In-House Perspectives: Collaborating with External Talent

Presented by Lee De Lang and Ally Jaye Reeves. Moderated by Kathleen Scott RGD.



Whether it’s high-end photography, custom illustration or compelling video, hiring external talent for a project is a great solution when that expertise isn’t available in-house. But do you understand how their process fits in with your own? This webinar looks at how to collaborate with these creative professionals for the best possible outcome.


Working in Partnership, a True Collaboration
Presented by Lee De Lang, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Big Red Oak

Working with agencies, suppliers and clients can be a very transactional and impersonal event. But the best ideas and the best working experience is built from close, personal and honest relationships. This is the foundation for high quality work and long term collaboration. This presentation will focus on the experience that Lee has had in working with corporate clients with their own internal creative/strategic departments as well as being a supplier to other agencies and being on the hiring end for freelance creative talent. In all of these scenarios, communication and understanding of expectations, roles and responsibilities as well as a streamlined workflow is paramount to a successful project, campaign and partnership.


About Lee De Lang

Lee is a creative and lead strategist on many digital storytelling and visual communications projects for Big Red Oak. Big Red Oak is a video and content agency, combining strategic communications with content marketing to serve diverse industries, ranging from large corporations and public-sector organizations to associations, small businesses and PR and marketing agencies, delivering a full portfolio of content creation, marketing support and consultation and planning services. 


How to Become Friends With an Illustrator

Presented by Ally Jaye Reeves, Illustrator

Join Ally as she shows us what it's like to collaborate with an illustrator from the beginning to end of a project. She will demystify the illustrator’s process and also shed some light on what illustrators look for in design collaborators. Ally will also show the impact that illustrators can have on a project beyond just a final image. Illustrators are idea machines! Final art is really just the tip of the iceberg. 

Key takeaways:

  • How to find an illustrator and how to make sure they’re right for your project.

  • Best practices in reaching out to illustrators, including email do’s and don’ts. 

  • What to expect from an illustrators' process. Plus, how to give effective feedback!

  • How illustrators determine their rates.

  • When to use illustration vs. photography or animation.

  • Bonus: Illustrators as in-house talent. How illustrators fit onto an in-house design team.

About Ally Jaye Reeves
Ally is an illustrator and creative problem-solver working for a range of clients from the editorial world to the tech space. She's developed large-scale illustration systems as an in-house illustrator at Airtable and is now helping other brands do the same. When she's not working in-house she's collaborating with designers and art directors on magazines, package design and web illustrations. If she's not working she's probably playing fetch with her dog Indy or taking up yet another hobby.


Session Moderated by Kathleen Scott RGD

Kathleen is an award-winning designer with 15 years experience. For the past decade, she has been Creative Strategy Team Lead at Bruce Power where they deliver all things design, including a complete rebrand for the company in 2019. In 2017, they were honoured to be the design partner for RGD’s In-House Design Awards.