How do you become an illustration agent? What is an agent's role? What is it like to be represented by an agency? Our Illustration Agents Special has got your questions covered!

Illustration agencies and representatives are an integral part of the illustration industry. There are different agents for all levels of illustration and all areas for the industry, from publishing to products to advertising. An agent’s job is multi-faceted and busy: promotion, client contact, negotiation, contracts, support. They proudly present an illustrator’s work, and fight for more time or a fairer price. In a highly competitive industry an illustration agent is more than a middle-person, they are trust-managers, acting as a guarantor of an illustrators professionalism and talent. Getting to know more about how they work takes away quite a bit of the romantic notions of illustration, and you realise how much there is behind the surface of glossy finished illustration.

Many freelance illustrators struggle with contracts, usage rights and budgets, but alongside working to develop your style and connecting with clients, one of the most important things that illustrators need to do to improve their careers is to get comfortable talking about money! In a long-form interview, Kris Krüger, founder of Egger Grey in Berlin, gives a detailed overview of how he works as an agent. Getting to see behind the scenes opens up your understanding of how an agent approaches creating an offer for a client.

Due to experience and positioning in the market it seems that it is easier for agents to reach bigger and higher level clients and budgets than it is as a freelance illustrator. But never fear! Nicola Manuel from Folio illustration agency in London gives some how-to advice for freelance illustrators.

But what about an illustrators perspective? Heather Gatley is a talented illustrator based in Berlin, who has been working with her London-based agency The Artworks for the last nine years. She answers some questions about her experience working with an agency.

Behind the Scenes with an Illustration Agent.

In-depth interview with Kris Krüger, illustration representative and founder of Egger Grey.

If you have ever wondered how illustration agents work and what their job entails, this in-depth interview with Kris Krüger, from Berlin-based illustration agency Egger Grey, will give you all the answers. Kris talks about how he started out, how he developed his skills as an agent, as well as breaking down how he works on a daily basis. This is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how to work as an illustration agent, and gives valuable insight for illustrators on how an agent thinks, and what it means to work in illustration when you’re represented by an agency.

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A warning to impatient readers: this interview is long! Feel free to DOWNLOAD it, and read at your leisure.

Portrait of Kris by Silan Bekjarov

An Illustrator's Perspective.

An interview with illustrator Heather Gatley

Heather Gatley works from a beautiful shared studio space in an old factory building in the heart of Kreuzberg, Berlin. Situated beside enormous windows overlooking the neighbouring chimneys and rooftops, her desk is cluttered with stacks of paper and cups filled with paint brushes and ink pens. An Apple iMac looms over her lightbox and desktop easel.

Heather works in quite a classic style of illustration: pencil, ink, watercolour. She has a fantastic skill for drawing, which she uses to create both intricate and abstract images of people, places and things.Heather creates her drawings through multiple lines, gestures and delicate dabs and strokes of paint. Everything eventually gets layered together in Photoshop, yet maintains a freshly drawn and analogue aesthetic.

Originally from the UK, Heather is represented by UK illustration agency The Artworks, which she joined early on in her career. Heather’s work seems to be consistently in demand, and her clients include Waitrose, The Times, Penguin Books, The Guardian, Financial Times and Conde Nast Traveller. Here she talks briefly about being represented by an illustration agency.

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Advice for Illustrators - Q & A with Folio illustration agency

Illustration agents are practised at promotion, negotiation, licensing and standing up for an illustrator’s rights. They have experience and know-how that freelance illustrators often have to gain through slow and painful trial and error. But there are ways to develop your professional skills! Nicola Manuel from Folio illustration agency in London gives some helpful advice for freelance illustrators who are just starting out, or experienced illustrators who want to refresh their approach.

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