If you've ever wanted to know about the people behind the pictures, this is the series for you. We'll be talking to some of our independent photographers from all corners of the globe as well as the people behind some of the best stock photo and illustration collections in the world.
Next we talk to Tim Lund, the director of Ikon Images, the UK’s leading source for contemporary stock illustrations. A boutique rights-managed agency, Ikon’s roster is comprised of a select group of award-winning artists. We've included some samples of their amazing work below, but we've also hand-selected some our favorite illustrations in a curated gallery to give you an overview of the diversity of the styles available.
Describe the style of your collection.
Illustration, specifically colorful, quirky, fun, original, descriptive, conceptual, idiosyncratic, refreshing, off-beat, distinctive, energetic, subtle, intriguing. It's an extremely varied collection.
What makes your collection unique? Do you have a collection specialty?
Our speciality is illustration of the very highest quality. What makes us unique is the sheer range of styles we have, ranging from CGI and photo real, to collage, pen and ink, comic book, watercolor, paper art and more, within such a tightly edited collection.
How many artists contribute to your collection?
We currently have 300, mainly from the UK and we're still growing. We add new images every quarter.
What are your editing standards?
We’re very choosy, believing the consistently high-quality of our collection is what sets us apart with clients. It's also our best means of recruiting new artists of a similar calibre.
Describe a favourite illustration or style that has been successful.
With so many favorites it’s hard to choose—so I’ll cheat and pick two. I’ve always been partial to collage work and we have two of the leaders in this style with Alex Williamson and Stuart Kinlough. Both create beautiful designs which work together or individually to communicate complex business themes. My other favorite of the moment are the stylish and evocative fashion watercolors of Jessica Durrant. A recent addition to Ikon, her images are currently going down a storm. [For those outside the UK, the phrase "going down a storm" means "incredibly popular". - Ed.]
What's your audience? Is your collection created specifically for advertising, editorial or both?
Both, although most of our artists are incredibly busy with their independent editorial commissions and this is the market we probably do best with their stock work.
Have any great stories about your content that you'd like to share?
Unlike photographers, illustration is more of solitary endeavour. No exotic location or temperamental models to contend with!
How do you monitor the latest visual trends and how do they factor into your image selections?
We’re fortunate to have a great combination of established award-winning artists and fresh emerging talent. All our artists tend to be extremely busy, almost all the time, with their commissioned work. Sometimes it’s frustrating for us as it's difficult to extract new stock imagery, however it also benefits us as their work is inevitably fresh and on trend.
Do you have anything else you want to share?
Currently our best selling image is of a crowd of people forming a happy face. (pictured below)