucy Scherer of The Artworks

A great agent is ethical, efficient and proactive.  Plus enthusiastic and encouraging.

A great illustrator is professional, also proactive and always inspired by new work.

Now here are some illustrators

John Liddell
What makes a great Illustrator?
 What makes a great  actor?...singer?......footballer?
Being a successful Illustrator is not merely a job, it's a way of life,  a calling. It is borne out of the sheer love of doing what you do,  (this includes  highs and lows!) and not wanting to do anything else. Some have called it addiction...some  have called it prostitution.

The secret, I think, of being a 'great illustrator' ( and I wouldn't  presume the title) is being able to separate the emotion from your  work, retain the elements that make it recognizable  as yours, and  having the discipline to tailor it to your clients needs.
The client is king in an illustrator's  world. Whether it's a free reign 
design genius paying you 100K (you should be so lucky), or a 20yr old 
daughter of the boss playing in an agency.
A great illustrator  will  make either work, in the end THEY are paying  the bill.

I would give an analogy.
In the 'old days' in Hollywood, matte paintings ( superb realistic  painted backgrounds for live action filming) were painted on large  sheets of glass which were back lit in filming. When filming had finished, the artists scraped off all the painting,  ready for another job. When asked by an astonished onlooker why he had  just destroyed a masterpiece, the artist replied," It has fulfilled the 
job it was done for, it is of no further use!"

That, in essence, is illustration in it's purest form.

Nick Diggory

A good agent.

A good agent has to perform a difficult balancing act. To the artist, he must act as a father figure. Someone to be trusted to obtain the best possible fees (preferably for the least amount of work). He must not be seen to favour any one artist. He should be there at times of crisis, not just appear at the start of a commission and reappear when it's time to invoice. He is a go-between, someone the artist can moan too when the deadlines are brought forward or the brief is changed, as they regularly are, and someone the client can have total confidence in. He must show honesty and integrity at all times. But above all, he must be seen to 'earn' his huge percentage by sweating blood over every commission, no matter how  large or small and treating them with equal importance.

To the client, he must be available '24/7'. He must take the flak when the artist fails to deliver (as they inevitably do!). He must know the difference between a pixel and a paintbrush. He should somehow get the artist to do twice the amount of work needed for half the price quoted and he must do all this with a gracious smile because, as most clients (and the majority of illustrators) truly believe, all  agents are 'Bludgers and leeches, to be treated with contempt' . Unless , of course, they've just given you a 20, 000 pound job. Then they are Gods!

A good illustrator.

A good illustrator simply has to perform.   The ability to actually draw is always a bonus, but that's really only half the job. They must be able to 'communicate' with clients. Attitude is everything and these days a good telephone manner (and good grammar) is essential. When a client commissions you, they're putting their trust in you. A good illustrator will earn respect, not only for themselves but the agency which represents them too. Put simply, if a client likes working with you, they'll keep working with you. If they don't, they won't.

And the golden rule - never, ever, miss a deadline! The client may well be telling you they need the job three weeks before they actually do need it, but that's because they've been let down so many times in the past. Look at the artwork completion date on the brief and stick to it. And if you don't think it's possible, don't just ignore it, tell them when you can finish the job for. Honesty is appreciated. Ignorance isn't.

Vanessa Dell

A great Agent:
1/ They need to like/appreciate yr work
2/ A good business sense
3/ Passionate about illustration
4/ Honest

A great Illustrator:
1/ Imagination
2/ Versatility
3/ Business Sense
4/ Optimism
5/ Drive

Willie Ryan

What makes a great Agent?

The ability to appreciate the work of the illustrator - enough to communicate that to the client, and to avoid any inappropriate expectations on the part of the client

The agent needs to be able to engage with both artist and client, so communication skills are extremely important

Agents have to be forward-thinking (especially with the current speed and effect of technology)

They have to be confident with the idea of speculation

They need to be personable, as much chatting-up is required

They have to have a clear financial/business-take on briefs as soon as they arrive - boundaries have to be drawn and deadlines have to be met. This aspect has to be pretty black and white, as 'greyness' can be costly.

I guess they have to be able to deal with artsy-fartsy tantrums occasionally

Nice arse would be nice

What makes a great illustrator?

The ability to leave a job when it's going nowhere, and to feel confident of success upon return.

The ability to get out from underneath a brief, and to get on top of it, early on

Strong coffee tolerance

A devoted sugar-daddy

LOTS of flexibility, and the ability to make changes to an image at the client's behest. Remember, the only reason most of us are producing images is because somebody else has asked us to do so, and is prepared to pay us for doing so.

