Illustration 101 by Max Scratchmann

Illustration 101: Streetwise Tactics for Surviving as a Freelance Illustrator by Max Scratchmann

The book says:
 Do you yearn to illustrate? Do you dream of being the star of the commercial art world? Then this is the book for you!

In this fun-to-read manual you will quickly learn how to land Dream Commissions and wow Art Directors; get past the Scariest Secretaries; get loads of FREE publicity; speed up Slow Payers; create killer newsletters and do a hundred other cool things to put your freelance career straight into the fast-lane.

Yes, the classic is back! Fully revised and enlarged with new chapters on marketing and self-publishing and crammed with oodles of new tips and trade secrets.

I say:
If you pick up Illustration 101 thinking it will be chock full of gorgeous images and art, you'll be disappointed. There are virtually no images whatsoever in this book. What images there are, are small black and white, almost clip art type images. Don't order this book and then complain there are no pretty pictures. Because there aren't. Fact.

No what you do get from Illustration 101 is page after page after page of straight talking, no B.S, excellent advice on how to start selling your work. I honestly and truly love this book. I've sat and laughed, giggled and slapped my head all the way through this book. Laughed and giggled - the straight talking is just so to the point it's funny. But you feel like you are sitting listening to advice from a trusted friend - someone who's been there, done the hard work, done it well and is now telling you how to do it too. Why slapped my head?  Some of the advice is so downright obvious... you can't help but think "why am I not doing this already?"

Click the picture to read it. One of the sections that had me laugh out loud. I showed Craig, who is self-employed, he nodded, laughed and said "yep, he's right!"

I think this book would be so useful not just to Illustrators but any creative hoping to get into selling their work. I don't think I'll be phoning publishers anytime soon but you know what? After reading this, I'm not ruling it out totally. Why shouldn't I have just as much chance as anyone else? I like that you aren't made to feel that if you didn't go to an Art college or University then you might as well not bother. Max Scratchmann believes if you've got the passion, if it's all you think of, then you've got the drive to do it.

I honestly can't think of a base not covered in this book. From setting up your own website, marketing yourself, making a portfolio, making contacts, how to use social media, making sure you get your money... I could go on and on. 

Now, I have to mention a couple of bits. When you start reading the book there are some sections called "Insider Info" These are basically Top Tips. I was a bit confused when I started the book as these Insider Info's are on the left hand pages. So as I'm reading and I turn the page, my eye automatically starts on the left hand page. But you don't read the book like that. The main bulk that you are reading carries on over on the right hand page while the Insider Tips are scattered throughout on the left hand pages. I'm not sure if I'm explaining this clearly. I found that as I got used to turning the pages and mainly looking straight to the right hand page I was reading correctly. Then, when I had finished that section I would go back and read all the related Insider Info on the left hand pages. I think it's just where the book is so jam packed with information, they've tried to cram it into every available space.

To be honest, this initial confusion was so easy to adjust to and the information within these pages is just... it's everything I ever thought I needed to know. And then some.

I particularly like how this book is British. So all the contact info, recommended websites etc. are relevant to us in the UK. How refreshing.
I recommend this one. 100%.

Many thanks to Poison Pixie Publishing for sending the book to review.


  1. Take action against all bastards!!

    Great review :)

  2. How interesting, Carmen. Great review.


  3. That looks my kinda book, written in direct, simple, language! Oooh, so many great books, so little time! x

  4. This is a really good review. Very useful and interesting. You've got me wanting to take a look and I don't even have anything to sell!


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