I’ve been doing some researching into illustrators who are “doing it right” when it comes to websites, branding and social media. It was somewhat difficult for me, since most of my favorite illustrators are not, technically “doing it right” - maybe because they are so successful that they don’t need to. Having to branch out from my regular go-to people was a good thing, though. I will take all the information I can get when it comes to great illustrators!
Anyway, the first guy is Tony DiTerlizzi. He is best known for writing and illustrating The Spiderwick Chronicles. He has illustrated a number of beautiful children’s books. His website is particularly attractive and professional. It is easy to navigate, but it seems different and new. I love his tagline: never abandon imagination.
It certainly has his personal touch. There is a lot of content to explore, but it is designed and organized in an intuitive way. My favorite element is a slideshow on the homepage. It mixes news, new illustrations/books, and a nice picture of him, to give the viewer a full view of who and what Tony DiTerlizzi is. Below is the page that shows all of the books that he has done, with links to images, reviews, etc.
His blog has some interesting features such as “Fan Art Friday” in which he features art from kids, students, and other illustrators. I think this is a great tool to get people more involved in a blog-especially for a children’s book illustrator.
He has button links for the various social media that he is active on: Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. His blog is on his website. There are many other links also, such as links to his friends’ blogs, etc.
His YouTube consists mostly news videos about his books.
His picture on Twitter is the same as the one in his website slideshow. I like that consistency. He tweets about almost anything. Usually art-related stuff but not necessarily, which makes it interesting.
Awesome illustrator #2 is James Gurney. Big surprise, right? He does everything right. Including his web presence. His website is clean and simple. It definitely has a certain style and branding. His website is super easy to navigate. He has so many paintings on it that it is categorized. This is a nice touch that just makes it even easier.
On the side panel are his social media links- blog, Youtube and Facebook. Everyone knows James Gurney’s blog. He is constantly updating it and it is chock-full of interesting stuff! He uses it in many ways. He posts helpful tips and advice for other artists, information on events like workshops by great artists, his own sketches, inspiration and reference, and many other interesting tidbits. And his personality comes through- you can tell he is a likable guy, and that alone would keep people reading. I would love to be able to maintain a blog with the volume, personality and variety that his contains.
His YouTube channel is great! His videos are hilarious, instructive, informative, and a pleasure to watch! This video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KIEVIG3B1g&feature=plcp is about his extremely artistic parakeet. Very funny. James Gurney’s personality definitely comes through in all his social media.
The last guy is John Hendrix. He has a very specific, identifiable style that he has translated very well into his website and blog. It is simple and clean but is loaded with personality! Multiple images (and combinations of images) cycle through on his home page, so it is exciting and different each time the viewer goes there.
Both of these images are his home page, but you can see that the featured illustration and the header image have both changed.
He also makes very interesting use of photography in several places. Notice the header that has changed yet again?
It is a great divergence from the norm as far as illustrators’ websites- which is great. He recently got on Twitter, where he makes snarky, amusing comments about life and his art. Twitter really is a great place for people who are funny, sarcastic, and have to make a comment about everything…I’m not sure if I’m there yet.
On his blogspot he posts insightful images and info about his latest projects, as they come and are completed.
That’s all for now folks. Let us all be jealous, intimidated, and finally, inspired by these wonderful illustrators!