What do you guys know about advocate art?



  • Hi guys!

    I've been firing out emails looking for agencies, and I'm starting to look at some of the larger ones.

    I've heard bad things about lemonade, but does anyone have any gossip about Advocate Art? They have a fair number of clients, but they also have a lot of agents. The ratio of clients to agents seems like a good number.

    I've reached out to a bunch of their artists and a few other people but I'd love to crowd source an opinion.

    There's three minor poor reviews on 'glass door' but they smacked of self importance if you get what I mean.

    So any scuttlebutt on advocate art?


  • Pro

    @Braden-Hallett I don't know much about them, only 2 things.

    The first time I applied there myself (far before I was ready) they told me they were interested and had me sign their welcome package and send in all my work for a "final review". I was assured that this was only a formality, that it's exceedingly rare for artists not to be signed after this step, etc. But in the end they opted not to sign me. I can't fault them since truly, I wasn't ready and was only starting to develop my signature style. However, I did feel disappointed that they got my hopes up.

    The other thing I know is from an artist I follow on Instagram. She is extremely talented and prolific, has an amazing and very marketable style and a huge following. She's top tier! We're not really acquaintances but we talked a couple times and she told me she was with Advocate, but was getting barely any work from them. I was very surprised since she's so good. She recently quite Advocate and signed with my own agency, Astound. I know little of the situation, though. Maybe she didn't update her portfolio often enough, maybe she didn't participate in any showcases, maybe she had a bad work ethic/attitude or kept missing deadlines so clients didn't want to work with her, who knows. Or maybe through no fault of her own, Advocate just wasn't doing a good job of finding her work. We can't know...

    I would love to hear if others have experience dealing with Advocate, especially any positive experiences!


  • SVS OG

    @NessIllustration I remember an Illustration dept. podcast where the "dirty secret" of larger agencies was discussed. There will be what the agency thinks of as their top tier artists - all incoming work is filtered through these artists first and if there is anything leftover someone else is given a shot at it. They called this good news and bad news...bad news is you get the leftovers from top tier artists....the good news is you get the leftovers from top tier artists 🙂



  • Out of curiosity, what have you heard about Lemonade? I'm assembling a list of agencies to contact. Should I leave Lemonade off?


  • Pro

    @Kevin-Longueil This is not really secret - they won't give big important contracts to new untested artists. But also if a job isn't terribly important or well-paid, they will often send it to new artists first. Why bother their top earners with small jobs, right?

    It might seem a little dirty or discouraging, but it really makes sense from their point of view and it's not as hard or long as one might think to work your way up your agency and earn trust. Just give your 200% on every job they send you, be really professional and do your very best art even on projects that aren't that well-paid, and you will swiftly earn your agency's trust and work your way up the ladder.

    Another way to do this is to deliberately involve your agent in a contract you earned by yourself. A lot of agencies have it so you don't have to go through them for contracts you get yourself but if you want to, you can. While that means you have to give them their commission, it gives you an opportunity to work with your agent and show off your work ethic. I did this when I first started with Astound, about a week after I signed I happened to be contacted for a small cover job for Scholastic UK and I looped in my agent. I don't know definitively that this contributed to my success, but they started sending me small contracts very quickly after that. I made a point to accept every one that I had time to do, no matter the pay, and noticed a definite improvement in job quality and pay over time. Within 6-7 months got my first $10k job from them, so I think this time period where they send you leftovers to test you is about equivalent to a 6-12 months trial period 🙂



  • @NessIllustration said in What do you guys know about advocate art?:

    Maybe she didn't update her portfolio often enough, maybe she didn't participate in any showcases, maybe she had a bad work ethic/attitude or kept missing deadlines so clients didn't want to work with her, who knows. Or maybe through no fault of her own, Advocate just wasn't doing a good job of finding her work. We can't know...

    There's always two sides to the story 🙂 Thank, Ness. Not a lot of info good or bad out there, so we'll see. I'm waiting to hear back from some of their artists (I'll email some more today).

    Thanks for the info!



