|My old Association of Illustrators membership cards 1997-2004|
Up until myself and my partner adopted our daughter I was working full-time or more as an illustrator and managing to earn a reasonable living. While my daughter was young my work hours dropped off and though I never gave up illustration I became cautious about how much I would take on so as to ensure I could hit my deadlines. It became hard to justify paying the yearly fee so, although I missed the AOI, I stopped renewing my membership.
In recent years my commissioned illustration work has built up to the extent that rejoining the AOI seemed a necessity and was also affordable. I've just received logos and other new member materials and was touched by the wording on the image below. It's true, the AOI really are like that - they've been looking after illustrators for a long time and protecting our interests. I am very glad to be back.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I received a different kind of support from them, made some amazing friends and started writing. Though I've allowed my SCBWI membership to lapse I will rejoin as soon as I can.