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Illustrating the World


Paolo Domenicioni


SCAD professor and illustrator Mohamed Danawi has global aspirations for his Illozoo rep agency



Illustrator and educator Mohamed Danawi had a dream. Since joining the Savannah College of Art and Design, as a professor of illustration, in 1997, the Montreal artist wanted to find ways to market and promote his best students.


“Finally last year I decided to embark on this project, Illozoo, to represent them, not knowing what a massive undertaking it would be,” he says” Out of the thousands of students that I have seen come and go over the years, I decided to contact the very best 20, who in my opinion had the combination of great talent, marketable style, a drive to succeed and visual charisma. I signed contracts with them, selected their very best work and established the website showcasing their portfolios, last October.” 


Danawi used his social network and client base to promote the rep agency. “We were reviewed and announced on several design and illustration websites,” he recalls. “Within a few weeks my email was flooded with hundreds of requests from illustrators, fine artists and designers from all over the world asking to be represented by the agency.”


Today Illozoo represents more than 70 artists worldwide, each with a unique style, ranging from realism to painterly, from collage and montage to digital, graphic and 3D. “I only invite artists who show incredible skills, and a unique and marketable style.” He also wanted ones who were proactive entrepreneurs, promoting themselves and the Illozoo venture generally.


The rep agency appears to be much in demand, doing jobs for a wide range of advertising, corporate and editorial clients. Running the operation from his Savannah, Ga. home, Danawi has also opened offices in London, Dubai and, most recently, Paris. 


While for most jobs, Illozoo works with art directors, ad agencies and publishers, Danawi has tried a different model in Paris and Dubai. “Instead of going through the ad agencies, we’re approaching clients directly,” he says. “I’m putting packages of illustrations together to show them how this fits for marketing, advertising, billboard, products, on buildings and in public spaces. We’re pretty much creating our own visual communications agency.”


For example, Danawi is approaching the organizers of Expo 2020 in Dubai, which will promote the city as a forward-thinking, progressive international hub, under the theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”  “Rather than using the usual logos, we want them to see that you can use conceptual illustrations to convey pride in the city, culture and people.”


Danawi’s designs do not stop there. He’s planning to open two “sister agencies,” one representing photographers and photo-designers, and the other models. “The idea is that we will cover the entire demand of the creative field – a one-stop powerhouse for the global market,” he says.


While Danawi has global ambitions, he is still firmly planted in the classroom. “The agency becomes a teaching tool in my classrooms, a window for my students to interact with my 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,” he explains. “It opens up great possibilities for my students and links the academic setting with the professional arena. Many of my artists are admired and looked up to by my students and I'm allowing this to become a mentorship and a link between established artists and future ones.”






Mohamed Danawi

June 14, 2013 12:41 PM


Thank you Peter and Carrie!



illustrateur dessinateur

June 14, 2013 01:51 PM


very nice !




August 26, 2013 05:45 AM


interesting ! Thanks :)




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