Question for those with Agents...

  • Are agents interested in representing you if you are a part-time illustrator? I imagine many of us have regular jobs, so we are doing illustrations in the spare moments outside of that. I haven't sent anything to agents partly out of fear they might not be interested in getting extra work for me if I can't do it as quickly as a full-time illustrator...

    Anyone in a similar position?

  • Pro

    @Ryan-Ehr I don't think that's a worry when you're starting. My agency doesn't send me enough work to occupy me full-time. They send me maybe 1/3 of my total freelance work. And that's because I've let them know I'm available and looking for work right now. Every 2-3 months, my agent asks if I'm available for contracts right now and if she should actively be looking for more. Even full-time illustrators after all, get their schedule for the year filled real fast because there's only so many books you can make each year. Sometimes they send me contract offers and I have to say no because I'm actually pretty tied up for the next little bit finishing up a project for a deadline. There is ALWAYS room to say no, it's up to you how much or how little work you accept. I'm not sure if I would even mention up-front that I'm part-time when I apply if I were you. If they're interested in signing you up, they'll start asking what you're looking for and then that's a good time to tell them,

  • @NessIllustration That's good feedback and good points. You are probably right about the part-time thing. I feel like that can be a bit misleading. One person's part time might be another person's full time depending on outside responsibilities and side gigs, etc.

  • Pro SVS OG

    It‘s very normal for professional Illustrators to have another job - I think there are more who have a part-time or full-time job on the side than ones who are full-time illustrators. Accordingly, agents are rather expecting you to have another job than to be a full-time illustrator. As @NessIllustration said, you can and have to say „no“ to projects for a variety of reasons anyhow.
    The same is even more true for writers BTW - full-time writers are a rarity, even among those who have published multiple books.

    The elephant behind this, of course, is that it‘s really hard to earn a living with just illustration or just writing, especially if you have to keep a family with your income. But that‘s a different topic...

  • @smceccarelli Thanks for responding! I feel like this is an industry with a lack of information in general, so this forum, the podcast, and lessons have helped a ton. I really appreciate you and @NessIllustration giving some insight!

  • SVS OG

    @Ryan-Ehr hi! Sorry this is coming in late. 😅 As for your question, I agree with @NessIllustration and @smceccarelli.

    Whether you work in illustration part time or full time is not really a huge factor for agents. The topic never really came up when I was signing in with my agent. On our agency’s website we have this availability status on our profiles that lets clients know if an illustrator is either widely available, booked for the month but available the next, booked for 2 months, booked for 3, or even booked for the year, etc. And it’s totally up to the illustrator what to put up on their availability status. Also if you have a day job and already got an illustration job that’s taking most of your time, then you’re absolutely free to turn down any more offers. Even if you don’t have an illustration job, you have the freedom to turn down any new projects.

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