Thursday, 12 May 2011

The Association of Illustrators

The Association of Illustrators was established in 1973 to stand up for illustrator's rights and to help promote a pr.ofessional standard. The AOI is a non profit organisation and promote illustration in general.

To join the AOI there are several different options; Illustrator, Student and several +1 packages. A Student Package costs £72 a year with the first fee of £24 and comes with these benefits;

Free subscription to Varoom magazine.
• Substantial discounts on AOI support events such as Business Masterclasses, Open Portfolios, Looking at Children’s Books and How to Survive as an Illustrator. You also get discounts on our publications; Images, The Illustrator’s Guide to Law and Business Practice, and directories for the Publishing, Advertising and Editorial sectors.
• Twice a month you will receive news and information via UPmail newsletter.
• Receive discounts on art materials from selected suppliers.
Exclusive access to AOI Members only section of the AOI website which contains examples and guidelines on pricing, and the Pro-Action site. (See the Campaigning page on homepage) with the latest on contractual issues facing illustrators and recommendations on how to deal with them.
• At reduced prices you can post your work on the AOI portfolios website for access by the commissioning world.
• Discounted entry to the Images competition, exhibition and annual, New Talent category.


Where as the Illustrator membership costs £150 a year with an initial fee of £24, this membership comes with the following benefits;

• As a member you can phone our dedicated support line and receive advice on legal contracts, pricing commissions, professional ethics, business practice and licencing. • Raise your visibility with discounted web promotion on AOI portfolios.
Free subscription to Varoom magazine.
• Take advantage of a discounted one hour Portfolio Consultancy. Discuss how best to prepare your portfolio to suit your desired market, or if you’re thinking of changing direction from your current style.
• Twice a month you will receive news, information and reviews via UPmail newsletter.
• You get large discounts on AOI support events and publications.
• Receive discounts on art materials from selected suppliers.
Exclusive access to AOI Members only section of the AOI website which contains examples and guidelines on pricing, and the Pro-Action site. (See the Campaigning page on homepage) with the latest on contractual issues facing illustrators and recommendations on how to deal with them.
• Discounted entry to the Images competition, exhibition and annual distributed to 4000 commissioners.
A free consultation with a registered Chartered Accountant to advise you on keeping accounts, tax and National Insurance, VAT, invoicing, as well as general advice on how to conduct your freelance practice and set up a small business.


Both of these packages come with basic benefits for the website such as Portfolio Advice, access to Client Directories, Business and Legal Advice, Events and an online portfolio.

Another aspect of AOI is that they offer an internship scheme where in for 2 days over 3 months doing membership services, exhibitions/events organisation and publishing.

Overall The AOI seems like a good offer but in terms of it's necessity it's a little more questionable as advice such as this can be gotten through networking and carefull considering how to look after your work. The online portfolio is nice but you can set up a webite by yourself should you require it, there are also some nice benefits to the service but nothing that I can't see a person doing themselves with a little hard work. In short I guess AOI is a method of streamlining this whole process to make it easier for budding illustrators break into the industry.

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