Is anyone getting work from their rep?

  • I have been working with the same rep for a number of years now but for the past two years I've hardly gotten any work at all. She says she is trying but that there is "nothing out there". Granted, my portfolio needs updating, and I have been taking some online classes to improve, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to get motivated based on what I believe about the current climate of the children's publishing industry. Anybody else staying busy with client work lately?

  • If I had a rep I'd commiserate, I'm sure 🙂

    I guess if you update your portfolio and work still doesn't roll in (or if you start hunting for work yourself) it might be time to seek other representation?

  • SVS OG

    I’m currently not working and don’t have a rep so I may not be the best person to give advice but seems to me that your partnership with your agent is not working. It might be time to scout for a new agent who can represent you better. If you think your portfolio needs some polishing, then polish away. Make it the best it can be and go get yourself a new agent. I hope this helps.

  • Pro SVS OG

    There no shortage of work out there and even the agents I work with from the AD side say that they’re getting more enquiries. One even speculated about the return of a “golden age “.
    I’m just at the beginning, so I could definitely welcome better paid work (especially so that I could leave my contract job), but I’m getting a ton of educational work right now - probably more than I should take. This past year was quite healthy.
    I’d say if you’re not getting traction you either need to revamp your portfolio or change rep....

  • Pro

    It may be that this rep isn't working out for you, but there could be other factors. If there really wasn't anything out there, reps would go out of business after all. It may be that your style isn't as much in demand lately, or it may be that the same companies are hiring over and over and since they're not seeing new work from you, they're passing you over every time. I'm new at this but even I have heard it's crucial to keep your portfolio updates and fresh.

    There's a saying where I'm from: "Help yourself and the heavens will help you." Get the ball moving by making new portfolio pieces, make your own personal project, get more active on social media to be more visible to more art directors, and surely things will start happening for you again 🙂

    The climate is changing, but not necessarily going down the drain. Art directors are younger now and they hunt for artists on social media. Relying solely on your rep for work may not be the best strategy anymore. Or it may be that your rep herself hasn't adapted and isn't able to compete anymore with other reps that have adapted. At any rate, there are things you can do to improve your situation (change your portfolio, if still nothing change rep) so I think it's more positive to focus on those, rather than focus on something you cannot change like the climate of the industry. Best of luck to you 🙂

  • I completely understand where you're coming from, it's very frustrating! I left my agency recently because they hadn't found any new work for me for over a year even though I was producing lots of sample pieces they were asking for projects - but I wasn't updating my portfolio either, so I'm partly to blame. But we never really clicked so it was time for a change. I agree with everyone on here so far, either try revamping your portfolio so it catches clients attention, bold, colourful and modern, or maybe this rep just isn't for you and it's time to find someone else 🙂

  • Thanks everyone. It is good to know that some of you feel that there is "still plenty of work out there". I've known I needed to change reps for a while now but do not want to go after one with the same old portfolio. It's time for me to get busy.

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