Bright artist, Lindsey Sagar on the joy of doing what you love.

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As the winner of a CBBC pop-up card competition at the age of 11yrs, it was clear there was a future in illustration and design for Lindsey Sagar!

Lindsey joined Bright back in 2013 and since that time she has flourished in both the children’s publishing and Art licensing industries. Her hard work and determination has ensured an extremely bright future in her chosen career.

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A Celebration of the work of David Roberts

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To celebrate the publication of A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson and David Roberts, Sarah Odedina met David for coffee and to talk about his career in publishing, his books and the joys of illustration.

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Meet Chloe Bonfield – on the terror and joy of illustrating her own words!

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We caught up with Bright artist Chloe Bonfield, author and illustrator of The Perfect Tree published by Running Press, Perseus Books, and illustrator of many other beautiful books. Here are some interesting insights into what makes Chloe tick and how she came up with those all  important ideas…

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Advice and Insights from Phosphor’s Top Artists

Phosphor Art are running a feature on their website called Meet the Artist, a simple five question interview which aims to gain a better insight into the world of their artists. Most recently featured was Chinese artist Nod Young who told Phosphor all about his current self-initiated comic book project and advises aspiring artists to grab every opportunity.

A new interview will be uploaded monthly so look out for July’s interview, which will feature the work of Jenny Lloyd.

See all previous interviews and some other news here:http://www.phosphorart.com/category/meet-the-artist/

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 Jenny Lloyd is represented by Phosphor Art

In conversation with Harry Lyon-Smith, director at Illustration Ltd

homepage

http://www.illustrationweb.com/

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Please give a short summary of your company history and provide a bit of information about yourself and how you got into the business?

The agency was started in 1929 by a lady by the name of Katherine Boland, and it was called the Katherine Boland Studio. She ran it with her sister until 1970 when John Havergal bought it on their retirement. He changed the name to The Garden Studio, reflecting its location in Covent Garden, London. 15 years later after various experiments into publishing and greetings cards, John found that it was the agency part that was most enjoyable and rewarding.

It's in 1985 that I found myself delivering portfolios to him as a motorcycle courier aged 20. I was paying off some college debts, and found myself quite regularly at John's door. An acquaintance evolved, which developed into a friendship and a job offer to join him as a trainee agent. (Train me he did, his professionalism and duty to our artists being very much alive in the agency 30 years on.) A decade or so later he invited me to be a junior partner, and a few years after that he retired and we made arrangements for the business to carry on.

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inside the office on Albert Embankment

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How would you describe your day-to-day role as an illustrators’ agent?

(i.e. finding work, finding new clients, serving regular clients, managing accounts, scheduling artists time)

The agency has evolved into a more plural operation than the 1 man band it once was and it is what we do as a team that answers this question.

On the coal face, so to speak, there are 10 agents dotted around the globe who manage enquiries and jobs. Three are involved in the financial side of the operation, four handle marketing and promotion, and a further three vitally work with our artists and the agent team, keeping the portfolios looking great, managing new artists submissions and talent scouting.

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The team!

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What are the commercial advantages for artists represented by your agency?

Immediately anyone joins us, and their work is live on our site, they have a large international audience of commissioners. We have an expanding number of agents in new developing territories, and work comes in from all corners of the world. Our website has been around from very early days in the history of the web, and it has enabled us to keep principle positions on the google rankings.

We are a large agency by most measures and with that comes advantages. Such as the scale and range of the illustrators that we represent for the clients seeking top flight creative geniuses...it is rare that we can’t offer an option that is either bang on, or pretty damn close, or perhaps an exciting alternative that takes their creative to new places. This rewards the agency with loyal and regular customers enjoying very friendly, consistent and professional service from our artists and the agent team.

We have developed a payment system that gets everyone paid either all or a portion of the fees quite soon after invoice.

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Artists represented by Illustration Ltd

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What other benefits can an artist gain from being represented by you?

(i.e. Negotiating contracts, rights and usage licenses, support, time to work)

Our management systems ensures that as soon as a job is confirmed, the paper work is done and emailed to the artist and the client, with all the licences, fees, terms, deadlines etc clearly set out. The jobs are monitored and managed on a unique and efficient software, that we have been evolving for 2 decades. It connects to all the agents and gives us extraordinary flexibility to keep on top of jobs and help deliver clients top jobs, whilst alleviating pressure from the artists.

