1. Year in Review 2017

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    The fire is crackling, I am sat snug in my Chesterfield with a glass of warm brandy and a pile of illustration books within arms-reach. In this period of reflection, I look back at 2017 and the Lounge’s journey so far.

    The Illustrator’s Lounge started in 2011 as a daily blog, created by three like-minded illustration enthusiasts. Our goal was clear; to bring more attention to illustrators from around the world. Our posts were short and to the point. One paragraph with lots of pictures.  However, we also enjoyed sharing our opinions on each illustrator and what made them stand out to us which resulted in longer features. For almost three years, we did a pretty good job of posting daily but as other commitments took hold, gaps in frequency began to appear.

    By early 2014, two of the three contributors had to wind down their involvement entirely and since then I have been the sole contributor. As such, you may have noticed output has dropped, with a significant dip this year. But heading into 2018 my aim is to post at least twice a week. It’s a privilege to connect with the illustration community across the globe and I continue to appreciate all the positive feedback and support we’ve had during our evolution. This year, although output was low, the Lounge launched three, exciting and popular new features – ‘Editions’, ‘Monographs’ and ‘In Their Own Words’.

    Editions

    The Lounge launched a range of exclusive high-quality art prints, called ‘Editions’.

    This was borne from the belief that high quality, original illustration prints should be available to all, at an affordable price.  To produce each Edition, the Lounge collaborates with an influential member of the illustration community.

    For each print,  I chose museum-grade paper, 100% cotton rag, OBA (Optical Brightener Additives) free paper and to use archival pigment inks. Nowadays, there is a focus on screen printing art prints. While screen printing has a wonderful tactile history, it inherits limitations. We use giclée printing, to reproduce a lasting image exactly as intended by the illustrator.

    The first Edition print, ‘Lanzarote’ is by Game of Thrones illustrator Robert Ball. You can buy it from our shop.

    Look out for more exclusive Edition prints from high profile illustrators including Neil Packer and Jan Bielecki, in 2018.

    Monographs

    At the start of 2016, we began journeying across Britain to meet, interview and film professional illustrators in their studios.

    From this, in 2017, we launched a new video series ‘Monographs’ which creates a full picture of today’s illustration industry and community. Going behind the scenes of the creative process, it gives illustrators a chance to talk about their career, techniques and to share their insight on industry trends. I am extremely proud of this series and am grateful to all of the illustrators who have helped to shape it.

    In Monographs Episode 1, we met London-based illustrator Robert Ball who discusses how his portrait style garnered attention and how artistic imitation has impacted him.

    Look out for even more Monographs lined up for 2018, including Jan Bielecki, Neil Packer and William Grill.

    In Their Own Words

    In November the Lounge introduced an exciting regular feature ‘In Their Own Words’ where we invited illustrators from across the globe to share their creative journeys. The series was launched by Jameela Wahlgren and contributors so far have included: Steeven Salvat, Kaley McKean, Eunjeong Yoo and Leonardo Santamaria.

    For those keeping count, this is our fourth regular feature, joining Manga Mondays, Fashion Fridays and Sequential Sundays and it will continue to grow in 2018.

    Thank you

    Thank you fellow Loungers for your constant support, your regular visits and shares. Hope to see you in the new year!

    — Mr Geo Neo