John Mahood

Hey Cover

What is the most effective way for illustrators to submit their work to you?

Via email (john.mahood@sport-magazine) or twitter (@jsamahood), twitter is an excellent tool to find new talent and showcase your work. It’s also really nice to get the occasional postcard through in the post, not many folk bother to do that anymore, and if it’s good enough it will go up on our wall.

What are the mistakes that illustrators can make in submitting their work?

Sending portfolios that are way too big for my awful email system here, best just sending a weblink to a portfolio.

Noma Bar Cover 

As the Art Director of Sport Magazine how do you go about sourcing an illustrator to fulfill a commission? 

Once I’ve read the piece, I’ll try and match it up as best as possible to an illustrator. I’ve got a folder on my desktop full of illustrations I like and tend to delve into that, or I’ll have seen someone on twitter and I’ll use them.

What are the three key elements that you look for in an illustrator that helps to make the commissioning decision for you?

1. Speed – as we’re a weekly magazine, I need people that can turn the work around very quickly and to a high standard.
2. Ability to come up with their own ideas – quite often I’ll deliberately give quite a loose brief, especially if I’ve used them before, so that they can play around with their own ideas. I find you get much better results with this approach.
3. An interest in the subject – it really helps if an illustrator has a keen interest in what they’re working on, it really shows in the final piece.

Peter Strain Cover

How important is an illustrators self initiated work to your decision making?

For illustrators that aren’t particularly well known or just starting out it can be very useful, I’ve commissioned several off the back of self initiated work.

How do you feel the artist and commissioners relationship works best?

An echo of a previous answer, when there’s enough trust between us, that I can leave them to a job without much interference.

Tim Mcdonagh Cover

31st July 2014

World Illustration Awards 2023 – celebrating global illustration!
Be part of #WIA2023 - a global celebration of great illustration.
Issue 42 and Back issues available!
Contacts (across 3 sectors) for 350+ UK Commissioners... BUY NOW!
Get seen by commissioners with a 20 image Folio.


Join our mailing list to get the latest news.