Sammy Slabbnick uses playful vintage clippings to create quirky, appealing landscapes with a surreal quality. His images echo predecessors like Terry Gilliam very strongly. Speaking of animation, he makes short stop motions on Vine as well, be sure to give them a look!
Post by James
Lo Cole designed the album sleeve artwork for Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Welcome to the Pleasuredome,’ and has been working as an illustrator ever since. He’s presently illustrating the weekly ‘What I’m Really Thinking’ and ‘Bello’ columns for the Guardian Weekend Magazine, and does illustrations weekly for The Economist, amongst other things.
Cole is also a printmaker and has regularly exhibited his prints in many regional and London galleries. These days he’s making and producing prints digitally from his studio in Gloucestershire.
You can see more of Lo Cole’s work on the paper products and greeting card company website he owns with his wife, Imaginary Press.
Are you looking for an Art Rep?
You may discover that the search for an art rep shares a lot of similarities with the search for clients. This makes perfect sense, because what you’re looking for is someone to do the hunting for you.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Narrow Your Focus
Before you start contacting every art rep in sight, it’s important to determine which ones are operating in your target market, otherwise you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and energy (both yours and the agents’) by embarking on a wild goose chase. Some art reps specialize in Children’s Books, some focus solely on Editorial Illustration, and some may concentrate on specific styles or media.
Despite what some may think, the buckshot approach simply won’t work. If your style and desired field of Illustration don’t mesh with the expertise and focus of the art rep you’ve contacted, they most likely won’t even bother responding. If they do respond, it’s actually a good sign that the agent doesn’t specialize in any particular field, which can dilute their efforts to find you relevant work.
Some key things to look for are the market that the agent focuses on, as well as the style and level of talent of some of the other artists they represent. You can get a good idea about these factors just by visiting the agents’ website and looking through their About page and the Illustrators’ portfolios.
Do a Quality Check
In addition to narrowing your focus to suit your desired market, you should also try to determine the quality of service that the art rep provides. While this can be difficult to do at first glance, it should be relatively easy to weed out the ones you want nothing to do with if you follow your instincts.
For example, if an agent represents artists of low quality, your association with them will serve to devalue your own work. In addition, an agency that works with too large a list of Illustrators, you are less likely to get the one-on-one attention that you deserve, which will defeat the purpose of working with an art rep to begin with. What you want is a representative that you can be proud to work with, and who has enough room in their business to help you succeed.
Keep in mind that an art rep should impress you just as much as you want to impress them, because what you’re seeking is a mutually beneficial relationship, and you’re going to need them to impress potential clients as well.
Once you’ve narrowed your list down to a more select group of potential art reps, one of the best steps that you can take is to contact the other artists who are being represented by them. By reaching out in this way, you can find out how much work the agent secures for them, what their commission is, how they work, how promptly they pay, what responsibilities fall on the artist, and any other pertinent information to help you make your decision.
You may also consider contacting some of the clients that the art reps works with in order to get an idea of the impression that they make in the industry.
Now that you’ve found a workable group of artist representatives you’d like to contact, make sure your portfolio is up to par, select a few of your best and most relevant images to send, and take the time to put together a professional, straightforward letter of inquiry. The idea at this point is to make the best first impression that you can, just like when contacting potential clients.
Also, it’s a good idea to present an open-ended inquiry. In other words, try to approach them with an interest in starting a dialogue, rather than asking them the yes/no question of “Would you like to represent me?”
In Episode 6 of the EFII Podcast, Illustrator Penny Dullaghan talks about how she initiated contact with art reps by requesting a critique of her work. In fact, she didn’t even mention the possibility of working with them in her first email.
If you’ve found one or more art reps that you’d like to work with, try to follow up on your initial contact by sending updates on your new work at regular intervals. You don’t want to overdue it by harassing them every week, but you do want to try and build relationships with them and stay on their radar, because even if they don’t see your potential at first, your work may soon reach a level that they think they can successfully promote. (To hear how some other Illustrators have used this approach, listen to Episode 6 of the EFII Podcast with Penny Dullaghan, as well as Episode 14 with Holli Conger.)
What’s your experience? We invite you to share your thoughts in the comments.
Matt Andrews is a digital illustrator, who is a graduate of Winthrop University. He currently resides in South Carolina. To see more of his stunning landscapes as well as concept work, check him out in the following locations online:
Post by James
Paul Rooms is an American painter living in New York. Watercolors are his medium, the “inner child” his inspiration.
Paul is influenced by the painting traditions and traveling nature of his ancestral countries—from the Flemish a surrealistic eye, from the Italian color and construction.
Paul has no formal education in art, which he credits for the development of his personal style. He’s had several solo exhibitions and sold his work to collectors from the world over.
You can see more of Paul Rooms’ work on his website.
Post by Natalie
Claire Shorrock is a freelance illustrator based in Bristol, UK. She works with a variety of media including gouache, acrylic, and colored pencils and then compiles her images digitally. She is a member of the Drawn in Bristol collective and is currently working on her first children’s picture book.
See more of Claire’s work on her website.
I am pleased to announce, if a little late, the winners for both the book and the Jet Pens contests! We had so many great entries, just take a look at the archives to see all the incredible art.
If you are listed as a winner, below, please contact me with your name, address, phone, and email and I’ll get you set up with your prizes! (my email is listed on the left of my website here)
The winner gets to pick three books, and the runner up gets one, from the good people at They Draw and Cook!
Winner: Jessica Grundy
Runner up and pick of the week: Camille Medina
These two winners will each get some great prizes from our friend at JetPens!
Winner: John Steven Gurney
Runner up, Pick of the Week: Greg Newbold
Post by James
Washington D.C.-based illustrator and art teacher Kristy Lankford paints in watercolor, acrylic, gouache and digitally. Her work can be found in children’s illustrations, surface designs, still life paintings, and much more.
Kristy studied studio art and illustration first at Boston College and later earned her M.F.A. from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
You can see more of Kristy’s work on her website.
We’re excited to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the illustration above by Greg Newbold, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of ‘VOICE’. You can also see a gallery of all the other inspiring entries here.
And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:
Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).
Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.
Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).
Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the participant gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!
Post by Natalie
Freelance illustrator Petra Hämmerleinova was born in Prague and lived in Munich, where she graduated in fashion and graphic design in 1997. After several years of working as an in-house designer, she decided to do what she loves most and started her career as an illustrator. Petra’s style is a mix of hand-drawn characters, patterns, and lettering in pencil, watercolor, and ink. She combines all of these elements digitally to create beautifully detailed scenes and patterns populated by cute and quirky characters. Petra currently lives in Bavaria/Germany.
See more of Petra’s work on her website.