About Tyrus

What is Tyrus?

Tyrus is a free digital toolkit that empowers freelance illustrators to build better business skills, so they can focus less on project management and more on their craft.

Who can use Tyrus?

Tyrus was built for illustrators who collaborate with clients. All backgrounds and experience levels welcome!

Even if you’re not an illustrator, Tyrus can be used by freelancers in any creative field who are looking to strengthen their skills in client management.

Why did Airbnb create Tyrus?

Illustration has always been a defining element of Airbnb’s brand identity. Over the years, we’ve made it a point to partner with hundreds of illustrators across the globe. During that time, we’ve learned a lot about the challenges our colleagues face when working with clients.

In an effort to help—and to become better clients ourselves—we made it our mission to address these pain points directly. With the help of a survey of over 250 illustrators worldwide, Tyrus was born. We think of this toolkit as our way of giving back to a community that’s given so much to us, and to highlight some of the diverse people who’ve inspired us along the way.

Where did the name Tyrus come from?

Born in 1910, Tyrus Wong was a Chinese immigrant who made extraordinary contributions to the art, illustration, and design worlds despite facing industry prejudice and receiving little recognition. (You may recognize his distinct brushwork in Disney’s Bambi). When it came time to choose a name for a resource designed to celebrate diversity and help illustrators thrive, Tyrus stood out as just the right choice.

How did Airbnb choose which illustrators to feature in the kit?

As part of Airbnb’s Design’s commitment to diverse visual storytelling, all of the illustrators whose work appears in Tyrus are self-identified women who come from a wide array of locales, and represent diverse styles. Featured illustrators include Sarula Bao, Manshen Lo, Molly Mendoza, Alexis Franklin, Camily Tsai, Marisa Seguin, Chia Chi Yu, Maggie Chiang, Sophia Foster-Dimino, and Kaitlin Chan.

How do i share feedback on Tyrus?

We’d love to hear from you, our community of fellow illustrators and creatives. Send your feedback on Tyrus by filling out this form.

What is Airbnb Design’s open source philosophy?

We believe that collaboration is key when it comes to addressing creative challenges, and that inclusive resources pave the way to greater innovation and a more open world.

Each of our previous open source tools—Lottie, Another Lens, and the React Sketch app—was built to empower our community and to encourage collaboration and conversation between creatives of all disciplines. Learn more here.

If I use Tyrus templates for my business, do I need to credit Airbnb?

Nope, but we don’t mind the occasional shout out! Tyrus is an adaptable resource developed under the Creative Commons Zero license, which allows the public to use any of the written content (including templates) for free, and for their own purposes. However, all illustrations and images used on this site are the intellectual property of Airbnb, Inc. and may not be used without the express permission of Airbnb, Inc.

Why doesn’t Tyrus address money or budgets?

Narrowing down Tyrus to just a few topics was a challenge; our survey showed us how diverse the range of problems are for illustrators today. We decided to focus on topics where we had the most expertise, that were broad enough to apply in most situations illustrators will encounter.

One issue we didn’t address was shrinking budgets, pricing your work, and being underpaid. These are very important issues, but difficult to address with one-size fits all solutions. We recognize that as a larger company with more access to resources, our perspective on fair pay and negotiation may be drastically different (and often unrealistic) for other clients or even different regions. If you’re looking for guidance about budget, pricing, and payment, we suggest checking out this excellent resource by Shel Perkins on the topic here.

How can I learn more about Airbnb’s approach to illustration?

Airbnb aims for inclusivity above all, from the illustrators we work with to the illustrations themselves. You can see examples of this on our Instagram.

How do I stay up to date on Airbnb Design initiatives?

Stay in the loop about all the latest by following us on our site, Instagram, and Twitter.

Who created Tyrus?

Tyrus was a cross-disciplinary Design team effort, spearheaded by art director, illustrator, and Airbnb Alum Naomi Bensen.

Special thanks to our external creative partners Porto Rocha, Shoko Wanger, and Brian Harrison. And to our internal team Jennifer Hom, Sola Biu, Sarah Goerzen, Alexis Konevich, Stephanie Szabó, Tuhin Kumar, & Jonard La Rosa.


Next Up

Back To Top