It’s been a busy couple of days at the Advocate offices! With Hannah and Natasha jetting off to Germany for the Frankfurt Paperworld Fair, it’s been all hands on deck with creating mockups for our new card designs. There’s some great work being produced by our artists, so we’re excited for the new designs to get out there!
Posts Tagged ‘Ashtead’
We recently received our new sends folders here at Advocate! The re-design includes lots of pictures of our Advocate Artists, and it matches our brand new exhibition stand! We use them for sending out our Artists portfolio’s, so if you’re expecting any artist work, you’ll be seeing one of these awesome new folders in the flesh very soon!
Yesterday the village of Ashtead got together to celebrate the summer solstice with a jubilee themed fete, the street was alive with activity and so was Advocate! We had a drawing competition which went down really well and a fantastic performance from some musicians from the Surrey Philharmonic Orchestra.
We feel that overall the event was a great success, it was lovely to feel like an official part of the village!
Check out this lovely little video of the musicians playing, and watch this space to see the results of the drawing competition…
We had rather an eventful few hours the other day at Advocate Art. Around lunchtime two cars came crashing into the lamp post narrowly missing the gallery window! The police were grateful for our help as we managed to capture the whole incident on CCTV. Lesley, our office manager, extracted the entire sequence of events which she burned onto a CD for them. Ed had a lucky escape as he was walking Patch at the time. The gallery escaped unscathed but the cars and the lamp post took a good beating!
At Advocate we thought it would be really nice to make our own rather quirky christmas decorations (any excuse for us creative folk to get crafting!). So our lovely intern Steph took the reigns and designed us some gorgeous Banksy inspired silhouettes which we then sprayed onto the windows with white snow! If you look closely you can see the changes she made from the original Bansky we have in the Advocate gallery and the one on the windows. We think they look great!
It is Pat’s 30th birthday this weekend so we got him a tasty superhero birthday cake, a (very tasteful) mug and some big 30 balloons! Everyone at Advocate got their best singing voices out and enjoyed some scrummy cake. He is off to Manchester to have a fun filled birthday weekend and to visit the christmas market, HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAT!!!
Advocate’s freelance illustrator Helen Poole has recently set up a new blog and website with all her fab illustrations, below is a screen shot of her page and it looks great! She has even featured Advocate Art and added a link to our website on her page; click here to see more of Helen’s work on the Advocate website. She also sent us this lovely big up:
“I pay all the bills through the work I get from you!! So grateful for all that you do – really am!! You will feature heavily on my blog and on my website!”
Stealing artwork is becoming an increasingly big problem, especially as the internet is so widespread and readily available these days. It can be hard to keep track of where your images have been sold and who is using them. Advocate’s freelance illustrator Robert Dunn has found a really useful tool on Google that allows you to see if anyone else is using your artwork, this is especially helpful if a website or person has stolen an image/illustration of yours and is selling it without your permission. If you go to google images you will see in the search bar that there is a camera icon on the right hand side (see picture below). You simply click on this icon and a box will appear where you can upload a jpg; it will bring up every site that is using it. It also shows any web shops selling similar images which can also be helpful when looking for style techniques and inspiration.
Advocate’s freelance illustrator Gabriele Antonini is featured on childrensillustrators.com as November’s illustrator of the month. Gabriele regularly produces fun, light-hearted and bright contemporary children’s illustrations for Advocate Art illustration agency but also has a portfolio on childrensbookillustrators.com. This website is the fastest method of viewing children’s illustrators online so being on this site as well as Advocate’s own website increases web presence and brings in more commissions! Below are some images from the November newsletter; click here to go the childrensillustrators website.
This month, we have chosen Simon Mendez as Advocate Art’s featured artist. As it is nearly christmas and everyone is getting into the festive spirit we thought his images would be a great showcase for the blog. For this series of images Simon has created his illustrations in a realistic and traditional way, portraying religious themes like Mary and Joseph, mother and child and angels; they look great on christmas cards if you are going for a traditonal style. Take a look at his illustrations below.
Edward Burns, the founder of Advocate Art illustration agency explains how we package work from artists and illustrators into a portfolio that is in sync with industry needs. Also the importance of samples, why some images are chosen for your portfolio and some aren’t and what artbuyers look for. If you are a freelance illustrator then read on to perhaps gain some useful tips for yourself.
