Research is the key to finding the perfect Agent or Rep that’s right for you.
There are many agencies out there and you need to find the right one for you.
The relationship between an Illustrator and an Agent is a special one and not everyone is suited for each other.
Do your research and source out the ones that you feel would be a good fit with you and your style.
For example, if you are a Children’s Book Illustrator, then look for an agency that specializes in Children’s Books.
Find out as much as you can about the agency before contacting them. I always like to hear that an illustrator knows about our firm and did their home work before contacting us.
I hate just being cc. on a long listed email that goes out to many Agents or Reps at the same time.
Make sure that when you do find an Agent or Rep that you are interested in, that you proceed to contact them in a very professional manner.
Don’t ever address your emails to Dear Sir/ Madame or To Whom it May Concern, get the name of the person you are trying to contact. Its not very hard and if you can’t find the person’s name, call up the agency and find out who you should be addressing your email to. When I get emails that are not properly addressed to me, I just trash them.
When you write your email, be clear and precise and tell that person why you want to be represented by them. Example, you feel that you fit in with the style, you have heard great things about the agency etc.
Don’t be too familiar either. Best to stay very professional. I get emails some times that start with, ” Hi There, Hey Anna… and some times end with hugs and kisses or your friend ….
We are not friends and being overly familiar is not the way to proceed in business.
Keep your email short and too the point and include a link to your site. If you don’t have a website ( personally I think that all professional illustrators who are NOT represented should have their own site) send a few low rez jpegs.
Don’t send high rez and don’t send compressed files with loads of images. Keep it simple.
We don’t have time to read a long story about how when you were a child you always wanted to be an illustrator and your dropped out of school to persue your dream. Sorry to be blunt but we don’t really care about that. We want to see that you have a passion for your work and that you are professional at what you do. So be clear, short and procise but the intention of your email.
Be honest and be yourself.
Since we Agents are some times bombarded with emails from illustrators wanting to be represented, it can be very difficult and time consuming to reply to all representation requests.
Please d’ont take this personally. I use to try to reply to all the emails I received but it just got too difficult with the amount I receive.
If the Agent or Rep is interested in your work, you can be sure that they will get in touch with you. It may not be right away but they will or at least I do.
If we don’t then follow up in a few weeks with another email, it shows you are on top of things.
When I am interested in someone, I get back to them and send them a copy of our contract to have a look at.
Its important to get the agreement down in writing so that both parties involved agree on the conditions of the contract.
Contracts should cover the territory, the commission and the duration of the representation agreement.
If you are asked to sign a contract, make sure you understand what you are signing. If you are not sure, then don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Commissions are pretty standard in our industry at 30%.
If you get lucky and find an Agent or Rep that is willing to take you on then remember that you are entering into a relationship that goes both ways.
Both parties are expected to invest their time, finances and energy into the relationship to make it work.
Its not because you have an Agent or Rep that you just sit back and wait for work to come in.
You need to be pro active, involved and work even when commissions don’t come in.
I love when my illustrators come to me with ideas and show me work they have been working on when times are quite.
We work in this wonderful industry of illustration and if you know how to get yourself a great Agent or Rep, then I can assure you it could really give your carrer a boost for the better.