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We built the new HAI website

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It took almost three months, but we did it. The new website we built for Hire an Illustrator is now online and you can check it out at hireanillustrator.com. The old site was just over six years old (a dinosaur in internet years) and really needed an update, but we didn’t want to stray too far from the established design as we believe if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. HAI is an important part of many creatives’ daily routines, whether it’s updating their own profile or searching the site for an illustrator to hire. It needed to be easy to use and familiar to avoid any major learning curves when it came to the new site. The most important part was clients being able to find the type of illustrator they wanted as quickly as they did on the old site. And the 500+ members needed to know what they were doing with the new site without a series of complicated instructions.

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We rebuilt the site from the ground up, as the old site had five years worth of patches and fixes to keep things running smoothly. It would have actually been more work to drag the site into the 21st century than rebuild it. We worked on making the site as fast as we possibly could while integrating modern technology and techniques. We’re pleased to say the site is now fully responsive, which means you can use it on your laptop, iPad or smartphone with ease. Finding an illustrator has never been easier.

We’re really happy with how the site turned out and we hope the members of HAI love it too. Traffic has increased and job requests for illustration work are already up by a third and we’re sure that trend will continue.

If you’re looking for an illustrator, the staff at HAI are more than happy to assist you with your quest: hireanillustrator.com/i/submit

Likewise, if you’re interested in becoming a member of Hire an Illustrator, you can sign up at hireanillustrator.com/i/apply.

First things first.

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It’s a little bit late, but happy New Year guys! Mail Me Art: Open All Hours (MMA4) is still going strong, although we’ve been a bit lately quiet on that front. We’ve decided to delay the exhibition and latest book for the minute and start the ball rolling on them again in late 2016 which will be followed by the launch of Mail Me Art: Apocalypse (MMA5). However, this does mean that MMA4 is now open again for submissions and all you need if you’d like to take part is the Mail Me Art: Short & Sweet (MMA3) book. The reason for the delay is that the LCS is currently working on a complete redesign of the illustration promotional service Hire An Illustrator and it’s no small feat. Once that’s complete we’ll be fully updating Mail Me Art’s website and social pages and further integrating them into the Little Chimp Society to turn the LCS into the creative community hub we always intended it to be.

The awesome bit of mail art above was sent to us just before Christmas by our friend Beach and I’m sad to say today… RIP David Bowie (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), legend.

The London Illustration Fair 2015

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Taking up residence in the Bargehouse, a four-storey warehouse on the heart of the South Bank, The London Illustration Fair 2015 will showcase the work of 50 young, emerging illustrators, selected by an esteemed judging panel made up of some of the UK’s leading figures in the illustration and graphic arts. – The London Illustration Fair

December 4th-6th… More information.

Carlos Garde-Martin‘s newly formed collective Hip! Hip! will be there exhibiting and doing live Gocco printing with bags of quality art related stuff to buy. The video above is from Carlos’ Brighton Cityscape Mural. It looks like the Illustration Fair is going to be an awesome event.

Introducing Comic Artist Brendan Purchase

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The man, the myth… Nah only kidding! Brendan’s only been working professionally as an illustrator and comic artist for 3 years now. But what makes him worthy of a mention on the LCS is that we’re really digging his style and the offbeat look of his character work. It’s a refreshing change to the over-polished work dished out by the House of Mouse and DC these days. The organic feel and obviously hand drawn look in my opinion (when it comes to comic work) gives the reader more opportunity to use their imagination and really get into the story. Brendan’s style of work only tends to be seen in indy comics, which is a shame really. It’s not as if bodies and the human figure aren’t distorted beyond nature in the mainstream comics and graphic novels, so why can’t comic artists be a bit more loose with their artistic interpretation instead of perpetuating a distorted view of beauty? Anyway! That’s another topic for a whole other conversation. Brendan’s figure work looks bloody awesome and you know the work was done by someone with talent that cares about art.

Check out a bit more of his work below and have a gander at his full portfolio at brendanpurchase.co.uk. He specialises in horror and dark imagery and is currently taking on new commissions.

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OFFSET London 2015

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OFFSET London is just round the corner (November 12th & 13th) and you’ll be glad to know there are a few tickets left, although I can’t see them being available for long. OFFSET London will be a two day event and there will be plenty to do with lots of awesome people to meet. Just be careful not to trip over any hipsters with it being held in Shoreditch Town Hall. :)

With over 2,500 attendees to its Dublin event each year, OFFSET has fast become one of the worlds most inspirational, educational and vocational conferences for the design and creative industries.

Representing industry at all levels, our speakers are key disruptors and influencers in their fields, driving everything from huge global campaigns to awe inspiring personal projects and will speak about their work, ideas and inspirations, giving audiences an insight into their practices and personal perspectives on their careers over the course of the two-day event. – Lisa Haran

You can find more info, tickets and the line up on the official OFFSET London website. It’s a really well run event and definitely worth attending.