EIF member responses to Covid

Coronavirus has had a serious impact on freelance creatives, and over 2020 illustrators and the EIF organisations that support them have risen to the challenges that the pandemic has presented. We asked the EIF member organisations to give a short description of what they had been doing over summer 2020 to help illustrators.

All organisations explored shifting what had been physical meetings and events online, and these were successful, even bringing increased audiences in some case. EIF members campaigned to their governments over support for illustrators, and some were able to offer support via funds. Resources were created to help illustrators with the situations that the pandemic brought, including for mental health. And there has been a general sense that it has been really positive to try out new ways of approaching what organisations can offer. Read on for more detail from several EIF members:

 Kuvittajat Finland

  • 10060 Euro fund for illustrators distributed and will be another fund in Autumn, but need to decide what that is used for.
  • Gallery exhibitions moved online and saw an increase in attendance and purchases.
  • Online events including podcasts and Lisk Feng masterclass, and other workshops.
  • The Spring meeting for members was not possible so moved to Autumn.
  • Survey – done in April and repeaedt in August to check what the outlook is.

IO Germany

  • Release new publication for new starters on how to work in illustration (free for new members or available to purchase).
  • Organised seminars and webinars online.
  • Frankfurt Book Fair – looked to establish an online meeting point for illustrators.

Grafill Norway

  • Moved to an online platform for events – webinars and streams.
  • Awards show presented online, which was a real success, not only for the showcase but also the social element with a DJ and afterparty, much larger audiences than previously.
  • Grafill Illustration group made a zine illustrating how they have experienced the impact of lockdown.
  • Mental health talk took place online.
  • Politically working with other artist organisations to make sure government support is beneficial to members.
  • Survey run, and will be run again to see if there is any change – appeared that there was no real change in summer results.
  • Updated website to communicate what was happening.


  • Engaged with government to work with creators institute to address the tax challenges for creators in Spain.
  • Moved illustration festival Irudika to an online platform for October.
  • Basque Gov paid illustrators to make a book.
  • Worked on campaigns supporting creators rights.

Svenska Tecknare Sweden

  • Moved annual meeting online
  • Competition has a new remit, exploring if this can be physical, or if it can be online.
  • Magazine moved to online, which has benefits, not least a fresh approach
  • We should do things differently more often to try things out.
  • Did a survey and will do a follow up
  • Crisis Fund established of 10,000 Euro, also open to donations. One round done before summer and another in Autumn.
  • Interpreted the official actions to reinform members about what is important.
  • Made a financial guide available to members which is available more widely
  • Remind people about the importance of contracts – and sense a feeling members want to get more organised as a result.


  • Continued to meet Membership helpline response deadlines
  • Established a Covid-19 resource page with up to date, reliable information. Resources included a two week plan to focus illustrators.
  • Launched the Spotlight on Series featuring an illustrator weekly
  • Launched the mentorship scheme and developed and launched member Exchange, an online connection tool for members.
  • Presented a well received mental health guide for creative freelancers
  • Established regular agent meetings in partnership with Society of Authors
  • Developed ongoing webinars, resources and articles which address current needs and trends.
  • Launched a Diversity and Equality scheme of work
  • Developed the Folios pages, and increased the promotion of selected folios
  • Surveyed members to understand the impact of Covid-19
  • Wrote to the Government championing the needs of illustrators


Illustration by Derek Brazell