– How would you describe your illustrative style?
Im always asked that but i still don’t have an answer. It is mostly character based illustration. And mainly produced on the computer. I do a fairly broad range of stuff, everything from animation to repeated patterns for textiles.
– When you did Illustrate for Irish publications, what publications were they? when was it?
Ive been illustrating for Irish publications since 3rd year in college. 2000 or 2001 i think. I started doing regular work for dSIDE in college and did that for a year. (its now gone out of business) I did a few images for the Irish Times Saturday magazine but nothing at all regular and recently Ive done quite a bit for Cara magazine. (Aer Lingus’ inflight magazine) To be honest though a lot of the work i do is advertising rather than editorial. Editorial commissions are probably about 30% of the stuff i do. Only 20% of that is for Irish publications.
– Do you think there is demand for illustrators for magazines or newspapers? (not only in Ireland)
Many Illustrators work almost exclusively for editorial commissions but i tend only to skip from editorial to other different types of illustration, so im not really that familiar with that specific line of work.
But having said that, I do think that illustration is getting more popular in general. There has been an explosion in illustration and animation in advertising in the past few years. Id imagine its probably thanks to the computer. It has made illustration easier and more flexible, allowing more control and creativity in the final images.
Many articles can be ‘illustrated’ a lot more effectively through illustration than photography, so there will always be a demand for some sort of illustration. The style can be ‘owned’ which is very useful in branding as it gives consistency in branding that photography cannot do so easily.
This is important for brands who want to be easily recognised from their competition but less so for magazines and newspapers.
To be honest I myself dont notice if there is a growing or declining trend for editorial illustration. I really dont know which way its moving.
One thing i do notice is that with the internet and distribution becoming more global i think it is probably becoming more and more difficult for more local magazines and newpapers to survive. London is a hub for the whole of Europe really for quite a lot of advertising and design. Ive worked on an a lot of specifically Irish ad jobs through London based companies.
– What is your opinion of stock illustration?
There is a very strong reaction against stock illustration amongst some of the established illustrators. But i dont have a big problem with it to be honest. Stock illustration suits some cheaper magazines because its not too expensive and you know what you are going to get. There will always be a market for original and specific images and illustrators and photographers can focus on that. If a specific illustration isnt really needed for an article they shouldnt really have to pay for one.