Creating the 2nd edition of Becoming a Successful Illustrator

Wow, a second edition? says Derek Brazell. It’s exciting when your publisher gets in touch to say that the original edition has done so well that a revised, updated version is an essential addition for the illustration public! How do you start?

My co-author, Jo Davies, illustrator and Associate Professor of Illustration at Plymouth University and I were delighted at this opportunity and set about assessing the first edition of Becoming a Successful Illustrator. We’re both passionate about illustration, and together hold a great deal of knowledge about what illustrators need to achieve to become successful in their chosen career. ‘We want it to be even better’, was the driver for our improvements, as putting together a new edition is more than refreshing the images – it’s looking at what has developed in the world of illustration business since publication of the original and ensuring that’s included in the new book. Jo and I dug into our first text and considered what might need expanding, and handily our publisher Bloomsbury had garnered the views of UK and US illustration tutors on what areas worked the best in the first edition and what could be added into the next version, so we took their comments on board.

This second edition was allocated some extra pages and there were several ‘lively’ discussions over what we should definitely now add in (more fashion illustration, or expanded children’s books in the Illustration Enterprise section? There wasn’t room for everything!).

Unsurprisingly, what had really moved on in the few short years since publication of the first edition was not only the great developments for illustrators in the digital realm in the form of GIFs and animation, but also in social media where self-promotion and selling opportunities for illustrators continues to expand. We interviewed several fantastic practitioners in this area, such as Rebecca Mock and Nancy Liang, and included their work in the companion site for Becoming a Successful Illustrator.

For such a visual, as well as informative book, it didn’t seem right to only replace a few of the illustrations so we went full out sourcing loads of new artwork from around the globe, and were delighted that cool Spanish illustration duo, Cachetejack, agreed to create cover artwork for us. It’s great to have a smile greeting you as you pick up the book!

Jo has significant experience teaching illustration, and this really come to the fore in the Activities section of the book which gives real practical support in the form of ways to assess and build on what you are doing to become successful. We added new Activities to build on the existing ones such as Skills Audit, Promotional Strategy and Keeping Momentum.

Since the 2nd edition of Becoming a Successful Illustrator was completed we’ve been anticipating its publication, and now it’s here to help new (and ongoing) illustrators find their way in this exciting, creative vocation with a focused mind and clear understanding of what’s required of a successful illustrator.

Bloomsbury are offering a special 20% discount to AOI members on the Becoming a Successful Illustrator RRP £26.99! Just enter code GLR NH8 at the checkout of Please note that you should select your ‘Bloomsbury location’ country via the top right drop down.

(Bloomsbury reserve the right to withdraw the offer without prior notice.)

As of 30 November there is also a general 30% discount on the Bloomsbury site

4th December 2017

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