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13 Reasons To Hire An Illustrator

April 7, 2015

I mentioned in a couple of earlier posts that I’ve been working on a slideshow. I’m happy to say it’s finally done, and I’ve uploaded it to YouTube. It has a lot of humorous touches, but it’s meant to be educational: a primer on why illustration has real value.


I recently updated my LinkedIn profile. In it I wrote:


I’ve been running my own illustration studio for more than 25 years. I’ve seen a lot of changes. One of the biggest has been the ascendency of images. Text is no longer enough.

(Images are) a kind of social media currency. They “buy” attention, good feeling, brand loyalty. When an image gets shared, its “purchasing power” (= fans, readers, followers) gets multiplied.

(My) illustrations all have one thing in common: they help clients communicate more effectively with readers, customers, employees, the people they serve.


As an illustrator, I need to make a case for illustration. I need to give people some good reasons to hire me. I need to explain how illustration can help them create content that gets noticed and shared; content that engages and attracts followers.

That’s what I’ve tried to do in this slideshow. Did I make a convincing case? Please leave
a comment and let me know.

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Did the slideshow make you think differently about illustration?

Are you more apt to share something because it has a funny or inspirational graphic?

Did you act like a beaver and chew your pencils when you were in school??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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Other Posts You Might Enjoy:


“Enter The Geezer”: Inky Draws Movie Trailer

Did The Animals Really Talk On Christmas Eve? No, They Jammed!

Honest To Gosh Singing Caricatures

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55 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2015 4:05 PM

    “A picture is worth a thousand words.” By that saying, I’m sure it follows that images have increased in importance on the Internet.


    • April 8, 2015 4:18 PM

      Indeed they have, Jak– and that includes your handsome face, as seen in your gravatar… : )

      Always good to see you, many thanks for checking in!


  2. April 7, 2015 6:24 PM

    Reblogged this on Meet The Artists – Art Box.


  3. April 8, 2015 1:24 AM

    You, sir, are a genius. Fantastic slideshow! Wilma Wutever has nothing on you. You stand out in a crowd (of illustrators).

    Seriously, Mark, as usual, I’m impressed, and you make me smile. 😀


    • April 9, 2015 9:37 AM

      Dear, dear Maddie!! Such effusive praise! I’d like to say, my being a man of great humility and all, that it rolls off me like water off a duck’s back. But it doesn’t– it sticks!! I’m gonna walk around with it on me all day long– you, know, like dandruff… : )

      All kidding aside, your kind words buoy me up tremendously, Maddie– they always do. Thank you for that lovely comment, and for being your own sweet self. : )


  4. April 8, 2015 3:26 AM

    Congratulations! Now you’ve surpassed yourself! This sideshow is supercool. Beside being outstanding funny it’s so true and mindful.
    Customers will bombard you with contracs.
    I love all the little thing you added, the end is brilliant.

    Do you already plan to make a movie? 😉


    • April 9, 2015 9:45 AM

      My dear Tutti! I’ve surpassed myself?? Why, that hasn’t happened since the last time I challenged myself to a race to the sofa– and won! : )

      Thank you so much for your kind words, I’ve very glad you enjoyed all the beaver attacks and chewed pencils. Yes, I do plan to make a movie. I’m going to base it on a Tolkien manuscript called The Fellowship Of The Bratwurst. An early draft, I believe. He later changed the title to something a lot more boring. Pity… : )

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 12, 2015 3:36 AM

        Longstanding research found out that the brillance is all in the teeth….


