A question for designers / art directors — how do you go about sourcing illustrators to commission?

As an illustrator I have always had most of my work come through instagram. Over the past year or so, the app has become a lot less friendly towards creatives and so illustrators like myself have noticed a huge decrease in likes/exposure/follower interaction, and therefore less work coming in. I was wondering from a commisioning point of view where the best places online are to share work for it to get noticed?


  • Hey @Jordan Lee! From an editorial perspective I usually do a quick google search for "illustration + NYT" or "illustration + WIRED" to see who's been doing what lately.

    Another good avenue is finding some art director's details and reaching out to them directly, Instagram or email works well!

    Hope this helps!
  • @Jordan Lee Yes, I cannot beleive me saying that, but even if sometimes the content is a bit cringy, it's worth a try. I have been following a lot of illustrators and they are less so than your usual CEO (as they say, choose your crowd!).
    At least your work will be visible to people who actually look out for people to commission, so I guess it's not a bad thing! 😁
    For obvious reasons I am not a member but I heard being a member of the AOI is worth it too.


  • @Sandrine Bascouert Thanks so much for your reply. I have the same thoughts about Linkedin (not being visually literate etc) but I guess it's time to give it more of my attention!
  • Art directors I've worked with before usually go through their network, e.g. ask a colleague for leads, etc. I think Linkedin would be a good place to connect with them professionally.
  • Hey Jordan!
    I am neither (I wish!) but I am a bit more active on LinkedIn, and I follow a lot of illustration agencies and all sorts of reps and I can say that they are a lot of illustrators commenting and in general interacting on their posts, as the opposite as well. I wouldn't have known as I didn't bother much with LI in the past, because it seems so little "visually litterate" that it put me off. I think it's easy to overlook that place, where bizarrely, agencies are very open about their specific need for a project or another, which is rarely the case on instagram.
    That's not to say that it's easier, but I guess since people choose to connect with you (a bit like here) instead of following/unfollowing nilly-willy, they are probably interested in your profile as a result.

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