Varoom is only published bi-annually?? by the AOI (Association of Illustrators) which is the professional body for illustration in the UK that actively advocates for illustration as a profession. Established in 1973, the AOI champions illustrators and the illustration industry with education, promotion and campaigning
to achieve a thriving industry for us all.
TheAOI provides contract and business support to illustrators. They champion the rights of illustrators, and run competitions and events, promoting and encouraging commercial and ethical standards within the industry, to improve the standing of illustration as a profession.
Varoom is trying to clear the common misconception people have of illustration is that it is one-dimensional. However, Varoom subject-matter helps us understand that all wider-world ideas are equally as pertinent to illustration as other creative disciplines.
Olivia Ahmad, the new editor, explains that the definition of what illustrators do is expanding all the time. Whether the work is personal or commissioned, an illustrator’s unique voice is always embedded in the work, even a tight brief to advertise a product can tell us a lot about society and what is considered desirable Illustrators have a toolkit of largely unrecognised skills that are essential for coming up with the images for which they are commissioned.
There are infinite potentials for the application of drawing, illustration and illustrative thinking. However in the 1990s, the illustration industry took a bad turn with rapid technological advancements resulting in ubiquitous design software being used to create images that took space from illustrators. Nonetheless, illustration has remained resilient and commissioners are increasingly seeing the value of an illustrator’s distinctive visual language, especially “now that all our daily lives are flooded with photographs and other media competing for our attention.” It seems certain that there will be exciting progressions in the field of illustration and Varoom offers an essential platform where illustrator’s can demonstrate their abilities.
Varoom’s Obsession issue – an issue about Obsessive practice, Obsessed with Neon, Obsessed with Ladybird, Obsessed with Outsider Artists who are Obsessed with One Thing or another. Writer Linda Scott observes that East End Outsider Artist Madge Gill would paint, knit and sew while in a delirious trance, whilst in possession of her spirit guide Myrninterest. While Barcelona illustrator Mr Mourao says in the We’re Lost In Pictures feature, “The main goal is to draw as much detail as possible so that the viewer gets sucked in and gets lost in the drawing.”