One of the reasons we love doing shows, is that it gives us the opportunity to show off fantastic new artwork and designs from our lovely Advocate artists to lots of people. This year is no exception; we’ve done a big call out to all our greetings card illustrators and designers, and boy have they wowed us with all their new work! We’ve got great Christmas, female, male, birthday, and boutique ranges all mocked up and ready to show you at PGLive and Surtex this year, like this quirky Adventure Trail set from Sophia Touliatou; this sweet Bunting range from Suzanne Khushi; lovely bold floral designs from Nicola Evans, and these ultra feminine, classy Bijou styles from Lynn Horrabin.
Archive for the ‘Featured Artist’ Category
Recently we gave the Advocate Art website a much-needed boost, and introduced 2 brand new features to help our lovely clients’ online search. ImageSearch and the heart icon are sophisticated yet intuitive elements through which you can look for pictures in a more instinctive way, allowing you to compare images using visual references not just keywords.
Art Buyer Magazine are helping us to spread the word about our exciting new digital developments, and we were delighted to have an article about our online revamp feature in their Spring/Summer 2013 issue! Accompanying the text are images from our fantastic greetings card and art licensing artists Alex Burnett, Nicola Evans, Jessica Taunton, Rex Butcher, Victoria Nelson, Zoe Connery, and Chellie Carol. To see more of their work, click on their names above or visit their online portfolios on our website.
Laura Lee from Advocate Art writes on their new search interface.
When I use the Internet to look for images, the biggest hurdle is not where to look; I know the right image is in there somewhere. But how do I describe what I’m looking for so that a search engine can find it? It’s that classic needle in haystack situation: you know your picture is in there, and if you just make the right move it will magically appear.
Getty were the first to use keywords to organise their vast catalogue, and it’s a system that image libraries still depend on. This means that art buyers have to break their search down into very definite terms, or do their best to summarise it in one word. As the saying goes a picture’s worth a thousand words, so what are my chances of finding what I’m looking for with just one or two keywords?
I believe the way we search for images on the Internet mimics the way we think, and feel that the phrase ‘train of thought’ describes the journey-like quality of our mental processes pretty well; we like to meander slowly, make occasional stops, and admire the scenery until we reach our final destination. Image searching is fun, inspiring and completely illogical, so shouldn’t the technology we use follow suit?
The problem with working in an increasingly digitalised space regulated by apps and shortcuts is that we start to buy into the myth that everything is a click away. I fall prey to this sort of thinking all the time; as I look for lost house keys I try find them by mentally hitting CTRL + F. Countless times I’ve been disappointed I can’t CTRL + Z an irreversible problem. Picture libraries like to claim that they can give you this kind of instant access to The Right Answer, but this is only true if you know exactly what you’re looking for and where to find it. You know what? I say it’s time we stop worrying about our target, and start enjoying the journey again.
Edward Burns, our MD, comments, “If I’ve learnt anything about designing websites it’s that everybody thinks differently. Let’s say you have a button; you put it in a place that fits with one person’s logic. But another person will look for the same button in a completely different place. So hey: why not have two buttons? The other thing I’ve picked up is that it’s important to follow as closely as possible the experience of having one of our agents guide you through our website. That’s why we came up with the Advo Guy as our company mascot; he’s a bit like the paperclip they had in Word, he’s there to help you if you don’t have the benefit of having an agent take you through the website”.
With this in mind, we recently upgraded our website to the jolly tune of £20,000 and twelve months of programming. The latest features allow art buyers and picture researchers to look for images in a human way, as if they were having that valuable face-to-face meeting with an agent.
To make this possible, we travelled all the way to Berlin’s University of Applied Sciences and came back with ImageSearch. With this tool, users can upload an outside image to the website and have it compared to art from our catalogue. It’s not perfect – searches based on colour, shape and brightness can only get you so far – but that’s half the fun! You never know what to expect. Why stop there though? When you use ImageSearch, one of Advocate’s six agents gets notified of the image you’ve uploaded and where you’re looking and they’ll get back in touch to make sure you’re on the right track.
It’s a two-pronged attack that means you’re getting a kick out of the latest in image searching technology, as well as the help of an experienced, and more importantly human, agent.
We’ve also introduced the heart icon, which allows you to pull up a range of artists with related styles. This is particularly useful if you’re familiar with one of our artists and are interested in finding others who are similar.
I appreciate that keywords provide structure, but the thought that they’re the only things linking me to my image concerns me. It’s safe to say that humans – generally speaking – are confused, grammatically incorrect, illogical beings who like to ask a lot of really long, weird questions, which means we’re not that good at communicating with the Internet. We like searching instinctively, maybe tentatively, but certainly adventurously. I don’t have a problem with unpredictability; I’m not going to get upset because I uploaded an image of an artful red shoe adorned with flowers, only to be shown a picture of a woman in a dress straddling a tube of toothpaste. It’s these sorts of flaws that I enjoy; the mysterious brain farts of the Internet. When you go on the Internet to find a piece of artwork it should be like falling down the rabbit hole; an absurd, upside-down journey strewn with funny objects. Even when browsing for a specific picture, it’s nice to encounter or be exposed to the random and unexpected; to be taken on a meandering path through images that lie on the fringe of our original expectations.
Advocate were delighted to collaborate with Simon de Pinna on his great project The Town and Country Gallery. The Town and Country Gallery provide fine art prints for holiday rentals, and you can now see and order from their new collection of work through their Spring 2013 catalogue! The interactive version of this brochure, which is available here, is organised by theme but is also location specific. So you can rifle through the pages to find a piece of artwork that suits where you’re vacationing perfectly, whether it’s the seaside, in the heart of London, or deep in the countryside.
