Juliette Wolf-Robin travels the U.S. asking art buyers, editors and industry insiders how artists can market their businesses more effectively. In this article, art buyers talk about the amount of illustration they commission and how they find new talent.
Juliette Wolf-Robin: How much illustration do you commission? How do you find illustrators?
“I do a lot of Web research, go to a lot of rep houses and blogs. One thing I find really helpful on websites is if you can roll over a name and see a preview because then I know right away, without actually loading the page, if this is the style I’m looking for. Making it easy to navigate a site is super helpful.” – Aylin Koker, Art Producer, Cole + Weber United
“Photography is expensive just by the mechanics of it: Studios and actors and wardrobe and the apparatus of photography. In this more money-conscious time, illustration is a little bit more of a viable option because usually it's only one person actually crafting the image. From that standpoint, it probably gives a bit more opportunity to the illustrators.” – Darren Cox, Director of Creative Services, SpotCo, New York
“I think illustration is on a resurgance. It’s not huge but I’ve definitely seen an uptick lately. That trend with surf magazines and surfboards and more of a rougher look, a lot of that design is very text and type and line-drawn focused and I think–with any kind of project that is trying to target younger people–that kind of illustration style is desired.” – Melinda Estey, Art Buyer, Young & Rubicam/Wunderman, San Francisco
“Maybe 10 percent of the time we're looking at illustration. I think it's going to become more prevalent, especially with the economy and finding new ways to deliver a brand message.” – Aric Rist, Global Brand Photography Manager, Nike, Portland, Oregon
“I'd say that 30 to 35 percent of our jobs this year have been illustration, which is a good amount. We have sourcebooks around here that we keep. There are reps that are dedicated to illustrators. We keep email promos and we have links to, I'd say, 8,200 different sites for illustration.” – Dave Lewis, Managing Art Buyer, Fallon, Minneapolis
“I’ve always loved illustration. I think illustration is kind of like curating an art show, an art museum or gallery. I think that because we have United Airlines, every illustrator sends me their illustrations. I love to look at illustration and keep it in mind for other projects.” – Kim Witczak, Art Buyer, Barrie D’Rozario Murphy, Minneapolis