  • @Kevin-Longueil said in What do you guys know about advocate art?:

    There will be what the agency thinks of as their top tier artists - all incoming work is filtered through these artists first and if there is anything leftover someone else is given a shot at it.

    At your first job, you always start with the dirty tasks no one else wants. It's kinda the way things are. Almost no one starts anywhere but the bottom 🙂



  • @NessIllustration said in What do you guys know about advocate art?:

    they won't give big important contracts to new untested artists. But also if a job isn't terribly important or well-paid, they will often send it to new artists first. Why bother their top earners with small jobs, right?
    It might seem a little dirty or discouraging, but it really makes sense from their point of view and it's not as hard or long as one might think to work your way up your agency and earn trust. Just give your 200% on every job they send you, be really professional and do your very best art even on projects that aren't that well-paid, and you will swiftly earn your agency's trust and work your way up the ladder.

    Absolutely agree. The best way to be seen as indispensable is to become indispensable. Professionalism goes a looooong way.



  • @baileymvidler said in What do you guys know about advocate art?:

    Out of curiosity, what have you heard about Lemonade? I'm assembling a list of agencies to contact. Should I leave Lemonade off?

    Nothing specific. Some hearsay and scuttlebutt. It's one of the reasons I was curious if anyone had any scuttlebutt on Advocate. Scuttlebutt can sometimes hint at the truth. I think I just like saying scuttlebutt. Sounds dirty but it's not. I think I need more sleep.

    Anyhoo, nothing bad in particular. Just random bits here and there.



  • @Braden-Hallett Scuttlebutt is a fantastic word and I support you in your decision to say it many times. Sleep is good for you, get more sleep.


  • SVS OG

    Hi, everyone! @Braden-Hallett asked me the same question about 2 weeks ago but I haven't got the chance to reply back. Now that I'm here, I'm going to share my experience with Advocate Art. Before I get started, I'd like to say that everything I'll be sharing here is based on my own experience. Other artists might have a different time with Advocate. This is what just I've experienced so far.

    Regarding how I've been treated, I'd say it's been really good. My agent has been really accommodating to my questions and queries. She's been really patient with me. They regularly brief us on the current trends of the industry and encourage us to make new pieces based on their list. My agent having an illustration background, gladly provides valuable critique on my work as well.

    Now as for @Kevin-Longueil 's question about the top artists getting the first pick and the lower artists getting the scraps, I'd say it's really true. It might sound unfair at first but looking at it from a business stand point, it's actually logical as @NessIllustration pointed out. Top artists have been in the industry longer. They most likely have a decent following that'll help boost sales. They also have a proven record that'll make them less of a liability for clients compared to newbies. it's a bit frustrating when you're just starting out. Luckily though, it's not permanent. Once you've proven yourself, things do get better or so I've heard. 😅 well, I hope it does.

    As for me, I'm still on the proving myself stage. I signed with Advocate around September 2019. I received a few queries starting a few weeks after that but I didn't land any projects. It's not really the agency's fault. There could be a variety of reasons why that is so ranging from my style just not clicking with the client to another illustrator just being better than me.

    Anyhow, It was around January when I finally got my first illustration project. I was for a 16 page textbook for an educational publisher. I had a few hiccups on this project but I'll spill the tea on that one some other time. I got a second project last February from Harper Collins for another 16-page text book. This one was a better experience than the first. Needing only 8 illustrations plus cover, textbooks are low risk projects great for new illustrators like me but the quick turnarounds are what gets you. After the revisions, we completed both projects around last month. I received another book inquiry after that but I'm still waiting for news. There was no way I would've found these jobs on my own so I'm still thankful.

    I'm currently keeping myself busy by finishing up a project from a self-publishing author that I picked up last year. We're on the final stages. I'm also trying to think of ways to get myself out my low stats. I think I'll try @NessIllustration 's advice of allowing my agent to manage the projects I found for myself. A publisher I worked with a few years back contacted me. I think I'll refer them to my agent.

    Anyway, to wrap it up. Advocate treated me nicely, they have a lot of established artists so be prepared to work with small projects at first, but things can improve if you show them you're reliable. I hope this helps.


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