Lots of nice guitars

Friends who can get to the pub at ten minutes notice, and who don't give up on you if you cancel due to corrections.

An ability to make space for successful accidents on the page - so they never suffer from fear of the blank page

Good, regular sex

Derek Bacon

A great agent

- a steady flow of interesting well-paid jobs (ok, touch idealistic I know)
- good transparent communication
- the ability to think ahead, beyond money, and see what kind of name an illustrator can carve out for themselves, steering them en route if necessary (even having the foresite to steer them away from a job that might, for example in the case of a promising new illustrator eager to get published, prove to be a bad career move in the long run)
- "bigging up" the illustrators constantly, but also being aware of individual strengths, and suitability/unsuitability for some jobs

a great illustrator

- falls completely in love the job, gives it his all because he believes he is only as good as his last job, and anyway he simply can't believe that he gets paid to do what he loves doing.
- has a style that doesn't date, and can be applied to virtually any subject
- produces work that creates an instant reaction in people
- maintains strict personal hygiene

Stuart Holmes

One that gets you lots of work would be the short and obvious answer! But to answer it slightly more in depth, communication would have to be top of the list – purely for the fact that without this essential skill only limited work would be won from clients. – meaning they need to be able to understand a brief creatively as well as in a monetary sense– the more they understand a brief from a client the more they can relay this information to us. You need a loyal agent as well, one you know is fighting your corner for you not just out for the bottom dollar – without this loyalty there is no trust, and without that you may as well pack up and go home!

To summarise- it is someone who can work both sides of the counter – then everyone goes away happy, client/agent/illustrator, which is obviously the perfect equilibrium and therefore hopefully self perpetuates itself with return of business etc...

Knowledge of your trade and area of expertise. Knowledge and understanding of requirements from the clients. Knowledge of your limitations; creatively/deadlines/finances. Try not to let one sway the other. It is all well and good if a client is willing to pay you a small fortune but if you don’t physically have the time to fulfil the brief what good is it? Likewise if you do not have the creative know-how in order to complete a project why bother to accept it in the first place.... etc.... I can only speak for myself but knowing the market is essential as a contemporary illustrator, having a feel for what is out there at the moment and what is likely to be the next trend as well, not to jump on the bandwagon but in order to progress and evolve your style you need to know what potential clients are wanting and needing and to do this you need to know what styles are current without compromising your own work.

Jamel Akib

What makes a great agent?

A great agent  knows you, your work, has a good overview of the market place and is able to marry them all together.
He/she knows where you'd be wasting your money in advertising and where exposure can help generate work.
We are the ammunition the agent decideds where to shoot.
Because Harry has a great awareness of technology, illustration and his  artists- he helped translate my work into digital without any real loss of quality.
Everything i did needed to be photographed thus adding cost and time to the client. Now this isn't an issue. With the market changing rapidly
Harry help me embrace new technology which would otherwise have passed me by.

What makes a great illustrator?

i think you need to be able to apply your work to a variety of areas. When 'editorial' dries up you always have 'children's books' to fall back on. Take on anything and everything - Make hay while the sun shines. Dont be too precious. Learn to draw.

Andy Hammond

A 'great agent'.  

Well, first off, he or she should keep in touch with their artists, especially when they are quiet. It gets very lonely out there and it is good to hear from fellow professionals when you think that you are the only one not getting any work. As you know, we can be a little paranoid sometimes.

Then there is 'pressing the flesh'. This we all know is what agents do best, but the really 'great agent' will also press the flesh of their artists at occasional get-togethers (nothing sexual going on here), it is really good to meet with our colleagues and lie about how busy we are.

Having a prompt invoicing and fee collection system is a must, as is having the clout to lean on late payers. Artists have to know that they can trust their agent totally. A 'great agent' knows how poor we are.

Keeping abreast of modern trends and technology is also what is needed from a 'great agent'. Because so many of us work in a solo environment there is a danger that we don't keep up with what is happening in the real world.

A 'great illustrator'.

This is much simpler. I think that a 'great illustrator' is one who can excite the viewer, produce work which is both inspirational and technically brilliant. I think that if in your career you produce one piece of work which causes people to say "....that's a great illustration", then you've made it.

A 'great illustrator' is one who produces their best work on a black and white two inch single column ad. for anal itching cream, with a budget of sixty five pounds. Now that's a 'great illustrator.

