Well... everybody.... I have great news.
I HAVE AN AGENT!!! I’m being represented by Advocate Art. Here’s a link to my artist profile
About a couple of months after my licensure exams last May, I started applying to various agencies. I felt that my portfolio still lacked some pieces but I figured that the worst that could happen is that they’ll advise me to submit again. I was working on my portfolio anyway. I don’t mind if they have a few notes for me. I never thought that one would actually respond to me!
In the past, I had a few agencies show interest in my work. Their common comments were to add more pieces to my portfolio. Unfortunately, I was still in school or reviewing for the board exams and I never had the time. When I finally had the opportunity to create new illustrations, they were no longer looking for new talent. This happened at Astound Us. Another funny encounter happened with Allied Artist. I think it was back in 2017? I made a post about it a long time ago. I guess I ticked them off or something ‘cause they blocked me. They blocked me. LOL! After asking one too many annoying and most likely stupid questions, my messages were not getting through. I kept receiving some automated message that I was blocked. Well, those were a few of my biggest disappointments in finding an agent. I must have applied to dozens more with no success.
I remember the Third Thursday about Agents. I think Lee said this that one sign that you’re ready to find an agent is when you have enough time to work in illustration. Evidently, I didn’t have enough time to even work on my portfolio much less handle a project. I guess it was just not the right time. Now that I do have the time, things just fell into place.
Advocate Art responded a few weeks after I made my submission. I was interested with their Fairness, Ability, Creativity, Trust (F.A.C.T.) Policy. I’ve heard enough agent/illustrator horror stories to know that I should find an agency that won’t take advantage of me. Plus their roster of international artists wasn’t that bad either.
Before they could launched me, they advised that I added more pieces to my portfolio. Luckily this time, I had a lot of time to spare. They advised to make at least four new pieces. They also advised me to make them more colorful and saturated. I have a feeling this is a market trend for this year so to all of you out there, take note. That, or maybe because most of my work had desaturated and muted colors. Anyway, I went to work. The recent Filipino folklore pieces I made were for them. Clients want to see the cultural backgrounds of newly signed artists apparently. Again, take note guys.
It’s funny when @NessIllustration mentioned that she was approached by Lara from International Talent Search (It’s Me) because I was approached by the same woman as well! I was skeptical at first. I’ve never heard of talent scouts working for Illustration agencies but apparently they do exist. IT’S ME search for new talent as well as manage the submissions for a number of agencies including Advocate Art, Astound Us, Illo Agency, and a few more. I really wanted to share this news with you guys but I didn’t want to talk about it until it was official and I had my profile launched on the website. Now, IT IS! And I’m so happy to share it with everyone!
In that previous all-about-agents Third Thursday, they mentioned how before starting work with your agent, the two of you need to have a conversation on what you want for the future, what you want to do, what you want to achieve, etc... My agent and I are currently discussing just that. I don’t know which specific field to focus on. The best solution I can think of for now is to get my feet wet first and then decide later but I do want to be an author-illustrator and that’s something they’re happy to help me with. I’m very excited for that!
Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me on my pieces. Your comments, critiques and kind words helped me improve my art a lot. To everyone who’s considering on getting an agent, get your portfolios ready and submit now! Just this month, Advocate hired about 20 new illustrators. Don’t be afraid to take the risk. Like I’ve said before, the worst that could happen is that you submit again but you never know. Good luck everyone and thank you so much! I’m very excited for the future.
MichaelaH last edited by
I am soooo happy for You, this is realy great, you know you have be putting such hard work in last weeks into your portfolio, so many good new illustrations and now You have agent, I am so proud of YOu, wish You so only LUCK and happy good time and some goodfunny projects, which also gives You money.
Whoot whoot fantastic-Well deserved!!!!
Coley last edited by
Yay!!!! Congratulations that's awesome
@Nyrryl-Cadiz That's GREAT NEWS!! Congrats!
@Nyrryl-Cadiz Oh Nyrryl, congratulations!! I'm so happy for you, hun! You are definitely one of those artists on the forum that I thought was on the verge of a breakthrough and you are so talented that it was only a matter of time You deserve this so much!! Congrats again!
It made me giggle when I read your previous tribulations with agents and even getting blocked by one! We all have those stories of things not working out and it would be nice if like you, we were comfortable to share them too. It's so normal to go through that and doesn't define your future success!
