Illustration Agencies • Art School • Gallery Shows • Fan Art
"I've been approached by Astound Agency.
Are they Legit?"
Yep. It's kind of funny, but every other month I receive a handful of messages asking if Astound Illustration Agency is a legit business. Do not worry, I too had the same question when I they approached me 4 years ago and, just as you, I emailed an artist from their library asking the same. Thankfully, Astound turned out to be wonderful. They are new (perhaps 5 years old) and growing strong.
"I'm thinking of signing up with an illustration agency but I do not know exactly what they do"
An illustration agent will have an updated portfolio of yours at hand and will make sure to present it to as many clients as possible. This varies depending the agency your are trying to join but, for instance, my Agents focus on Publishing. This means whenever they have meetings with publishers in the USA or overseas they represent me and my work in front of the client and if the client feels my work is a good fit they send over a project proposal hoping I collaborate with them.
Agents also look over your contracts, they fight for your wages to make sure you are properly compensated for the job and they contact clients in your behalf in order to ensure smooth and successful negotiations.
They also welcome story ideas and help you write a story pitch when necessary in order to present to publishers and get you published!
"Oh, agents sound amazing! how much do they charge? Do I pay per job?"
Yep! Agents regularly take a percentage of every job you take. Before you join an agency I advice you to ask how big a percentage they take to make sure you are comfortable with the amount. Some agencies take 10-15% and others in the higher end take 30%-40%.
"How did you get online presence? did your agency help you with that as well?"
Nope! Agents do not help you with online presence. This is all on us!
To get an online presence I suggest posting art on social media as much as possible and reaching out to artists you admire as well as equals. Become a friendly face they can talk to! Making friends is all what this is about, an isolated artist never grows so make sure you have plenty!
About Art School
"I attended a talk where you said you dropped out of Art School. Does this mean you do not need a degree to be an artist?"
This is a bit of a complicated question because they are just so many variables, it really depends on your career goals, your preferences, your limitations whether financial or skill sets etc...
If I were to tell you the truth, I do not believe you absolutely need a degree to become an artist. However, I do think you should get an education. I don't think art can be created in a vacuum. I may regret the hundreds of dollars in debt that I have because of art school but I do not regret the experience. I am where I am today because I was able to learn from fellow artists and receive guidance from teachers with far more experience than me.
If Art school is not your thing, this is fine! I actually encourage finding online schools or workshops such as Idea Academy or Animation Collaborative that offer classes by award winning proffessionals for a fraction of the cost of Art School.
About Gallery Shows
I rarely do it but I would LOVE to do join them all! I even dream of having a solo show sometime. Unfortunately I'm too busy to keep up on upcoming shows perpetually leaving me out of the loop. If you are a gallery curator and would like me to participate on a show don't hesitate to send me a message!
"Do you ever participate in Gallery Shows?"
about Fan Art
I'm so glad you like it! I love doing Fan Art, it is one of my favorite things to do when I just want to have fun between jobs. However, I don't think I feel comfortable selling them. Having worked with an IP as GoldieBlox I've come to understand that licencing is a big deal. Companies spend incredible amounts of money to be able to licence a character IP and some companies, like Sanrio, have lawyers who's only job is to find and remove unofficial merchandise.
Using someone else's IP for profit without permission from the creator feels wrong.
I sincerely do not judge those who do. I actually enjoy buying custom made pins or prints inspired by my favorite shows and video games but I don't even do this often as I usually prefer the creator's original merchandise instead.
With that said, would I ever do Fan Art merchandise? Of course! So long it is through an official partnership. Are you looking to collaborate? Send me a message!
"I love the Fan Art you'v done of ________!
Where can I buy a print?
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