If you’re seeking an illustrator or artist who can execute a theme for an annual report in a particular style, a good place to start is the Graphic Artist Guild’s Directory of Illustrations (http://www.directoryofillustration.com/). Often, your local ad agencies will have back issues of these large, full color books that highlight the work of individual artists along with their contact information. The online site has the added feature of being able to search by style, technique, subject or specialty area.
A similar resource is the American Illustration Showcase (Amazon link). Again, your local agency may be your best resource for these books because it’s doubtful that you want to buy one new, although you’ll sometimes see them in the art section of used book stores.The American Showcase people have also produced editions that are specifically focused on creative options for business and annual reports. Your local agency may also be able to direct you to local artists that they have previously worked with who match the style(s) that you like in these type of directories.
Finally, consider browsing the Open Directory Project’s illustration section . If you drill down to the illustrator portfolios section, you’ll find a long listing of illustrator web sites, although admittedly this is a difficult way to find what you’re looking for. Another approach is to browse the Illustrations Directory on marketingtool.com. These are listed by state. Finally, the Design Directory at dexigner.com is another resource for listings.
If nothing else, spending some time with these resources may help you clarify the style and approach you’re seeking so you can better communicate your creative direction. Of course, you will want to make sure you have a well-thought out strategy and clear creative direction before jumping into finding an illustrator, otherwise you’ll both be frustrated.