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How To Boost Your Online Presence #3: Illustrator, Andrew Rae


Andrew is an Illustrator whose style and humour are instantly recognisable, with a huge body of work that reaches every corner of the world. It would be easy to put all this success down to his immensely creative flair, but there’s also an innate flair for promotion that has helped build his career from the very start.


Andrew’s illustration portfolio covers all bases, including graphic novels, editorials, magazine and book jackets, and posters of every size. Skwigly readers will also be pleased to know he shares a passion for animation, a passion that dates a decade back to his days as art director on BBC3’s Monkey Dust. He went onto direct, write and illustrate a short film, ‘The Stunt‘, for Channel 4, and recently art directed a section of the feature film ‘A Liar’s Autobiography‘.

To compliment his international persona, Andrew is very much part of the London Illustration scene. Not just attending the usual book signings and fairs, but also performing with his band, Owen And The Eyeballs, at such key industry events as ‘Pick Me Up’. Not forgetting his live drawing at ‘Heavy Pencil‘, a night of illustration and music he helped to run.

As well as these very personally driven pursuits, Andrew is also a founding member of Peepshow, London’s influential illustration collective. The team of eight illustrators and one animator have been a leading creative force in London for 15 years. Like Andrew, many members posses s an individual instinct for self promotion, but when they work collectively the energy they generate makes them irresistible to the creative press. Through exhibitions, talks, events, self published books and their ram-packed newsletters, the collective have built and maintained a phenomenal reputation in the UK’s creative industry.

Going into Andrews archives, he clearly understood the benefits of sharing and promotion before the internet commonly offered those functions. Starting in1998, Andrew created a series of weird and wonderful fliers for ‘Perverted Science’, a night at the 333 club in Shoreditch. They soon became collectors ‘ items, spreading Rae’s unique vision around the most creative corner of London.

Flash forward to 2014, when Andrew challenged himself to write and illustrate his first graphic novel, ‘Moonhead and The Music Machine‘, published by Nobrow. Andrew took considerable time away from his comfortable Illustration career to complete this elaborate epic, a brave move in itself. Not to mention, of course, the book signings, interviews, social media, music video and even album (written by Rae) to accompany the book!

It’s clear to see, Andrew’s no slacker. But then maybe he doesn’t view it all as work, with much of what can be classed as promotion naturally flowing into his daily life. An undeniable strength across his career is his willingness to try so many platforms, so let’s hear how this transfers to the world of building an online presence…

Andrew’s advice & tips for online success…

“I use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and a Cargo Website, not to mention the Peepshow Collective site and blog. I also have an agent, B&A, who also has a site and blogs. They charge me an annual fee to promote my work online and through print. I’ve just started using Behance as well and I’ve started getting a response from it, but so far only in the free work for exposure category – “no thanks”.

At the moment I try to put up an image a day on Instagram which helps boost the number of people that see them. But I’m a bit wary of click-baiting and getting obsessed with the number of followers and likes. It would be possible to get thousands of followers by putting up cute pictures of kittens, but still not get any work if none of them are art directors or art buyers. What I’ve found really interesting using Instagram and twitter to get some feedback as to which images people respond to. But again, I don’t want to end up drawing cute kittens just because Instagram likes them.

I’ve found the best way to increase my profile is by making good self initiated work. For instance, I had a rush of work last year. This was after I spent about a year working on my book ‘Moonhead and the Music Machine’, published by Nobrow. At the same time I illustrated two art history books ‘This is Dali’ and ‘This is Warhol‘ , for Laurence King. They all came out within a month leading to lot’s of write-up’s on blogs, which in turn lead to a rush of work. So ironically, it seems the best profile builder for me online has been the traditional route of making books.

Andrew Rae Graphic


One of those jobs that came in was for Stoli Vodka with The Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia. I know that some of the ideas they’ve sold to the client have been directly inspired by personal work of mine that they saw on my website. The result has been a really good job as we have such a similar sense of humour.


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