We’re particularly proud of this joint venture, as a large number of our fantastic art licensing and art for posters artists, as well as some of our photographers, are featured and their work available to buy. Not only that, but our fab in-house design team worked hard to put together and produce the catalogue. It looks pretty amazing, if we do say so ourselves, so a big thank you to Advocate‘s Lauren, Lucas and the rest of the design team for all their hard work!
The artists featured below are James Rowland and the Pope Twins; to see more of their work, please click on their names above or visit their online portfolios on our website. You can see many more of our artists’ images throughout the pages of The Town and Country Gallery, and for even more of their work take a browse through the art licensing, photography, and art for posters folios on our website.
Here at Advocate, we’re known to indulge in our childish sides. Which is a good thing seeing as we’ve got children’s book illustrations coming out of our ears! So we were more than delighted to discover that our lovely children’s book illustrator Sarah Horne has been elevated to the glorious, lofty heights of children’s television stardom!
Angela Mitchell’s debut children’s book ‘The Jelly that Wouldn’t Wobble‘ is all about a jelly that won’t…well…wobble!. What’s worse is that it has been specially requested by Princess Lolly for her 89th birthday party. What’s a loyal subject to do?!
Beautifully illustrated by Sarah Horne, in her distinctive animated and richly-coloured style, this story was an instant hit when it was published by Maverick in May 2012. In fact it was so bold that it couldn’t be kept on the page, and has only gone and been read on CBeebies Bedtime Stories by Sally Phillips!
Ever since we sent our new Advocate MaG off to print, we’ve been champing at the bit waiting for them to arrive. Yesterday was the Big Day! On the brightest, warmest day of the year so far our shiny new MaGs arrived in the post! To match Jenny Wiscombe’s summery cover we celebrated with Fab ice lollies.
We were so excited we couldn’t wait to share them with all our clients, so on went the radio and we got to work preparing them to be shipped out to their new homes. Keep an eye on your letterbox – one could well be winging its way to you soon!
Our Advocate MaG is full of the latest trends, designs and artwork from our fantastic greetings card and art licensing illustrators. To see more work by them click on their name above or visit our website! You can also now download our greetings card artists folio from Advocate Art’s homepage – just click on the ‘Card Artist Folio’ link under the search bar!
Yaargh! Shiver me timbers! Advocate‘s children’s book illustrator Jon Davis has only gone and illustrated Captain Fuzzlebeard & His New Birthday Pirate, a swashbuckling Storybook Game for tots and their parents to read and play together!
Published by Hallmark Gift Books, this exciting pirate story features the grizzly Captain Fuzzlebeard and his fledgling son Pete, as they celebrate Pete’s coming of age and make his birthday wish come true! Beautifully illustrated in Jon‘s distinctive style, this adventure-filled book will make great birthday booty for any young whippersnapper.
Here at Advocate we love getting post, so we were pretty pumped to be sent a colourful assortment of greetings cards from Advocate lovelies Paula Doherty, Karen Brennan, Sophia Touliatou, and Lara Skinner! These greetings card artists have been busily working away to produce these fun, funky, and rather beautiful designs.
To see art work for greetings cards and other areas from Paula Doherty, Karen Brennan, Sophia Touliatou, and Lara Skinner you can click on their names, or visit their portfolios on the Advocate Art Illustration Agency website.
We’ve put together an even bolder and brighter issue than the last, with a stunning cover from newly-joined artist Jenny Wiscombe, and art from Annabel Spenceley, Jenny Wren, Katy Donaldson, Jo Parry, and Sophia Touliatou. You can also see brilliant work from our greetings cards and art licensing artists, get a closer look at the world of a freelance illustrator in our artist features, look through the latest trends, and read about our amazing new web interface ImageSearch, which will change the way you search for pictures.
Adding to our general excitement about its release, the nice folks over at ArtBuyer Magazine have just promoted our MaG in their latest news bulletin!
To find out more information about our greetings cards and art licensing artists, or to see where we’ll be at upcoming shows, visit our website.
Did you miss us at Bologna Children’s Book Fair? Don’t kick yourself just yet! Advocate Art will be at London Book Fair 2013 with a shiny new stand – with artwork by Amy Husband, Patricia Yuste, Christine Battuz, Sarah Horne, Simon Mendez, and Sebastian Barreiro - and lots of brilliant artwork to show from our talented artists. Come and say hello at Stand A600; we’d love to see you!
Advocate had a blast at Bologna Children’s Book Fair! We saw lots of amazing artwork, a bunch of friendly faces, and spotted some pictures by our lovely artists on some great stalls. Here are some photos we took of art we saw by children’s illustrators Bill Bolton, Ksenia Topaz, Tom Percival, Steph Hinton and Simon Mendez. To see more of their art for children’s books and other work, visit their online portfolios on our website!
Ever wondered just how dinosaur bones go from being buried deep underground to being displayed in our museums? Got a hidden desire to go looking for these prehistoric monsters yourself? We follow a bunch of palaeontologists on their trip to discover a ginormous triceratops, and watch them put it together piece by piece. Better yet, there are tips on how to carry out your own excavation! Francisca’s charming and lively illustrations make those bones leap off the page, as she captures the excitement of making a huge discovery. This is perfect for curious young dinosaur fans!