I've taken the liberty to write down below my own resounding failures in my looking for an agent, just in case anyone is looking for a laugh or some encouragement that things get better LOL. I hope I'm not hijacking Nyrryl's post in anyway by doing that, and if you're not interested in my failure anecdotes you can skip everything beyond this point haha
I almost got signed by Advocate Art too! It was 2 years ago, I was still working at a video games studio and looking for freelance side gigs when I found a call for submissions from Advocate Art. I applied, not expecting much since I didn't have much of a portfolio back then. I was really surprised when Advocate said they were interested and asked me to sign their welcome package and send in all my work for final review. That's when I really started to believe it, really started to hope. "Maybe I AM actually good enough to be signed!" I thought. About 2 weeks later, I was told my work didn't pass the final review and they didn't want to sign me after all. Their welcome package did mention that in rare cases, they change their mind when they see the full portfolio. I was completely crushed!
About 6 months later I dug myself out of my cocoon of misery and decided to try again. This time I created a brand new portfolio with a plan, researched and made a list of agents to apply too, created all the pieces I would need and applied. I sent to about 8-9 agents in total, including Advocate Art again. My personal top choice this time was the Bright group. I was hopeful because I thought if I almost got signed last time without even a real portfolio, what would it be like when I had actually worked for it this time? But this time, I didn't even get as far as last time. Everyone either said they weren't interested or didn't answer at all. It was really crushing yet again.
In the following months, I ended up leaving my job, moving to another city and started working as a full-time freelancer. 6 months after, I felt good enough about my work to try again. I had been sustaining myself of freelance work alone for over 6 months, I had a professional website this time, many professional projects to my name and a much better portfolio. I made a list of agents and applied again. I had written a little introduction that I copy-pasted, before personalizing the body of the email itself to each agency. I think you can see where this is going! I sent an application to Lemonade agency that started with "Dear Plum Pudding agency". I realized my mistakes about a minute after sending and started panicking and crying, desperately trying to find a way to unsend the email. As I was googling how to do that with tears streaming down my face, I received an answer back from Lemonade: "Dear Vanessa, we are not Plum Pudding. We will be tossing out your application now." For weeks afterwards, this was the only agency that had even replied. I was so crushed and depressed, I had a hard time dragging myself out of bed in the morning. Until one day I received another reply, from Beehive agency. They were interested in signing me. I think this was the happiest, most relieved moment of my life!
It's also interesting to note my story didn't end there. In the following year, I came to realize that although Beehive is a lovely and successful agency, it wasn't actually a great fit for me. I made a whole other thread explaining my experience with them and why I decided to change. I signed with Astound Us just last month, and the process was surprisingly easy and smooth. Like Nyrryl said, when you're actually ready for an agent things just fall into place quite naturally. It's not such a hard fight for it anymore.
If you're in the middle of looking for an agent, if you've had rejections so far: don't give up! Keep improving, keep gaining experience. A rejection now doesn't mean that it's not meant to be
TessaW last edited by
I'm so happy for you, congratulations! Your work has always been a treat and an inspiration for me here on the forums and it's wonderful to hear about your progress professionally.
lenwen last edited by
wow, congrats @Nyrryl-Cadiz ! thanks for sharing it
Eli last edited by
Congratulations! That is wonderful
StudioLooong last edited by
Congrats! Can't wait to see where you go from here!
BichonBistro last edited by
@Nyrryl-Cadiz woohoo!!!!! fantastic news
That's amazing news and so well deserved. Congratulations! And thanks for sharing all your insights--very helpful and generous.
Kristin Dudish last edited by
Yayyy @Nyrryl-Cadiz !!! Congratulations!!!
@Nyrryl-Cadiz This is amazing news. Well done. And imagine this is just the beginning!
@NessIllustration Omg, that's brilliant with the Plum Pudding Lemonade mix up. Glad you are with the right fit agency now.
@Nyrryl-Cadiz Congratulations and very well deserved! Can't wait to see where you go from here
@Nyrryl-Cadiz awesome news!! Congratulations! And thanks for sharing your experience of the process.
Congratulations!!! That's awesome!!!
Amanda Jean last edited by
Congratulations! It was only a matter of time. Your work is stand-out quality, so it's well deserved I'd say.
There could be any number of reasons for the blocking... if this happens to anyone, I wouldn't take it too personally. Just shows they're not your people, and also that it may or may not have been a blessing in disguise.
Onward to better opportunities!