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.