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Replay Illustration First Moves

Online recorded talk (replay)
Available to stream 21 April – 17 September 2023

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Replay our recent and popular online event, Illustration First Moves, where freelance illustrators, agents and industry professionals share their stories, experiences and top tips for starting out as an illustrator.

Packed with inspiring examples and practical advice on ‘how to carve out an individual illustration practice that works for you’ by identifying personal strengths, nurturing creative passions and collaborating with other people.

Split into three sessions, you’ll hear advice for getting your personal and professional practice up-and-running in a way that works for you.

Each guest speaker shares their own definition of success within and around illustration. Together they demonstrate the range of different opportunities that illustration has to offer, and how to go about finding them.

From finding the right opportunities and people to work with, to nurturing an online presence, we’ve got you covered.

Aimed at recent graduates and early-career illustrators, come armed with a notebook.

Showcasing diverse and innovative approaches to illustration practice to help you consider the options available at this exciting stage in your career.

Collage with a bright teal background with a family of four (two adults and two children) portrayed in bright orange and pink cut-outs.
Vibrant and playful illustration of four different people, all wearing make up. Their mouths are open and they are each holding a megaphones which has lines illustrated coming out of the ends.

Session 1: First Moves
Illustrators Manjit Thapp, Harry Woodgate and Shirley Hottier share key learnings from their first moves into illustration.

Session 2: Professional Practice
Illustrator Merlin Evans shares practical advice for preparing and progressing a professional illustration practice.

Session 3 – Finding Your Network
Industry professionals George Morton (Grand Matter) and Sarah Morris (The AOI) discuss their roles supporting illustrators. Plus illustrator Beth Suzanna shares her work and advice.

About the speakers

Manjit Thapp's illustrations combine digital and traditional techniques to capture female characters, nature and everyday life. Her first graphic novel, ‘Feelings: A Story in Seasons’ was published in 2021 by Penguin Random House.

Harry Woodgate is an award-winning author and illustrator of inclusive and inspiring children's books. Their book Grandad's Camper was awarded the Waterstones Children's Book Prize: Best Illustrated Book 2022, a Stonewall Book Award Honor and a CILIP Yoto Kate Greenaway Award nomination.

Merlin Evans is an award winning illustrator, scribe and educator with a passion for using the arts as a tool for social engagement and change. She has worked with brands including Tate Modern, John Lewis, Bloomsbury Books, the NHS and others.

Shirley Hottier is an award-winning illustrator and urban designer. She has a passion for promoting diversity as a way to celebrate her multiple cultures, through the warm, lively scenes and characters she crafts.

Beth Suzanna's illustration practice is all about capturing the vibrancy of the everyday and the energy of both people and places. Her playful body of work makes complex issues easy to digest and has been featured in numerous publishing to editorial projects.

Sarah Morris is the Membership Manager at the AOI and a former Illustration Agent, with a wealth of commercial knowledge and passion for illustration and design.

George Morton is a Senior Creative Agent at Grand Matter and a freelance illustrator working across branding, design, events and advertising. He has worked with Amnesty International, Condé Nast, Vans and others.

Buy and stream now

An illustration of a person, side on, sitting with one leg in view bent up towards their body, they are holding with their right hand, some vines that surround them in a circle, along with an orb of purples and greens. The person is wearing a white scarf to cover their head and hair, and a white sleeveless top, their leg is covered with purple fabric.

What people say about this event

“This event is really helpful! I am more clear with the work process of an illustrator, and able to plan my first step of my career. Thank you!”

“Useful information that I can use for crafting my illustration journey.”

“This delivered far more information and value than I had expected.”

“Very reasonably priced considering what I learned and took away from the event.”

“It was down to earth and not to jargony. It gave real life experiences of working as an illustrator which made it easier to relate too.”