Guest Post: How to brief an illustrator

Johnny and Angus are a creative team. They love Jelly. And when we asked them to write us a blog post, they got really excited and took their trousers off. Here’s what they wrote for us…

guest post: how to brief an illustrator

For a creative team in an ad agency, briefing an illustrator can be a tricky business. If you don’t get it right, you could end up with a beaver smoking a crack pipe when you actually wanted a frog sunbathing on a skateboard. Fortunately, we’ve faced exactly this situation in the past.

First up. You need your idea. You do this bit all the time; it’s dead easy. When you realise it needs to be illustrated, it can help to have a style in mind as you’re cracking out the first scamps. Though don’t hang your hat on this first inkling. Now, go to the pub for a well-deserved pint.

Make sure your creative director likes the idea and the vague style you’re going for. Get approval from everyone you need to – the account team, the CEO, all the planners (especially the ones who have nothing to do with the brief, project management, or the producer, or the art buyer or whoever you have filling that role, the tea lady… oh yeah, and the client.

Fight against any and all client amends with every ounce of your being, then give in when your resolve finally breaks. Make all their changes and compromise the idea. Go to the pub for a commiserating pint.

Once everyone’s approved the “idea”, you’re ready to start looking for your illustrator. There are squillions of them out there. A vast ocean of the pencil-toting bastards. They’re all different. And they’re all amazing. Jelly represents one or two. You might want to start there.

If you have an art buyer, have them narrow the search down for you. You’ll have to give them a vague idea of what you want – a sort of semi-formed proto-brief that will eventually become to the fully fledged he-man-brief you give to the illustrator. Go to the pub for a cheeky pint. Continue reading….

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