Thursday, 9 April 2009

Agents who needs them?

Does an illustrator need this middleman in the creative process? what do agents do

for their percentage? can they enhance or hinder your career and creativity? agents

very rarely represent new graduates, so how will you being to promote yourself

when you graduate, what methods have others used successfully in the past?

Susan Cutts. The Fairy Tale.

'I don't have an agent and could never see the point'-(Susan Cutts)

Susan Cutts is an artists based in London, her work involves creating 3 dimensional

pieces completely out of paper.The result is fantastically delicate and fragile pieces.
Susan left school at 15 with no qualifications, but later was accepted
into the London College of Furniture design, where she did not stay for long. After
leaving she applied to every exhibition she could. She told me that she was very
lucky as galleries were very interested in her work and commissioned her to
create pieces, for them. Other galleries would then hire he
r work to display in their
galleries. This she says is an excellent way to circulate her work and make
more of a name for her self, which again she has done all on her own back, without
the aid of an agent.

Sher Christopher

The artist Sher Christopher has been very helpful with her advice. Christopher works
freelance and likes it that way, 'I have had several agents approach me at different
times but I always do research them to see if they are going to be beneficial to my
career and as yet I haven't chosen to go with an agent.' Instead she joined artists
networks such as Artsmatrix and Dorset Visual artists who she exhibits through.
After graduating she approached various galleries and worked hard promoting herself,
she says is the best advice she could give me. She also has had work exhibited
in America, which was all done purely through the internet and without an agent.

These people I admire have found there own way into this industry, and have
experienced this through happy coincidences and hard work promoting themselves. I
believe it is very viable to work free lance and be without an agent. Through various
lectures with designers and through email contact, the main problems that seem to
come with an agent are less say in whattype of jobs you take on and the matter of the
agent taking a cut in whatever you make. This must be hard for a graduate just starting
out, personally I would feel out of my depth working on a job I had no interest in.

Otto Dettmer. 28 letters.

An agent may be a simpler option as they are the person who would handle all the
business side of the jobs, including negotiating a contract and having contacts in the
creative industry. They will speak to clients for you, but as Otto Dettmer told us in a
lecture this can also be a problem. When second hand information is being passed
back and forth from the client to the illustrator through the interpretation of the agent,
things naturally change, ideas aren't represented correctly and confusion can happen.

Tracy Kendall. Knife, Fork and Spoon.

I very much believe in lucky coincidences, which seem to have played a good part in
these designers work. Tracy Kendell is a wallpaper designer and her work has appeared
in exhibition here and in New York. Kendell was lucky enough for the other students on
her course to invite Ilsa Crawford, the editor of Elle decoration, into there college to view
there work. Tracy had been working on a piece of wallpaper for her own home which
caught Crawfords eye. Without any business cards ready or portfolio, this meeting later
lead to her 'Knife, Fork and Spoon' wallpaper appearing in 'Marie Claire' magazine,
leading to a vast number of opportunities. Through contact with these individuals they
have given me great advice, my main aim when I graduate is to promote myself, mainly
through a website and by approaching small galleries.

Personally, I am not interested in acquiring an agent. I feel better knowing that I will be
able to approach the clients that I would be interested to work for, and that would also
enhance my own career. I understand that There will be a lot or work involved with
promoting myself and the very thought excites me. Where before I was unsure if I wanted
to pursue a career in this area of work, now I believe that it could be possible. Through
listening to individuals advice and finding a balance between happy coincidences and
hard work, I very much look forward to working in the creative industry. Without the help
of an agent.

No comments: