In this section we answer many of our frequently asked questions, and give further information about the AOI and its role within the global illustration community.

For any World Illustration Awards questions, please head to their dedicated page here.

If you can’t find answers to your question below, please contact us.

AOI Membership

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Am I eligible for AOI membership?

If you are a practising illustrator working professionally in any capacity, you are eligible for membership.

We support illustrators at all stages of their careers, working in all mediums and sectors.

What do I get if I become a member?

We can help with 1-1 tailored advice, our pricing calculator, licensing, contract reading, promotion on our channels, opportunities, discounts, meet ups, webinars, consultations and more.

Should you be interested in joining the AOI, all details about membership can be found in our page here.

You can find our options and costs here. Once membership is purchased you can have access straight away to our resources or be in touch directly with our advisors (you’ll be able to see their contact details in your confirmation/welcome e-mail).

What’s the right membership for me?

Our Illustrator membership offers you all the benefits of the AOI membership in a simple package. You can opt to choose an Illustrator + Folio membership if in addition to all the Illustrator benefits, you would like to have your work displayed on the AOI online gallery and gain visibility.

If you are currently enrolled in a period of studies, then the AOI Student membership is the right choice for you. This membership offers great value for money and is even further discounted if your college is an affiliated AOI member.

Similarly, if you work for a Member College or are represented by a Member Agency, you can opt for our discounted Affiliated Membership + Folio option.


You can find our options and costs here.

Can I pay for my membership monthly?

Yes, you can pay for membership monthly if you are based in the UK, EU and Eurozone countries.

Just head to the AOI Shop, select pay monthly as your preferred method of payment and you will be able to set up your direct debit instruction.

Important note: Don’t forget that the AOI Membership is an annual commitment, so the monthly payment option requires 12 instalments.

I've just become a member. What now?

A warm welcome from the AOI! You should receive a Welcome email as soon as your membership is confirmed. This will include more details about how to start taking advantage of your membership, and how to keep updated for further communications from us.

Once logged in to your account, you should be able to access all our Resources, including our Pricing Calculator and Licensing Information Form, straight away. 

I’m currently not working professionally as an illustrator. Can I still be a member?

Yes! As a trade association we are here to support all illustrators, regardless of what your career path is. We welcome illustrators across the spectrum including those who are self-taught, students, graduates, mid careerists and beyond, and our members work across all areas of illustration.

Members can join any of our featured events as well as enjoying our Inside Illustration platform, and can also have their work promoted on our social media platforms (more information on how below in the Promotion section).

Why do you charge for membership?

We wish we were able to support illustrators at no cost, but our many services (advice, promotion, resources, campaigning, lobbying, events, consultations, and more) require time, attention and manpower. In order to operate as smoothly, sustainably and effectively as we can, we must cover our administrative costs and pay our staff, freelancers and consultants.

As a non-profit organisation our membership allows us to re-invest in our services to further benefit our growing community on a yearly basis.

Can I cancel my membership whenever?

No, the AOI Membership is an annual commitment. Members are legally obliged to pay the remaining instalments of the yearly membership, and monthly direct debit payments are not to be confused with a monthly subscription.

Membership can be cancelled at the renewal date by emailing us at [email protected] with your request.

How can I cancel my membership?

To cancel your membership, please email [email protected] with your request and we will process it for you. It is useful to request it around 30 days prior to your membership renewal date in order to allow time for the cancellation of payments.

We want to ensure we can continue to improve our services, so please do let us know your reasons for leaving at the moment of emailing.

My AOI Account and Payments

I’m having issues logging in to my account. What do I do?

Double check that you are using the same email address that you registered your membership with. If you have forgotten your password, you can request to receive a link to renew your password, on the login page. Just click on the ‘forgotten password’ link.

Please note that if you have tried logging in a few times, the website will block you temporarily for security reasons. Don’t worry, you will be able to try again after 30 minutes but if the issue persists then you may need to contact us to reset this.

For further assistance, please contact our members assistant team on [email protected].

I’m logged in but I can’t access any Resources or restricted pages. Can you help me?

If you are logged in, do check that your AOI membership is active. Click on Your Account at the top right of your screen then view your AOI Dashboard, on the left of the screen – don’t forget to scroll down to Memberships.

If your membership is active but you are still unable to view our Resources, then do get in touch with us via [email protected]. Please include a screenshot of the problem page, this helps us to investigate more easily.

If your membership is not active, then you just need to renew your membership by clicking Renew, but do double check that there are no active memberships currently running or wait until after your renewal date.

Where can I change my Bank Details in my account?

If you have recently changed your debit card, you can update your card under the ‘My Account‘ section.

In the event you want to update your bank account or cannot find the right section to update your debit card, please email us at [email protected] and we can send you a link.

Where can I access an invoice for my accounts?

You can use your order confirmation email as proof of purchase, as this includes all financial data required.

Does VAT apply to membership?

VAT does not apply to AOI membership.

My card is declined, and I cannot complete my purchase. What do I do?

If you experience issues with completing a purchase, please check with your bank your card is active.

If you are still having issues after this, please email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to assist you.

Do you take payments by card over the phone?

We are committed to providing the upmost security in processing our members’ details. For that reason, we no longer process card payments over the phone.


How can I access 1-1 support?

Once you are a member you will receive an email outlining all the services the AOI offers, and how to take advantage of them. If you have any questions about your illustration business contact us for contract enquiries, licensing enquiries (please complete the Licensing Information Form), client problems, copyright infringements and general business issues. We are here to help you.

There is a substantial bank of Resources available to members grouped under a range of headings (e.g. Pricing, Finance, Self Promotion and more), and we recommend looking through the Resources before you contact the Helpdesk to check if there is written advice available on the subject you require.

What are the Resources?

The Resources are a range of informative and well researched articles offering practical advice in a substantial range of subjects: Pricing, Finance, Self-Promotion, Business Practice, Copyright , Contracts and Illustration Insights.

These have been put together to assist members with enquiries in all these areas and include the popular Pricing Calculator and the downloadable Illustrator Commissioner Agreement template – the essential document to use with your clients.

If you still require assistance with your enquiry after looking through the Resources please complete a Licensing Information Form (if it relates to pricing your work) or contact the Helpdesk via email or phone.

I don’t know how to quote for my work, can the AOI help?

Members can take advantage of the Pricing Calculator (found in the Resources section). This is a specially created tool to assist members in gaining a range of guide figures which can be used as a starting point for a quote to offer potential commissioners.

Members input a £ figure into the Pricing Calculator which then adjusts that figure based on the usage of the artwork, the territory of usage, the licence time duration and the size of the client. A range of Guide Figures are then offered at the end of the process. See the Guide to the Pricing Calculator for reference.

What do I do if I have a licensing query?

Members are encouraged to use the Pricing Calculator (found in the Resources section) to gain a £ Guide Figure to help either select a sum from the offered fee range or to use as a starting point to calculate the quote further if other factors may impact the quote level.

If you are unsure of the figures the Calculator has offered, you can contact the Membership Helpdesk via the Licensing Information Form (found in the Resources’ Pricing section). Once the form details are completed these are sent directly to the Helpdesk. As an organisation we are not able to give figures for quotes but can advise you on other aspects that will help you form an appropriate quote figure.

We respond to enquires in the order in which they are received and aim to reply to enquires as soon as we are able. We will inform you by email when we are experiencing particularly busy periods of enquiries when responses may take longer to be received.

What should I do when I have a contract for review?

A thorough review of the contracts members receive from clients is one of the many benefits we offer.

We ask for up to 10 days from the date we receive the contract to respond, although we are often able to return our responses within a shorter time period.

Our responses include comments and suggestions on the contract content and also offer clear, specific wording which members can copy to send to the client in their own replies.

Our contract advisors are trained in ethics and the contract advice offered is for members to act on as they feel is appropriate. 


I’d like the AOI to share my work. How do I do this?

Sharing the work of our members across our social platforms is one of the many benefits we offer. 

If you have any new personal or commissioned works, then just log in to Your Account and complete the ‘Your News/Events’ form on the left hand side. Don’t forget to include an image, your social handles and a short description about your new project.

We will tag/mention your social handle so you’re notified the moment your work is shared online.

Important note: Please note that we have 2700+ members. As much as we’d like to keep track of what all our members are creating, this is a near impossible task for a small team. It’s therefore important that you contact us via the form above and let us know directly about your new project(s), otherwise we won’t be able to proactively share.

We reserve the right to not share works which are deemed inappropriate, offensive, or unrelated to illustration.

I sent you my new illustration(s) on your social media. Why haven’t you shared them?

Please do not message or tag us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. We get a great number of notifications every day, and it’s very easy for us to miss important messages there. 

The ‘Your News/Events’ form is the best way for us to be notified about our members’ new project(s) directly.

If you haven’t seen your work shared, please get in touch with us at [email protected]


Can you share my new exhibition, workshop or illustration event?

Absolutely. If you have a new event you’d like us to share, please complete the ‘Your News/Events’ form from your account and send us all the relevant details. We’ll share your event in our Events page as well as our social platforms.

Can you promote my shop, kickstarter or online courses?

No, we are not able to not share any direct links to shops, crowdfunding platforms, or payment portals. However, you are welcome to send us related blogposts, articles, or portfolio pages, that link through to your shop or fundraising campaign. 

When can I expect the AOI to share my work?

We aim to share your work as soon as possible within 10 days of receiving your completed form, but please note that we are a very small team and delays can happen during busy periods. 

If you haven’t seen your work shared, please get in touch with us at [email protected].

I have a Folio. How does the AOI promote it?

We promote Folios in the following ways: 

  • Sharing periodically on our social platforms.
  • Showcasing on our e-newsletters to our external list of 17K subscribers as well as our 2700+ members.
  • Sending directly to 7K+ UK-based commissioners through curated e-newsletters.
  • Inviting UK commissioners to create Curated Galleries based on a theme or subject.

Folios are curated to ensure there’s a diversity of subjects, styles, contexts and mediums in the work showcased.

If you’re a member and recently updated your AOI Folio with new work, use the ‘Your News/Events’ form in your AOI account to let us know so we can share on our platforms in the best way possible.

If you have an Illustrator + Folio membership, this also automatically makes you eligible for a free 10-image portfolio with Directory of Illustration, broadening your direct online reach to the US market. Directory of Illustration will be in touch with further instructions of how to set up your portfolio within 6 weeks of you joining the AOI. If you don’t receive any communications after this point, please email us at [email protected].

Can the AOI get me new commissions or work?

Please note that the AOI is a non-profit trade association and not an illustration agency. As such we work to support and showcase our members, but our role is not to generate commissions or new streams of income.

If you are interested in illustration representation, our resource may be useful to you. You can also speak to our Helpdesk advisors for further guidance.


Where can I find all AOI Events?

You can find them all on our Events page. You will also find other events and exhibitions organised by other great creative organisations and even by our own members. 

What sort of events do you organise?

All sorts! We organise meet ups, talks, webinars, courses, panel discussions, portfolio consultations and much more. These are either physical or online, and sometimes we may partner with other organisations to host an event with them. 

Check each event’s details for more information. These tend to be open to all illustrators, and AOI members often receive a discounted rate.

How can I find out directly about new AOI Events?

If you are an AOI member, you will find out all our new events via our fortnightly newsletter (usually sent on Fridays). If you don’t receive this, please get in touch with [email protected].

If you are not a member, you can subscribe to our external newsletter here to keep in the loop of new events as well as other AOI initiatives and opportunities.

Do you do meet ups in my area?

You can see all our current meet-ups, their organisers and where they’re hosted here. 

At present most of these meet-ups are UK-based, but there are a few groups which are run online and are open to all regardless of location.

If you have a particular interest in having AOI meet ups in your local area, get in touch with us.

I'd love to host meet ups in my area. How can I do this?

Great! Please get in touch with our meet-ups organiser at [email protected]. In most instances we can set up a remote meeting to chat further and give more information.

Are AOI events recorded?

Sometimes we may provide a follow-up recording of an online event depending on demand, permissions and the platform where it’s hosted. This is decided on a case by case basis. 

Check the event’s details as it should have a note on whether a recording will be available for attendees. 

Our physical events or meet-ups are not recorded unless otherwise stated in the event’s details.


Where can I book a Portfolio or Business Consultation?

You can book a Consultation from the AOI Shop and selecting one of the slots available from the corresponding consultation page.

Please note that consultations are reserved for AOI Members. You must be logged in to your active account to access the calendar.

I can’t see more dates in the calendar. When will you release more sessions?

If no available dates are showing, don’t worry, these are normally updated monthly as the dates are limited to a set number of days, each month. These dates are usually listed for 4-6 weeks in advance.

I’m not sure if a consultation is right for me/I have a query about my consultation, who do I contact?

We’re more than happy to help any of our Members who may need a little extra advice on which consultation might work for them. Should you have any queries please email us at [email protected].

Does the AOI arrange more consultations with other industry professionals?

From time to time we might arrange consultations with new professionals. This can be part of our usual consultations program or included in a program of events.

Please check both the consultations page and the events page for updates.

Why do you charge for consultations?

We charge for consultations to pay freelance consultants, ensure attendance and to cover administrative costs. 

About the AOI

Who are the AOI team?

The AOI is comprised by our small but mighty staff team, servicing members and illustrators on a daily basis in various capacities.

We are also proud to be supported by our Board and backed by our Patrons.

What's the function of the AOI Board?

The AOI Board is responsible for the continued growth and good governance of the organisation. The board is comprised of illustrators and experts from different areas of the illustration industry, offering a breadth of knowledge and perspectives.

Is the AOI a union?

No, the AOI is a non-profit trade organisation. 

Haven’t found the answer to your question? Please contact us