This Saturday, Digital Arts is hosting the second Secrets to Success panel discussion at the New Designers graduate exhibition in Islington, London.

Here you'll hear passionate debate on how new graduates can forge a career as a professional illustrator, covering the questions that will – or should – be on their minds.

On the panel this year are the queen of charming illustration and pug afficianado Gemma Correll, rock art god Dan Mumford, creator of awesome critters Anna 'Sneaky Raccoon' Mullin and illustration and motion agent-to-the-stars Steve Dunn from Jelly. Attempting to herd these creative cats into discussing a set series of questions will be Digital Arts editor Neil Bennett.

Topics under discussion include:

  • How to attract clients' attention
  • How to impress that first client – and how avoid screwing up that first meeting
  • Do I have to move to/stay in London?
  • How do I avoid being exploited?
  • Will getting an agent mean I can just concentrate on the work?
  • What to do when if it all goes wrong – and when's the right time to eat the art supplies.
  • Do I have to sell my soul to succeed?

A Q&A session at the end will allow you to put what's on your mind to our esteemed panel. There will also likely be a lot of bad jokes, so we'll apologize for these now.

The talk takes place in the Atrium above the Gallery Hall, where most of the visual communication, graphic design and illustration work can be found. We're on from 12-1, possibly 1.30 if we overrun like last year.

New Designers Part 2 runs from Weds July 4 to Sat July 7 – though as our panel's on Saturday, naturally that's the day you want to come (Part 1 was sparkly fashion and spangly jewellery, and was last week). For more on the exhibition, visit newdesigners.com. Special points if you can spot a very small picture of Neil on their homepage. Tickets are available on the door, or you can buy them online in advance and get two-for-one by using the code ND177 when buying.

Here's a little background on our panel:

Gemma Correll

Gemma is a freelance illustrator and comic-creator based in Norwich. Recent projects include the fashion doodling book What I Wore Today and trying to live down her Pugs Not Drugs t-shirt being worn by gurning comedian Russell Howard.

Dan Mumford

Dan is a freelance illustrator, designer and screenprinter based in Dalston, London. His has produced sinewy, zombie-strewn artwork for Nike, as well as for bands such as Gallows and Trivium.

Sneaky Raccoon

'Sneaky' Anna is a a freelance graphic designer, art director and illustrator based in London. Last year she put on the Tales From The Sneaky Crypt show to celebrate her fifth year as a professional creative, where she and friends including Tado, LouLou and Tummie, and Waste create vinyl characters to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Research. Photo of Anna by Cris Rose.

Steve Dunn

Jelly represents some of our favourite illustrators including many Digital Arts contributors including Radim 'Brand Nu' Malinic, Neil Duerden, Matt Lyon, Poked Studio and Steven Bonner. They also have an in-house illustration studio called, naturally, Jelly House.