Illustration is major contributor to the cultural economy. Brands, businesses and individuals recognise its value to sell products and ideas and engage their audience. It is one of the fastest growing undergraduate courses. The success of the illustration business is undeniable.

But the business of illustration – day to day negotiation, business planning, cash flow, marketing – is too often overlooked by illustrators. This campaign addresses that. It’s time for an overhaul – it’s time to invest in our skills, our businesses and ourselves.

“It’s time for a revolution.”

What do we want to achieve?

  • We want to see all illustrators confidently pricing their work and managing their businesses successfully.
  • We want illustrators around the world to earn a fair income.
  • We want to see everyone (commissioner, client and creative) understanding and respecting licensing, contracts and fair pay.
  • We recognise the rise in mental health in our industry, and want to address this.

Succeeding Together

Illustrators, Agents, Tutors, Commissioners!
Share the campaign image with your own words of empowerment.

Invest 1 hour in your own business development each day.

Let us know how you are improving @theaoi #NotAHobby
We’ve developed a range of NEW tools and resources to help you do this:


  • Many graduates feel lost when it comes to their business and are not industry ready – Work with AOI to overhaul your professional practise modules.
  • Get in touch with us to book a Business Masterclass for your students at all levels.
  • Fight for wellbeing to be meaningfully included in your course.


  • Be transparent about client contracts and negotiations with your artists.
  • Bad practice from a client? Contact the AOI so we can take action to address it while protecting your relationships.
  • Continue to make sure your artists are mentally well.


  • Fully understand your company’s relationship with illustrators.
  • Understand contracts, payment terms, copyright requirements and challenge it where you would not accept it yourself.
  • Consider how you and your organisation can support freelancers’ wellbeing.

Share our Campaign now!

In order to really move our industry forward we need to work together and get this message outside of our own bubbles so we can truly reach everyone. Let’s flood social platforms with informative and inspirational insights, celebrating the business of illustration! Use the hashtag #NotAHobby
We’ve got the following assets for you to use and share with your peers and clients:

Together we can achieve this – if we all take Action.

  • Empower! Ourselves, and our community.
  • Celebrate! Our achievements and our industry.
  • Protect! Our rights and our earnings.
  • Progress! Our industry.
  • Challenge! Our commissioners and ourselves, to do better.

Keep in touch

This is a campaign that we feel very passionate about. We are a small team who are working as best we can with our resources. Many members and industry peers have fed into the campaign, and the development of the insights and resources – and it is stronger for that. Please keep giving us your constructive feedback. Follow us on twitter, facebook and instagram!

Campaign image by Cathal Duane

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