In January 2013, Mohamed Danawi, a university professor of illustration and a former chair of its illustration department, decided to embark on a new project, to establish a global agency, representing illustrators worldwide, not knowing it will be a massive undertaking and one that became what it is now, one of the top and most sough after agency in the illustration field. He contacted 20 illustrators that in his opinion had the combination of great talent, marketable style, a drive to succeed and visual charisma and invited them to join his project. The 20 illustrators accepted to join Illozoo and he signed contracts with them, selected their very best work and designed the website showcasing their portfolios and carefully curated the content. He then used social networking and his client base to promote the agency. Illozoo was reviewed and announced on several design and illustration websites. Within a few weeks his email was flooded with hundreds of requests from illustrators, fine artists, animators and designers from all over the world asking to join the agency and to be represented. The quality of work showcased on Illozoo’s website was the principle attraction, his reputation as a professor for 15 years and a judge in several national and international competition also helped.
Danawi began making his selection and only inviting artists that showed incredible skills and a unique and marketable style. He wanted to keep the quality of work at the highest standard making sure each artist represented, is unequalled and offer contemporary, upbeat, edgy, imaginative and breathtaking body of work.
Illozoo is currently representing 170 artists from more than 65 countries. Some are editorial illustrators, others are fashion illustrators, children’s book illustrators, designers, graphic novelists, animators, CGI artists, full-service visual solutions studios, story boards artist, apparels designers, film makers, props designers, set designers, with styles ranging from realism to painterly, collage, montage, digital, graphic, humorous and 3-D.
The purpose of Illozoo is to represent and promote these excellent artists, illustrators and designers, the established, the veterans and the promising new talents alike, globally, to art directors in the world of advertising, design, animation, game design, fashion, merchandising, books and magazine publishing, packaging design, film, corporate, music industry, sport industry, theatre and art galleries around the world.
The agency’s headquarters are in Savannah, USA and satellite offices with agency representatives in London, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, Milan and Beirut.
Danawi states: ” During the past 5 years, the agency secured thousands of jobs and created artwork ranging from illustrations, motion graphics, animation, design, murals, apps, web content, etc. for every major advertising agency, publishing house, publication and corporations all over the world. All that with simple direct contacts with potential art directors and art buyers, and without buying into the overrated and over priced annuals.
I also made sure my artists are very carefully handpicked and impeccably curated. We reached out to our clients, art directors, art producers and art buyers, and we built our relationship with them brick by brick and artwork by artwork. I’m okay with where we are right now, but I do know we have a lot of work to do ahead of us, because I want to make sure, that each and every artist at the agency is showing their incredible potentials and that we are doing a good job marketing and promoting their talent securing back to back projects to them” .
Illozoo have since created visual solutions for clients such as Apple, Lufthansa Airlines, Amazon, Pepsi, Xbox, Indeed, VH1, Samsung, Waitrose London, Canadian Pacific Railway, the National Geographic Society and Direct TV.
Illozoo was also involved through its artists on hundreds of books and apps with publishing giants such as Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, Hachette Group, Houghton Mifflin, Mondadori, Ink Global, The Creative Company, Oxford University Press, Scholastics, Capstone, The Ivy Press, The Quarto Group and Usborne Publishing.
Illozoo also collaborates with the New Yorker, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Il Corriere Della Sera, and many other publications, providing them with editorial visual contents, and with advertising agencies, such as Leo Burnett, Publicis, Grey, Havas, Pentagram, Holmes and Marchant, TBWA\CHIAT\DAY, BBDO, J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy and Mather by creating storyboards, ads, packaging designs, billboards, murals, web marketing, posters and brand design.
What makes Illozoo unique is that it started with a few exceptional alumni and now representing global visual communicator that expand on the idea of illustration to include animation, design, interactive media and fine art. The other important element is that as an educator and a professor of illustration for more than 20 years today, the agency becomes a teaching tool in Danawi’s classrooms, a window for his students to interact with his artists, to see what they are up to and witness the inner workings of promotions, working on various jobs with clients, seeing the process, logistics, business practices as well as creative process of each artist while working on an assignments and following their footsteps in the classroom. It opens up great possibilities for his students and links the academic setting with the professional arena. Illozoo galleries can be found at www.illozoo.com