Art Rep 101 – Are You Desirable?
Thomas James | Escape from Illustration Island
Your most important job as an Illustrator is to be the best artist that you can possibly be.
Your second most important job is to find work.
This means that promotion plays a big part in the success of your freelance business. In fact, you may find yourself spending more time on this task than any other, even creating art. After all, if you don’t find new clients, you won’t have any artwork to create, aside from your own personal projects, which means you won’t be able to pay your bills.
Don't Be a Starving Artist
That’s why many Illustrators consider working with an artist’s representative. You can read How To Find an Art Rep, but first I think it’s a good idea to consider the benefits and costs of working with an agent.
In an ideal situation, an art rep handles the more mundane yet crucial tasks involved in connecting you with your target market, allowing you the freedom and time to create your next masterpiece.
They can draw from their hard-won mailing list of contacts in the industry to send promotional mailers and announcements as well as help to match your talent and style with the projects you are most compatible with. The best art reps can sometimes negotiate a better rate and contract than you might be able to because of their experience and knowledge in the field. As an added bonus, an agent can often offer guidance to help you to fine tune your portfolio and branding for a particular niche market.
All of this can mean that you might end up doing the kind of work you want while earning a reasonable wage.