Case study 3
Lizzie Prestt for Oasis stores

Illustrator Lizzie Prestt was approached by fashion brand Oasis to create a London skyline illustration to feature on a range of clothes to coincide with the London Olympics.

As part of the range’s launch, she was asked to illustrate some of her designs live in Oasis flagships stores in London’s Westfield Stratford and Argyll Street.  

It was the first time Lizzie had ever ‘performed’ her illustration, and she admits to a bout of nerves. “I was aware that my name was everywhere and if I drew like an idiot it would have been bad for my reputation. But I didn’t let myself think  about it too much,” she says. “I was worried about how my drawing would look on that scale, how I would cope if I made mistakes.”

The project fitted into Oasis’ aim to support local talent, and Lizzie says the brand was very supportive. “It was amazing the trust that they placed in me,” she says. “They really invested in me. Being a high street, it would be so easy to go down that generic line, but they went out there and put their trust in someone relatively unknown.”

When it came to the live illustration, preparation was key. “Be comfortable with your tools and make sure that you have references if you possibly can,” she adds.

10 tips for the perfect performance

  • Pricing these types of projects can be tricky. Become a member of the Association of Illustrators if you feel you need some additional guidance.
  • Always ask what’s going to happen to the work afterwards – who’s going to own it, will it be streamed online, will it be archived, is it going to have a company logo all over it? Charge accordingly.
  • Things are likely to happen very fast, so adaptability and creativity are key when streaming or screening a live performance.
  • If creating large-scale murals, scaling up can be tricky, especially under pressure. You might want to mark out key aspects of your design in advance.
  • Be comfortable with your tools and make sure that you have references to draw on, in case you get stuck for inspiration on the day.
  • Make sure you document the event and work. Good documentation will be your calling card.
  • Try not to get too nervous. Approach each performance with an open attitude, and stick to what you do best.
  • Don’t worry about mistakes, and remember that even though you might be aware of little errors, no one else will be. Nobody’s perfect.
  • In fact, there are no wrongs in live performances, just hiccups that can be changed at any stage.
  • Have confidence. Believing in yourself and your message is the best tool in your armoury.