“When work is first submitted to us we can see pretty much straight away where we can place it commercially.
It’s important that this commercial vision or creative direction is shared with the artist and they are fully on board with it before we start marketing their work. It has to be a shared vision, or else the artists may be stuck doing a style that they don’t enjoy or go off in a different direction stylistically and lose the commerciality we first saw. Having the opportunity to meet and discuss what we see in the work and explain this to the artist is important, we call it “packaging with their permission”.
Work is presented just like a product is packaged, easy to understand, the contents are evident, what you see is what you get and the features are highlighted. We want it to say “this is John Smith! This is what he does, isn’t it great!” We package the work or images into a physical and online folio as well as numerous portals, adverts and marketing material.
The aim is to present the artist’s work in a way that they agree shows them in the most commercial light and is also in the same direction they are going creatively.
In our experience when meeting artbuyers (we meet on average 500 different art buyers between us a year) they are looking for continuity (you can do things over), colour understanding, (co-ordinating colours and complementary colours), characterization (candid, clever poses), a design element (decorative elements, added value), relevant to the age group (the style and characters match the age of the characters shown which in turn match the target audience), matches the rest of your folio, ahead of trend or on trend and most importantly an application (the work has a use).
The work must have an application i.e. be more than “nice” and “well done”, we are a commercial agency so it boils down to application. The work must either on its own be usable or be able to inspire a commission. If you are an illustrator this is completely relevant, but much less so if you are an artist who we are more likely to find an application for their work than the other way round. An illustrator may produce a nice image of a dog on a rug for example but what would it be for? Can it carry a narrative for a children’s book or is it decorative enough to work as a design for a product? As Agents, just like you see in the cartoons, we have to look at work with dollar signs in our eyes- we want to be blinded by them!
The thumbnails we select from an artist to go on material and the main artist site are key indicators to how we we package the artist’s work. They are the style setters, at a glance this is what the artbuyer will see in the rest of the artist’s folio. This may sound obvious but so often I see thumbnails that simply don’t relate, how frustrating that must be when you are searching for style.
Portfolios need to keep growing into this agreed direction, hopefully incorporating any subject matter commonly asked for by art directors and contain unpublished work. We brief artists speculatively on filling these gaps in advance of being asked. The most ideal way to achieve a rounded folio is with real paid commissions, if a client thinks an artist may have the ability to do something but they can’t see it from their folio they may ask for a sample.
Art directors often need to show their marketing department or the author (who perhaps have less of a creative eye) an example from an artist folio, you are not going to convince these people you are the best person for a jungle book by showing a train sample, obviously. So when an artist is asked for a sample, even if it is free, it is important to take the opportunity. The Artbuyer will be selling you, fighting your corner if you like, you need to give them the best chance you can.”
Advocate Art are very excited to announce another new artist to the team. Michael Harvey paints these beautiful harbour scenes using bold colours and shapes. They will look great in the Advocate gallery and we also think they will make fab posters and arty greeting cards for birthdays and thank you’s. Read his biography below.
“I was born into what can only be described as a bohemian environment in Hampstead, and quickly dispatched across London to Holland Park to stay with my great uncle Bernard Partridge KG, cartoonist, an artistic environment and one that eventually lead via a course in typography at the Central to advertising.
As an art director at JWT, I was for years charged with the artistic endeavour of making sure that the population of the UK ate their ‘sunshine breakfast’ every morning. Way before the admirable mac, we had to draw continuity frames for TV storyboards and ads, plus layout type for hot metal setting. Having spent many years dedicated to fast moving consumer goods, I moved to equestrian painting, magnificent stallions like Troy, The Minstrel, and Shergar among many. This lead to a commission by the Royal Family of Dubai, to paint 4 of the Maktoum family’s horses to be presented as a limited edition print to the their guests at Longchamp. The original hangs in the Palace in Dubai.
Cornwall has become a cliché for the art establishment, the light, the unadulterated colour and texture, and true, if it stops raining for long enough you can spot these ethereal elements. Once all that has ‘soaked in’ you are still faced with that famous blank canvas, but with additional artistic endeavour from Marc Chagall, Alan Bennett, The Stones, Lee Ritnour, Gillian Welch, Randy Newman, Miles Davis, and importantly my miniature Schnautzer, Wizz, we will turn out a good painting in the studio today.”