        • April 14, 2015 8:49 AM

          Right you are, my dear Tutti, the brilliance is all in the teeth. That’s why I have a second pair of sunglasses for my mouth, so I don’t blind people with my smile… : )


  5. April 8, 2015 6:37 AM

    Mark –
    Your illustrations illustrate the point perfectly – it’s all about ‘image’
    I can’t believe the amount of your creative energy that passes within video moments.
    You should get at least 5 billion more clients, beyond those already on your impressive roster!
    Attention spans are growing shorter, brain space is fractured and your humorous, yet very clever illustrations are ‘uber-impactful’ – they most definitely have stickkum power!
    AnnMarie 🙂


    • April 10, 2015 12:38 PM

      I have never, ever had my work referred to as uber-impactful. This may be the absolute pinnacle of my career!! : )

      The good news: the slideshow did indeed net me 5 billion new clients. The bad news: they’re all milling around in the driveway, and pounding on the front door, wanting to use the bathroom. Wait’ll they find out I’ve only got an outhouse that’s way out in the woods… : (

      Thank you, dear AnnMarie, for your kindness, wit, support, and enthusiasm!! : )


      • April 10, 2015 11:43 PM

        Ah, 5 million you say – sounds like an Italian family gathering to me 😉
        Until “Dictionary for Dummies” comes out, I’ll continue making words up or sticking things together that don’t belong (shh don’t tell anybody, I don’t know what I’m doing)
        You are welcome, Mark. You’re one of the good brilliant eggs 🙂
        AnnMarie 🙂


        • April 11, 2015 7:00 PM

          5 million?? Italian family pow-wow?? Whoa!– that’s a lotta spaghetti! I’d better start boiling some water… : )

          Keep up the eggs-cellent wordsmithin’, AnnMarie. You’ve got a knack for hatchin’ winners, as we say here at Chez Omellette… : )


        • April 11, 2015 7:45 PM

          Sometimes it’s 6 million (okay, now I’m exaggerating). 😉
          Did you ever watch the movie, How to Get Ahead in Advertising? Can’t remember debut date. I think Rachel Ward plays wife to the main character – who is in advertising and trying to create a successful campaign for an acne cream (I’m hoping my memory is not failing me here). It’s a dark comedy of sorts. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It is a bit creepy from what I remember – be forewarned.
          Have a wondrously creative weekend, my talented friend.
          AnnMarie 🙂


        • April 14, 2015 8:36 AM

          An ad campaign for an acne cream… hmm! Sounds like they could use some spots. Um, spot illustrations, I mean… : )

          I’ll keep an eye out for that one, AnnMarie– thanks!! : )


        • April 14, 2015 12:05 PM

          It’s an old flick, you’ll have to not only keep an eye out, you’ll have to bust out your Google shovel. If you ever get around to watching it – I’d love to hear your thoughts. I should watch it again too, as I only remember the bizarre, creepy parts 😉


        • April 14, 2015 1:17 PM

          Ah! I’m beginning to understand that it’s the bizarre and creepy parts that keep drawing you back to this blog… : )


        • April 14, 2015 3:13 PM

          you forgot, freakishly frightening 😉


  6. April 8, 2015 2:30 PM

    I watched the breaking news today about an unprecedented 13km cue of clients trying to get an appointment with a certain ‘dam good’ illustrator. Of course I knew exactly who that illustrator was: the talented genius Mark Armstrong and what a privilege and honor it is for me to be his friend!!!!! 🙂


    • April 10, 2015 12:50 PM

      13km!!– yow!! And to think it’s not even close to the 100km line of fans who queued up to buy the latest recording by Greek rockers MK-O!! : )

      Since I’m a “dam good” illustrator, I’ve been greeting everyone at the door wearing my moth-eaten beaver costume– tho I’m not sure everyone understands the symbolism… : (

      Thank you, my dear Marina, for your lovely comment, and the exquisite pleasure of your friendship… : )

      Liked by 1 person

  7. April 8, 2015 4:12 PM

    I like Your humor Mark, illustrations too… 🙂 I think You explained well, and You were convincing… Ciao!


    • April 10, 2015 8:33 PM

      Molte grazie, Lilly! I’m so glad you enjoyed the slideshow, and thanks so much for your kind words. It’s a pleasure to meet you! È un piacere conoscerti! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  8. April 9, 2015 1:15 PM

    Haha.. Mark, that’s an awesome presentation!! Loved it! Love the name “Chewed Pencil Productions” 😀 Good Luck!


