How This Illustrator Leveraged Instagram to Land Apple as a Client

Jonathan Vermersch's work is on display in Apple stores worldwide

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Jonathan Vermersch's illustration inside Apple's 8th Ave. store in Manhattan / Sarah Jacobs/ONE37pm

London-based artist Jonathan Vermersch has been landing freelance gigs in both animation and illustration over the past three years, mostly doing editorial work for clients including UnderPinned, ONE37pm and LADbible.

Oh, and you might have seen some of the 29-year-old’s vibrant illustrations in Apple stores around the world.

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Inside Apple’s Eighth Avenue store in Manhattan / Sarah Jacobs/ONE37pm

But landing his dream client—or any of his clients, for that matter—didn’t happen overnight. Having a skill set in both animation and illustration has helped Vermersch remain a freelance artist, which at times, has come with what he admits is a financial struggle. 

“I went through a phase where I felt that struggling financially was making me work more and go in a direction that I wanted. That struggle helped me find my passion. I feel like it was all necessary,” he tells ONE37pm.

Without an agent, Vermersch has added to his client roster all by himself, focusing his marketing efforts on email promos as well as Instagram. He claims the social platform has helped him in a simple but major way: He’s able to see what work resonates with his audience. “Just [seeing] what was and wasn't working on Instagram...that response helped me go [artistically] in a certain direction that worked best for me,” he says.

So when he was approached by creative directors at Apple earlier this year—who discovered his work via Instagram—to create illustrations for the Apple Watch within the App Store, Vermersch was blown away. The work he produced for that job led him to the next: iluminated in-store illustrations of the Apple Watch, placed in stores worldwide.  

“It is almost hard to believe when you get an opportunity like that and your work is in every [Apple] store in the world. It's like, ‘What the fuck?’ It's great,” he said.

Since then, Vermersch has partnered further with Apple—hosting in-store events for their series Art Labs. As for Vermersch’s next dream client? Google, he says.

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