Hosting illustrator events with Yo Illo Talks

Something I don't talk about much here is the work I do with Yo Illo.  For those that don't know, Yo Illo is an illustrator's meetup in London.  It's a monthly meetup where illustrators can get away from their lonely studio and meet up with their peers, colleagues and partner's in crime.  It's been a vital part of my journey as an illustrator.

It's been running for almost 5 years, steered by the steadfast captain, Rob Barrett and over the last few years I've become more involved by running Yo Illo Berlin and co-ordinating some of our events.

This month became an exciting turning point for Yo Illo as we hosted our first ever Yo Illo Talks!  It's something we'd been thinking about for a while, so we were really excited when we were offered a space by digital agency ustwo to host our talks.

Our first event saw talented and successful illustrators, Kerry Lemon and Vic Lee coming along to talk about their large scale and mural work. Both Vic and Kerry have been coming along to Yo Illo for a couple of years, so it's rewarding to be able to hear what they've been up to in detail and to discuss their strategies and process.  

It was a real success.  In part because of the generosity of ustwo (so much pizza and beer!) but mainly because of the wonderful people that came along.  It made me feel blessed to realise how much YoIllo has developed a community over the last few years.  There were a lot of regular faces of course, but lots of new faces too and it gave me a fuzzy feeling inside to note that no-one was sitting on their own.  Illustration can be a solitary career, often occupied by introverts and worriers.  It's sometimes difficult to put yourself out there; especially when you're starting out.  I'm glad that YoIllo offers a place where we can feel at home.


Here's some pictures by the ever lovely Rob Cartwright. If you'd like to see more, then head over to the Yo Illo facebook page.

Live Fashion Illustration with Links of London.

I've been back on the road this month, this time with the fabulous jewellers, Links of London. I was invited along to take part in their #NarrateYourStyle events and was in-store sketching customers.

The campaign was across all of their regional stores too, so I was able to take in the sights of Liverpool, Glasgow and Cardiff as well as four of their London stores.

Here's some pics taken by the ever-talented Rob Cartwright, with thanks to Rob and Links of London.

Talking at London School of Fashion: Fashion Illustration

This week I was invited to the London College of Fashion to talk to the fashion illustration students.  I was in a panel discussion with NoéMie Schwaller, Editor in Chief of DASH magazine and Charlie Herman, illustrator and Community Manager at Talenthouse.

We chatted about how what kind of portfolio you should get, the importance of networking and the pros and cons of different internships. It was a lovely experience and hope I had some useful advice for the students. 

Willa, x

Yo Illo Berlin

I'm really excited to be starting a monthly illustration meetup in Berlin, beginning on the 4th June.  It means that I'll be spending a bit more time in Berlin, but also, hopefully that I'll be meeting some amazing people and gaining some more friends out there.

The meetup, Yo Illo Berlin, is a spin out from my favourite event in London, Yo Illo.  If you don't know Yo Illo, then you should definitely come.  It's a really informal, fun meetup for illustrators; basically, a few drinks in the pub.  I've made some really good friends through Yo Illo, and feel like its really helped me to become part of the illustration community.

Hopefully Berliners will come along and join me at Yo Illo Berlin.  Freelance illustration can be a lonely career, so let's meet up and make friends.

Our first meetup is at Brachvogel beer garden in Kreuzberg on Wednesday 4th June 2014!

For more information about our first Berlin Yo Illo, you can sign up for email updates here or like our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter.

For more information about the London Yo Illo, head to the website here.

The Picture Show - A Summer Illustration Spectacular!

I popped by to see some friends at the opening night of The Picture Show exhibition ( on Tuesday night.  It was great to catch up with some illustration peeps, and some friends that were taking part in the show.

The Picture Show is a showcase of work from 10 illustrators, who met at the University of Westminster.

Chetan Kumar

Emma Cowley

If you're in the Oxford Street area, pop by and have a look.  The exhibition ends this Saturday,   21st July.  It's at the Coningsbury Gallery (near Goodge Street).