Do illustrators need to become animators?

If illustrators want to keep up with the times, then they’ll need to learn how to animate their work – or find someone who can, says Jelly’s founder Chris Page

Full disclaimer: I run a creative studio that represents illustrators and animation directors. We’re also a production company, so I have a vested interest in illustration-led animation. But even if I didn’t, the illustration market is changing, and if you’re an illustrator then in my opinion you need to adapt with it.

Around two years ago, Jelly received its first big commission for illustration-led animation: a campaign for Bombay Sapphire using Mariana Rodrigues, one of our illustrators. This started as a stills project, but soon migrated into animation as the client explored various media opportunities.

Since then, this kind of commission has become more and more common. Surveys by the big media companies are stressing that animation on outdoor sites gets a lot more engagement and as clients look to get more bang for their buck, the assets they commission need to work in more and more spaces.

So where does this leave illustrators?