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How to organise a successful live illustration event!

Hiring a live illustrator to make sketches of your guests is a good thing to add to any occasion, because it combines entertainment with a unique gift. But there's more to it than just hiring a good artist...

I'm an experienced event illustrator myself. I've made live drawings for Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Ted Baker, Balmain, Tudor Watch, Givenchy and many more commissioners. I live near Amsterdam, but have also worked in Paris, London, Brussels and Dusseldorf. And in this blog I'll give you some tips to get the most out of your live illustration event!

Setting your goal

Live illustration can be used for different purposes: to get people to your store, as an incentive to buy a new product or just as a token of apparition. It's important to know how you want to use the illustrations. Will every person get one? Or is it meant as a special gift for the people who buy a certain product?

Informing your guests or customers upfront

Letting your guests know before the event that there will be a live artist present can make all the difference. If you inform them upfront, this will spark their excitement about the event and can create a buzz. It may seem very logical to you, but I've noticed this is something that often gets overlooked. Use a digital newsletter, a special invite or social media. Just make sure to let them know that there will be a live illustrator capturing their portrait or outfit that day. It's a small effort and you event will benefit greatly from it.

Managing expectations

Every illustration will take 5-10 minutes to make, depending on the style. This is very quick of course, but you don't want people to stand in line. I mean they have better things to do than waiting, right? When the live illustration event is organised in a shop, it's usually not an issue. At other gatherings, this can be handled in multiple ways, for example by using time slots.

Using the experience for more brand exposure

People like to share their personalised drawings online, mainly on Instagram. So having your logo printed on the drawingpaper, will work great for some extra brand exposure! You can of course encourage the online sharing by making a special place with good lighting where they can take pictures. Or you can encourage them to film the painting process of their own custom made illustration on the spot.

If you're excited and want to know more about live illustration and how your event can benefit from it, check this webpage! There's also a piece about illustrations on products and packaging....

I hope this was helpful! You can contact me with any questions you may have at

Anna Wijnands - event illustrator


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