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The importance of visuals - chatting to our in-house illustrator

2nd December 2019

Creating lasting visual images within your marketing campaign is a key factor in helping your brand to succeed.

We caught up with Jenn about her thoughts on the importance of visuals in a marketing and PR context. Jenn holds a BA Hons degree in Illustration & Design, and uses her artistic vision to produce digital and hand-drawn artwork for Glow Creative across a wide range of styles.

What made you choose to become an illustrator?

There was never any doubt that I was going to do something creative. My mum was an artist, so art was very much something I grew up around and was encouraged to do. I initially studied fine art and textiles at school before going to do fine art & graphics at college but upon completion, I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take after. To help me decide, I did a foundation degree which allowed me to trial a diverse range rotations of artistic disciplines. This is where I discovered, and fell in love with illustration and made the decision to study it at University level.

What inspires you in your own work? Do you have a personal style or does it change depending on what you are drawing or painting?

When I’m not working to a client brief, my personal preferred style is very detailed pen and ink illustrations. However, one of the main things that attracted me to illustration was the opportunity for diversity and to work in a whole range of media and styles so I never turn down an opportunity to try something new! From detailed hand-drawn sketches, to digital artwork, right through to throwing brightly coloured paint at a canvas...I’ll try it all!

What is your creative process when faced with a brand new brief from a client?

I think research is imperative to any successful artistic outcome, so upon receiving a client brief, I like to extract as much information from it as possible. I’m responsible for bringing to life what can often be ideas in their most primitive or underdeveloped forms, so reference material helps ensure that what I produce fulfills and corresponds to the client's initial vision. From that, I gather my own research and begin preliminary sketches, which eventually evolve into a final design. Given that ideas are continually subject to change, I also like to keep in regular communication with the client as it’s good to touch base and make sure that we’re on the same page.

As an artist, why do you think visuals (including logos, animations, videos) are so important in a marketing & PR context?

Humans are inherently visual creatures, and we’re bombarded by so much text in our day-to-day lives. So when we see a good illustration, colour or picture, it really stands out and grabs our attention - which, in marketing, is incredibly important. However, strong visuals are only as good as the idea or concept behind them. Wit is important - and this can be as simple as you like - think of the trending Youtube video featuring a chicken in trousers! Personally, I’m less likely to notice a poor visual, even if it is featured on a giant billboard, than I am a small but clever animation of something more considered and niche.

What is your proudest / most memorable artwork since joining Glow?

Difficult question! I am involved in such an incredibly varied range of work at Glow, it’s almost impossible to narrow it down. Yet I love working on projects where I have real artistic freedom, and I really enjoyed producing a series of bespoke cartoon illustrations recently for a client’s new website. Some of my creations have also been further developed into animations, and it is always great to work with our animators to bring my artwork to life.

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