The value of networking and the power of the word of mouth – meet Sally Brownbill

Monday, 30 July 2018

The value of networking and the power of the word of mouth

Meet one of IA's 2018 awards judges Sally Brownbill

With a degree in photography gained from RMIT in the 1980s, Sally Brownbill commenced work in the Australian photographic industry. Her career trajectory then took her to London and TV production.

On return to Australia, she founded her own enterprise – The Flash Place, representing photographers by professionally networking them into the industry via commercial work, exhibitions, launches and lucrative sponsorship deals.

Sally returned to RMIT as a lecturer in both the Bachelor of Arts Photography and Advertising programs rebadging the two disciplines together into one subject – Professional Projects.

Simultaneously, Sally sat on the MADC (Melbourne Art Directors Club) and RMIT selection committees advising and selecting students on their entry to the course as well as assessing final year folios.

She was the senior creative consultant with DUX Creative Consultants in the 1990s and early 2000s where she managed the careers of art directors, copywriters, graphic designers, illustrators and photographers.

Sally is now a highly sought after as a lecturer by professional bodies across Australia and sits on a variety of course advisory boards. She is also regularly invited as a guest lecturer and final year folio reviewer at a variety of institutions. Sally’s professional standing has also placed her as one of Australia’s most respected judges.

She now devotes her experience and expertise in developing the professional standing of creatives both in Australia and overseas.

In February 2013, Sally launched The Brownbill Effect  an online creative resource which redefines the way creative professionals connect professionally with each other and industry figures.

In 2017 Sally officially began filling permanent and contract roles in creative industries via TBE jobs, helping creatives from all disciplines, as well as account service and marketing roles, into new jobs. This has been a natural progression from Sally's ever-growing network.

Why did you launch The Brownbill Effect?

There was a genuine need for someone who understood the creative industry to work with both clients and creatives. Someone that wasn’t going to charge a fortune and really had the individual’s interests at heart. I wanted to create a creative hub for people to display their work and be found. I also wanted to help creatvies get their name out to a much greater audience and have another platform for them to show their work and be part of a community.

What excites you about illustration?

The unknown and what is still yet to come. Seeing how someone interprets a brief and watching an illustrator create something out of nothing.

Where do you like to discover new creatives?

Directories of course!!! I meet people all the time, I am a huge networker and I have never underestimated the power of word of mouth.

What is your biggest piece of advice for emerging illustrators?


What can make a good portfolio into a great one?


What do you think is the biggest issue facing creative industries at the moment?

The lack of really good budgets that force creatives to work to much tighter briefs where perhaps creativity is not the top priority.

Tell us about your favourite client experience or project.

There are so many and such a diversity of clients I work with . But those creatives who have come to me confused about how to present their work either as a folio or a website and I help them realise that would be among my favourites. Working alone can be so difficult and having a second set of ears and eyes to guide you gives me great joy. Similarly clients I have matched up with each other that turn into a long, happy working relationship. That too gives me warm fuzzies.

Do you have anything else to add?

Be flexible, be honest, be organised, surround yourself with like-minded people and network.

Find more of Sally here. Entries for Illustrators Australia's 2018 Illustration Awards close August 31. Find out more here.