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.
Posts Tagged ‘illustration agency UK’
Hurrah! Our lovely shiny stand is all set up and ready to go for PG Live tomorrow thanks to Kate and Ed! We’re exhibiting at Stand 107 from the 14th – 15th May, with a whole bunch of great new ranges, trends, and designs to show off. Come by and say hello! We don’t bite.
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.
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!
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!
We’ve been extremely busy at Advocate this week getting our 2013 edition of the Heads Up calendar and agency book sent out! The offices have been looking a lot like Santas workshop, with hundreds of boxes to fold and pack, it’s all been very hectic!
The calendar features plenty of wonderful work from our artists throughout 2012, with lots of inspiration to get you through the new year! It ranges from children’s books and greetings cards to real style and photography, and now that these little packages should be arriving, we hope you love Heads Up as much as we do!
Here at Advocate Art we are always looking for ways to get as much of our artists work seen by potential clients, and so, following the success of the Heads Up calendar, sent out at the beginning of the year, we are currently in the process of producing a Heads Up Summer Supplement which will showcase some of the best children’s book illustrations from our newer freelance artists who may have just missed the boat on the last book! Have a look at the cover below (artwork by Sonia Possentini) and watch this space for a glimpse of the final printed article!
Advocate children’s illustrator Rebecca Harry has recently illustrated these gorgeous new books from the series Bluebell Woods, called Florence’s River Adventure and Honey’s Midnight show, written by Liss Norton. The books are filled with Rebecca’s pencil illustrations and the intriguing fold out covers hide all the woodland characters beneath. Read on to find out more about the stories and click here to get yourself a copy. If you’d like to see more of Rebecca’s work, click here to visit her online portfolio.
Florence the rabbit is playing beside the Babbling Brook when she discovers an old boat tangled in the reeds. With the help of her friends, she fixes it up, and soon they are heading downstream on an adventure of a lifetime. But will the friends ever solve the mystery of the boat’s original owners?
Honey is delighted when the Eyebright family, a troupe of travelling players, sets up camp beside her home. She and her friends can’t wait to see the midnight show they are putting on. But as Honey joins in with the rehearsals, she can’t help wishing that her own life was as exciting as life onstage…
The Devil Walks, written by Anne Fine with cover illustrations by Advocate artist Paul Fisher is a chilling and mysterious horror novel about a family’s dark secrets. To see more of Paul’s work click here to visit his online portfolio, and read on to find out more about the plot. You can get yourself a copy of The Devil Walks by clicking here.
Since the day he was born, Daniel has been hidden away form the outside world. Told that he suffers from a mysterious illness, only a graceful knock at the door reveals just how many secrets his silent and reclusive mother has kept – and how many lies she has told. Yet Daniel cannot understand what she has tried to protect him from so desperately. Torn from his home, Daniel begins to piece together the chilling legacy of vicious cruelty and fiendish spite that has gripped his family for years.
We have just received this new book, Under the Skin, written by Catherine MacPhail and illustrated by Advocate artist Tom Percival. Aimed at slightly older children this story is about a boy called Omar whose family had to fight to survive in their own country. After moving to the UK they think they have a safe place to live, but the fighting just begins all over again. The book includes black and white internal illustrations and a colour cover by Tom. With yellowed pages it is also dyslexia friendly. To get yourself a copy click here to visit the retailer and here to see more of Tom’s work on the Advocate art website.
We have received another fantastic book illustrated by children’s illustrator Melanie Mitchell. This small hardback book First Prayers With Jesus has a soft cover and a To and From section in the front. Each page has one of Melanie’s beautiful soft illustrations which accompanies a simple prayer for children to learn. If you’d like to get a copy of one of these please visit the retailer by clicking here and to see more of Melanie’s work on the Advocate art website click here.
We have just received this brilliant new pop up bible story book retold by Juliet David and illustrated by Advocate artist Daniel Howarth. Each page has a different story and a full colour illustration with fun pop up elements. We think the book is fantastic and will keep little ones thoroughly entertained. If you’d like to get a copy of one of these vibrant pop up books click here to visit the retailer. Click here to see more of Daniel’s children’s illustrations on the Advocate art website.