Sunday, 4 September 2011


This evening's episode of Dragon's Den featured a set of twin sisters who run a company selling "unique hand-drawn illustrated animal t-shirts". They are selling their products in 60 stores as well as a major high street department store, and were asking for £65,000 of investment from the Dragons. (For anyone that hasn't seen the show before, the Dragons aren't actually mythical fire-breathing creatures, they're "five of Britian's wealthiest and most enterprising business leaders").

Eventually the question was asked regarding how much they pay for their illustrations, and the answer of a £20 flat fee had me and many other illustrators on Twitter up in arms at the fact that they were paying so little, and also that there are illustrators out there that are willing to work for such a paltry sum. (The paid did admit that this amount was "quite small", but then they didn't suggest using any of their investment to pay a better rate).

Working as an illustrator, I want to get paid a decent rate for my work, which reflects the time and effort that I put into it. And yet some people out there who are commissioning work don't seem to appreciate the value of the service that we are providing. And when there are people out there that are willing to do work for little or no pay in the belief that it will provide them with exposure, it becomes increasingly difficult to garner a fair price for your work.

The whole thing left me quite angry and in need of a long lie down in a dark room!

BUT while watching Dragon's Den, I was struck by the unique appearance of the newest Dragon – Hilary Devey. So much so that I found myself doing a quick sketch of her while I was watching, just to calm myself down...


  1. Great post Paul! Where us Like button? :D

  2. Sad Truth Paul!
    You and all other illustrators keep up the good work and don't accept such thing.. This is one of the reasons i am out of my field..

  3. This whole thing made me so angry on twitter yesterday. Those stupid woman obviously don't appreciate the work that has gone into making the illustrations. I almost bought a t-shirt off them ages glad I didn't now.

  4. I agree completely! I know from personal experience just how undervalued the work of illustrators is, and it almost gets to the stage that you don't expect to get paid anything remotely sensible. When you take into account hours, materials, trying out lots of drafts before getting to the finished idea, not to mention the hard work, it's pretty disgraceful how illustrators are treated. You wouldn't not pay anyone else properly for their time and effort, yet these thieves seem to think they can treat illustrators differently. OK, rant over... I'm going to lie down in a dark room (not the same room as yours).

  5. yes! I also got really angry about this! and not one of the dragons showed any surprise that illustrators were being used like this....urggghhhhh

  6. Totally agree with everything said..."unique appearance"?!?!? Well, that's one way of putting it!!!

    Came over here from Covered, the Hulk/Wolverine is great and I'm currently working my way through the rest of your ace drawings!

    All the best!


  7. Thanks for all your comments. Glad to see that people are in agreement with me. (and thanks for coming to have a look around Ant. Hope you enjoy your stay!)