    • April 10, 2015 8:41 PM

      Ha! Chewed pencils… gee, I hope people don’t start following that naughty beaver’s bad example, and wind up with lead poisoning– I’d hate to get sued!! : (

      Great to see you, Tanushri. Glad you enjoyed the slideshow, and many thanks for your kind words, encouragement, and support!! : )


  9. soul . to . earth permalink
    April 9, 2015 4:24 PM

    A carrot shaking hands with a bunny?
    Mark, you make everything so funny!
    That rabbit has long left its yummy hutch.
    Oy vey, I’m crouching in a tummy clutch!
    Staying true to art, you’re a proven He-less-traitor.
    Your WP writ with art and wit make you a great creator!
    Among so many, your name and game stand out,
    For none but you can cause such a laughing bout!
    What else can I add, mon ami, except thanks for the many hoots of laughter! I’ve had to increase my supply of screen-cleaning wipes ever since.


    • April 10, 2015 9:41 PM

      What do you call a carrot shaking hands with a bunny? “Suicidal tendencies” or “a preference for traditional food groups,” depending on your perspective… : )

      I’ve only seen it once, actually, and it caused quite a stir in the produce department. I was so startled, I forget to use my 50-cents-off coupon for Mrs. Paul’s Organic Fishsticks… : (

      My dear Radhika!! Your poem is epic!! Using oy vey and tummy clutch in the same line was an inspiration! Of course, I’ve always been a big fan of Jewish Pentameter… : )

      As for He-less-traitor, well, that’s sure to come in handy at my court-martial. Definitely a point in my favor. I think.

      Wonderful to see my favorite poet lariat, who composed her first sonnet while roping chickens at the Maharashtra Ranch. And you’re still riding tall in the literary saddle today… : )

      Thank you for that wunnaful poem and blush-inducing praise, mon ami. Sorry about your screen. I know from bitter experience that chewed pencil debris can be very hard to remove… : )

      Liked by 1 person

      • soul . to . earth permalink
        April 10, 2015 10:39 PM

        🙂 “Lariat” tangled me up until I goat that you weren’t calling me a truck, just a chicken-ropin’ cowgirl…….yee, haw!


        • April 11, 2015 4:12 PM

          Hee-haw! All aboard the mule train! Oops, sorry, guess I’m makin’ an ass of myself… : )

          The Ford Lariat?? Phooey! They’s supposed t’be tough, but they ain’t nuthin’ but gear-grindin’ mechanical milky-toasts, compared to egg-machine-ropin’ cow-gals from the dusty Bollywood Hills… : )

          Liked by 1 person

  10. April 10, 2015 2:37 PM

    It’s brilliant, I love it! It’s imaginative, engaging, funny – thumbs up! 🙂


    • April 10, 2015 9:47 PM

      What a wonderful comment– blush, blush, blush! Thank you so much, Claire. When I finally get up from this computer, I shall walk with a swagger in my step. I’ll probably fall down, but it’ll be worth it– thanks!! : )


  11. April 11, 2015 8:39 PM

    Reblogged this on wendyf3006 and commented:
    Un mundo a la vista de todos =)


  12. April 11, 2015 10:42 PM

    Clever, Mark, and it does get your message across. Wonderful presentation and funny. As you know, I’m drawn to photos and illustrations because I feel it pulls in viewers/readers and engages your potential audience much more. 😉


    • April 14, 2015 8:44 AM

      Many thanks, Judy! Yes indeed, you’ve always been hip to the power of images, and your blog reflects that. Of course, you being a consummate word-meister helps, too… : )

      Liked by 1 person

  13. April 13, 2015 8:02 AM

    A great video showing the importance of illustrations! Wonderful artwork Mark. Drawings are a great means of communication and can convey meaning in an instant – more quickly than words can do. 😄


    • April 14, 2015 8:54 AM

      Thank you, Maria, sincerely appreciated. You’re right: images communicate instantly– a great advantage, given today’s minuscule attention spans. Thanks again for your kind comment! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  14. April 13, 2015 12:08 PM

    The audio is just as compelling as the illustrations. Good use of a 14-bar progression blues. Yes, you got your message across and I believe would push someone over the edge if they were considering using a custom illustration you create.


