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Illustrator Profile - Mark Oliver

Monday, May 25, 2015


With a wealth of experience as an art director, Mark Oliver has been illustrating full time for over twenty years.

Throughout his time in advertising, he not only learned what art directors and clients need from illustrators, but enjoyed working with a range of talented artists and admired their work. Based in the south coast of England, Mark works in a variety of styles that he adapts to suit the requirements of a job. His favourite at the moment involves an isometric perspective with a distressed finish using a retro palette. He likes the look and feel of old photos from the 50s and 60s, as well as Polaroids, and has a collection of vintage paper and card that he uses to bring real world textures into his work. See more...


Winner Announced!

Friday, May 22, 2015


Kate Ackley from the University of Wolverhampton is the winner of the Orion and Illustration Ltd Student Illustration Competition!

The Competition was launched on 1 January 2015 to discover and nurture new talent in illustration. The competition was open to all 2nd year illustration students, who were challenged to redesign the cover for one of three Orion books. Some fifty entries were submitted from all over the UK with a high level of talent seen.

'Sophie’s World 'by Jostein Gaarder was chosen by Kate who has created a strong, playful design for the international bestseller. Among the judges were agents Victoria Pearce and Alice Ball -  Victoria commented, "Kate's use of young fun, friendly, graphic imagery and her dreamy characters immediately jumped out to us.  It feels like a very fresh contemporary take on this philosophical title and we believe it will immediately appeal to a new young audience.  We are excited to mentor Kate over the next year and help her in developing her unique style and build her portfolio. The composition was particularly intriguing, specifically the clever design of the lettering.  The abstract perspective works really well for this cover helping to create a thrilling atmosphere. The confident use of limited, bold colour adds to the strength making it very appropriate to the story".

Kate has won the opportunity to work with the award-winning Art Department at Orion and to have her design appear on the book. Kate has also won a 12 month mentoring course from us where we will provide support with her portfolio to prepare it for graduation, and she will also be able to visit the agency in London and have her work optioned for future representation.

As you can imagine Kate is rather thrilled herself, she says "I am extremely delighted to have won the competition and am very excited about the opportunity to work with two such well-established companies at the start of my career. I'm very grateful to have had the chance to illustrate a cover for such an interesting book. My idea was inspired by an intriguing metaphor that likens the universe to a rabbit being pulled from a hat, and references the humans that dwell inside the rabbit's fur".

The runner-up prize was awarded to Adam Beckett, also of the University of Wolverhampton. His highly original design for Graham Joyce’s novel, Some Kind of Fairy Tale was highly praised by the judges.



Garden of Fairy Tales

Friday, May 22, 2015

above - the posters

below - webcam images of the art on the Newcastle Underpass

Alexandra Ball creates fairy tale artwork for The Alnwick Garden in Northumberland.

The contemporary garden based in North England is putting on fairy tale based activities from this weekend - children will have to save Beauty from the wicked Queen whilst dressing in a themed costume. Alexandra's illustrations are being used to advertise the events both inside and outside the gardens, she says " I created the illustrations at 2m long, which was a ginormous scale for me, but a challenge that was well worth the effort." Find out more information on the events at the garden here.


Smartphone Satellites

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ruth Rowland creates Smartphone Satellite Lettering for Wired Magazine.

Ruth has worked with Wired before and this commission was for a fascinating article about satellite technology and the story of how DIY team, Planet Labs, 'used smartphone tech and energy bars to take on national governments …’ Ruth says "This textural marker pen lettering adds a casual touch to the vibrant imagery and clean typography throughout the article. Its informal ‘notepad’ layout, arrows and underscores reflecting the hands on approach of Planet Labs as they launch satellites, using off-the-shelf smartphone components and in-house production to monitor our real-time world." You can see more of the spreads with Ruth's lettering below -

Vicky Scott's Scrapbook

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Vicky's Scott's Scrapbook is now live!

Vicky talks of her illustration and handmade paper collages, Art Deco, Art Nouveau and her ’60’s psychedilia inspiration from Erte to Beardsley. Go have a read...




We Built this City

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


These four prints by Mike Hall can be bought from the pop-up shop 'We Built This City'.

The prints are for sale alongside other London-themed artwork and independently produced gifts at the new pop-up store 'We Built This City'  - which opens tomorrow 21st May at 56 Carnaby Street, London for three months only.  The shop will feature Mike's 'A Panorama of London', 'Towers of London', 'Big Ben', and a new print he designed exclusively for them; 'Bridges of London'.

Putting down Roots

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

above - the artwork

below - the ad


Rohan Eason's second ad for Pegasus Life has featured in The Telegraph and the Chelsea Flower Show supplement today.

Putting down Roots tells the story of a great Spanish Chestnut tree planted in 1509 when Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon, and all that it must have witnessed over the centuries. The tree is Pegasus Life's inspiration and guide, symbolising that 'what we decide to create here is not just for the people who walk in these grounds in our lifetimes, but for those who will find themselves here in the centuries to come.' Rohan's illustration shows the tree as a giant observer, entwined with history.


Los 1000 Nombres

Monday, May 18, 2015

Senor Garcia makes a powerful illustration for Cambio 16.

This recent edition of the political magazine features an article on the thousands of migrants who make for Europe by sea - and who quite often don't reach their destination.



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