Lauren Hodges | Illustrator & Graphic Designer in Huntsville, Alabama

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Blog articles on illustration, business, and creativity from a full-time Illustrator.

Top 4 Organizations to Join if You Are a Designer or Illustrator


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Did you know there are illustration and design organizations that offer amazing benefits and help you with your career? Each organization offers a wide variety of benefits and discounts that range from 1-1 portfolio reviews to self-promotion and amazing career resources. I have put together some prestigious design and illustration organizations that I highly recommend you check out! Joining an organization could help get your name out there, answer any questions you have about freelance legalities, take advantage of discounts, and more!

American Institute of Graphic Arts

Also known as AIGA, this organization is known as the largest and oldest organization for design. This organization is a great option for a broad spectrum of designers. With membership, you gain access to a plethora of resources. Even if you don't have a membership, this site is a great resource for the every day designer and freelancer. If you freelance, AIGA's Standard Agreement template is a MUST HAVE resource!


Some of the Benefits Include

Association of Illustrators

Also known as AOI, this organization is based in the UK and has membership that is open to all illustrators across the globe. In my personal opinion, this is a MUST HAVE membership for the serious illustrator. With membership, you gain access to some AMAZING resources for the professional illustrator.

Some of the Benefits Include

  • Online Portfolio with up to 20 images
  • Placement in the Directory of Illustration with up to 10 Images
  • Direct Monthly Promotion to Commissioners
  • Promotion on AOI Social Media
  • Varoom Subscription (Illustration Magazine)
  • Unlimited contract, business, and pricing advice
  • 1-1 Portfolio consultations
  • Access to a TON of Exclusive Information
    • Writing a License (LOVE THIS!)
    • Negotiating with Publishers
    • How to Calculate fees
    • What to look for in an agent
    • Access to Pricing Surveys on a Variety of Projects
    • AND MORE!

Graphic Artists Guild

Created to help professional artists and designers advocate for fair pay, appropriate working conditions, and aid with ownership of artwork. This is a great organization for full-time freelancers, as you have to earn over 50% of your income from your graphic work. However, you are able to get an associate membership if you don't meet the previous requirement.


Some of the Benefits Include

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Also known as the SCBWI, this non-profit organization is dedicated to individuals who write and illustrate for children and young adults. This organization is perfect for current and aspiring illustrators with an active interest in children's book illustration, picture books, and young adult novels. 'The Book' resource takes home the gold with this organization. It's chock full of a ton of helpful information and resources.


Some of the Benefits Include

  • Networking and Community
  • Illustrator Portfolio and Gallery
  • Ability to submit artwork to the quarterly bulletin
  • Ability to promote published books in the SCBWI BookStop event
  • Access to The Book. It contains virtually all the information you will need about writing and illustrating for the children’s book market.
    • Market surveys, Agents Directory, Grant Info, Legal Info, and MUCH MORE
  • Podcasts
  • Awards and Grants
  • Discounts

Enjoy my post?

Know of any other organizations perfect for designers or illustrators? What's your favorite? Share in the comments below!