    • April 14, 2015 1:40 PM

      Thanks for the feedback on the music. Yes, love that blues progression. I like the way it meanders thru, creating a congenial “viewing mood,” while keeping a low profile. Makes me appreciate so-called “incidental music” in movies, which has to create mood without overpowering what’s happening on the screen.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and for all your kind and supportive feedback. : )


  15. April 13, 2015 2:49 PM

    It’s a good video funny puncher on value of an illustrator.

    May I suggest to add (for a different video version for clients) if they have some complicated concepts that they need to convey in plain language that’s arresting to a large lay audience (ie. a business plan, change in piece of legislation) where public education is needed en masse for citizens or a big company, etc.

    I’ve seen some speeded up video clips where the cartoonist is drawing out a whole scene for convey a complicated concept. This was for different govn’t agencies.

    So after any new political election, approach the govn’t agency….put yourself on the preferred vendor list…

    I think you might have to do your own trial one based a municipality’s transportation plan, parks, strategic plan so that clients can see a real example


    • April 14, 2015 2:01 PM

      Thanks, Jean, I appreciate your kind comment and thoughtful suggestion. You’re right: business plans and legislation can be very complex. A series of illustrations can make them more appealing, and break them down into more intelligible and easily digested pieces.

      Back in 1936, Dale Carnegie’s wrote a bestseller called How To Win Friends & Influence People. It was a text-only self-help book. Nowadays savvy companies use images and infographics to Get Likes & Engage Followers. : )


      • April 16, 2015 2:23 PM

        Yes, shorthand “friends” in the social media world. Oy.


  16. Steven L Campbell permalink
    April 13, 2015 11:10 PM

    As always, that was “Dam Good” Mark. A great addition to your portfolio. I’m certain your brand of humorous illustrations will keep you supplied with a lifetime of pencils for those pesky beavers. 🙂


    • April 15, 2015 8:04 AM

      Ha! Thanks, Steven. Yes, beavers and pencils– a dangerous combination. It explains why beavers are always tryna break into office supply stores. And why you sometimes see them protesting outside pencil manufacturers, chanting “Get the lead out!!” Odd to think these things never seem to make the evening news… : )

      Thanks as always for your very kind and good-humored support!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Steven L Campbell permalink
        April 15, 2015 12:19 PM

        Must be where the saying “Don’t trust any beaver with a pencil” came from. Maybe it’s a local saying since the beaver is the school mascot here where I live.


  17. April 14, 2015 3:51 AM

    Great slideshow!!! İt is fantastic and always you make everything so funny and perfect. 🙂


    • April 15, 2015 8:10 AM

      I can’t think of a more beautiful comment to start my day– thank you. It’s a good thing I have an endless capacity for flattery… : )


  18. April 20, 2015 8:55 AM

    I LOVE THIS SLIDE SHOW!!!! It’s such a fun and fabulous read and illustrates your points exactly. On my Facebook page for my city (The Heartbeat of Haverhill) I am always begging people who want me to run a story about their organization that they have to submit photos or I won’t talk about it. And that social media is not a one and done thing – you have to have frequency and images if you want anyone to notice. Well Mark – I notice you all the time because you do it right, and you’re funny!


    • April 25, 2015 12:33 PM

      Alison!! Thank you so much for your lovely comment– you certainly made my day and then some!!

      Your points are well taken: one can lament the decline of text and the written word, but there’s no denying the ascendency of images, especially in social media. I suspect a lot of it is due to the human eye’s need for white space, and the human being’s need for diversion and amusement. You’re right about frequency, too: success in blogging and social media requires regular postings, and a long-term commitment. And a never-ending search for good content!!

      Your kind words have given me a tremendous boost. Always nice to see you, and I thank you most sincerely! : )

      Liked by 1 person

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