It also helps if you are a good communicator, can fulfill a brief on time and not get too 'out of your pram' with your 'great agent' when he drops you in the shit on a Friday evening. It was probably the client’s fault.

Ian Naylor

An aggressive and integrated approach to sales, which is largely high profile delivery of illustration across a range of media, a total commitment to the internet and all the diverse places that illustration has developed in the digital age ( multi
media, moving, TV, web etc ). Rapid acceptance and response to this. A diplomat, a businessman and an honest man. Fantastic book keeping and accounting regime,
Oh Yes ! .... and having loads of lovely girls working in the office ( regrettably, sheer distance between us prevents me from taking full advantage of this, but I still like it ..... don't show this to any of them or I will never work with them again ... !! )

What makes a great illustrator -  Being single .... does that count ?, willingness to work most of the time ( but enjoying the work ) Acceptance that an agent can't be responsible for keeping you busy all the time - how can that possibly work ? Allowing yourself to accept work that may require you working for a much reduced fee, it's always worth it in the long term. Low expectations from the business ( in a positive way if that makes any sense ), concentrate on the style / subjects that interest you. Invest in the new technology and establish precisely which software / hardware is appropriate to your work, then try something else as well. Never close off your ability to continually learn. Be disciplined in how you work and try to keep regular working hours - easy when it's most of them. Enjoy the time off you sometimes get in the week ! Don't think of a weekend as a weekend but enjoy it all the same. ( off to a band tonight - but NO booze !! ) Take regular exercise and eat wisely, don't smoke and buy a decent chair to work on.
Have your eyes tested every year.


what makes a great agent...
- well, first of all, you guys are the best agents I know!
- I love the way you really chase the clients with advertising, and via the web, it's really forward thinking, my agent in melbourne tends to just wait for the jobs to come in, which is fine if it is busy, but it doesn't really
build further contacts, you guys get me far more work than she does!
- being easy to talk to and supportive,  it's really nice to feel like you are working together
- the way your website is set up is great, being able to design my homepage, and update it, it's amazing how much more work I get when I do update it!
- knowing my work well enough to be able to match me up with jobs my style is suitable for!
- great negotiating skills! it is very hard sometimes to work out prices with clients myself, I should be more confident,  so it does mean a lot to me that you guys believe in the value of my work!

what makes a great illustrator...
- I guess just to really love and be passionate about what you do!
- to keep working on an illo until you are happy with it, that it looks 'right',  that you've done you best! my theory is, you are your harshest critic, so if you are happy with an illo, then your client will like it too!
- make sure you finish by the deadline! and be willing to make sacrifices to do this, that is, missing out on sleep, or canceling social outings sometimes (its a big ask, so that's why you Really have to love it!)
- keep clients updated with your latest work, I haven't had to this for a few years now (thanks to you Harry!), but at the start,  during quite times, I would send client's quick emails with a few new illos, just to keep in touch, and it really was good for ongoing work, keeping you in their minds when jobs do come up
- think of ways to promote new clients, or more work from old ones, I normally make a little something to give to clients for Christmas, that has my illo and sometimes my contact details, but is still a nice gift, this year it was a little notebook,
- try to be friendly and keep in touch with clients, contacts are
invaluable! my very first job was for B magazine, all 5 girls went to different mags when they re-designed, but they all still call me with jobs from their new mags!  I find it is a small industry where people move around alot, and many clients other than mags have been recommended through art directors I've worked with, but it doesn't mean you need to know people, I didn't know anyone when I first started! I picked up five mags
from a newsagent, and emailed each 3 samples of my work, and luckily one replied, B mag!

Bill Greenhead

What makes a great Agent?

  A great agent is someone who is your dad, mum, brother sister and biggest fan. They need to encourage support and put up with your doubts and worries.
Be truthful and honest with you, let you know your mistakes and your truimphs. It can be a lonely existance being an illustrator, having that backup helps enormously.


What makes a great Illustrator?

   The illustrator must deliver. Must do exactly what the client wants, even though the client may not know what he/she wants. The client is always right. You should deliver the work at least a day before the deadline to
give you and the client wiggle room. You should be able to adapt an evolve your style. Never turn a job down. An illustrator is a communicator, lose sight of that and you are in grave trouble. You must be able to adapt to
technology and not be frightened to use new programs and techniques. The best Illustrators are their own harshest critics. Improve and learn every day.

John Liddell came up with this quip almost by return of my request:

What makes a great Illustrator?
A pencil, a bottle of brandy and a naked woman.

What makes a great Agent?
He tells you what to do with them.

Thank You