UK illustrators! It's time to get our your diary and go to 10 November because zero2illo is launching a new illustration conference taking place in Nottingham on that date. Early bird tickets are now available for zero2illo LIVE, and the line-up of speakers includes illustrators Rod Hunt, Stanley Chow and Leigh Hodgkinson, Vicky Pearce of agency Illustration Ltd, Nicky Lander of Igloo Books and Claire Cheung the tablet designer at Wired.
After setting up zero2illo to document his life as an illustrator, Jonathan Woodward developed the site into a resource for the illustration community, and then concluded that the UK needs its own live event dedicated to illustration as well. "I decided to organise and host zero2illo LIVE because I couldn't find any similar, affordable event for creatives or illustrators that I would want to attend, without having to travel to the US for something like ICON," he explains.
The economy has not been kind over the last five years, but illustrators face their own challenges as media, marketing and advertising budgets are channelled in different ways - not to mention how publishing and the music industries are taking on new forms. Yet still, many young creatives want to become image makers. These are issues that will be addressed by the conference. Woodward continues: "Challenges include getting noticed in a flooded market, with newly-qualified illustrators graduating every year, and taking control of your own branding, marketing and business strategy to carve out a profitable, sustainable career."
Then there's the matter of staying relevant. "I like to call it Illustration 3.0 - given the rise of different media, for an illustrator this means making sure that your work is applicable, relevant and fits given the new devices and channels where people consume content these days," says Woodward, whose own illustrations are inspired by wildlife and nature.
You can find a full conference schedule here. Early bird tickets are going for £40 and when they're gone the price rises to £60.