Furthermore, all the billing is automatically done when the job is finished, and a strict payment collection process is instigated….we hardly have artists chasing us for monies nowadays. If they do need the fee before it has been paid, we have an option that pays immediately if they wish.

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What are the benefits of networking within the wider artistic community?

(i.e. SAA Members, AOI & ProAction, events )

There are many good agents looking after the best interests of artists that they represent, and we admire them for their qualities...often with professional jealousies, that sharpens us up. However there are other agents that one hears who do not adhere to the standards that we have always held. The great thing about the SAA is that we know that the other members behave as per the constitution, and that is professional and fair. There are other agents who do as well, and we would like them to join the SAA to help develop our industry into a more influential and recognised barer of professional influence and practice.

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Scrapbook Live event - Exhibition by 21 Illustrators from Illustration Ltd - London's Griffin Gallery

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How do you help your artists develop their portfolio and market?

Every Wednesday morning the team gathers and we review about a dozen or so of our artists portfolios, the jobs they have done, the marketing and promotion that we are doing, along with future plans. After this we have a good discussion with the artists, going through all the points raised, and sending a written report of it all. This we do 4 times a year with every artist on a formal setting, and of course a great deal more less formally in the throws of day to day business. Additionally we have regular meet ups, that we call ‘Face to faces”, that can either be in the office, by video conference or with a glass in hand...depending on location etc. It is all about enjoying spooling the artist’s and teams’ experiences that spark ideas and approaches that have client doors flying open.

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What do you consider is the main role and responsibilities of the illustrators you represent to help you to build their career?

(i.e. Flexibility, punctual with deadlines, importance of personal work to help develop an artist’s visual language etc)

A static portfolio will sooner or latter begin to fail any artist. We have seen this countless times and is probably without exception. So a continuously evolving portfolio has to be part of the essence of any illustrator’s career. Otherwise it is all about being a professional, delivering beyond expectation and utterly charming to work with. If you need any help with the last point (and we all do) read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Cheesey in title, but there is a reason it has been the top selling self help book for over 100 years. Everyone joining us in the office has to read it...it is law in our shop.

In conversation with The Artworks

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Tom Cole, Space Race book for Nobrow

This month we have the pleasure to talk to Lucy, Steph and Alex, the girls behind the success of the boutique agency "The Artworks"

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Please give a short summary of your company history and provide a bit of information about yourself and how you got into the business?

The Artworks is a long established agency founded in 1983. Current agents are Lucy Scherer, Stephanie Alexander-Jinks and Alex Gardner. Lucy came into the business through publishing and law, Stephanie through illustration and PR and Alex through illustration. We all have very different skills which when combined make the perfect team for any artist looking for representation. The Artworks is a very small agency and always has been. This is a deliberate thing, it’s like a family, and we are very close to our artists some of whom have been with us since the agency started. We are very focused on the future at this agency, either with the direction of our existing and established artists or seeking out the new talent fresh from college through our Startworks programme.

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Sarah Gibb, Beauty and the Beast, Orchard

How would you describe your day-to-day role as an illustrators’ agent?

It starts early with a cup of tea and a chat about what we know is happening in the day. We do all of our website promotion and social networking in-house so there is a lot of that to keep on top of now. There is always a lot going on and the momentum of work is kept at a high pace because the phone is always ringing with new jobs or emails coming in so we have to be ready for that too. We speak to all of our artists all the time either on the phone Skype or email whichever they prefer. Many of them live locally so they come in for meetings about their work and what direction they want to go in and sometimes just to say hello.

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       Rob Ball, Pie and Mash shop, E17x17 exhibition

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Kate Forrester, McDonalds Campaign

What are the commercial advantages for artists represented by your agency?

We have long-standing relationships with clients across all areas, this means that we can support our artists in any direction they would like to go and advise them of how to get into areas they might not have considered. There are many examples of this where by working on their folios with them and expanding their diversity our artists have been extremely successful in areas they might never have tried. Our clients trust our opinion so if we have faith in our artists they do too. Being with a small agency like ours means you get noticed and you are not competing with others who work similarly to you. It’s a rule of ours that we don’t take on artists that clash with existing ones. It’s tough enough as it is out there!

Artworks6 Chris Wormell, Adnams Campaign

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Chris Wormell, Anchor Butter

What other benefits can an artist gain from being represented by you?

Exposure, reputation, guidance and support. It’s a team effort though.

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      Andrew Davidson, CD cover for Alex Clare

What are the benefits of networking within the wider artistic community?

Feeling part of something is very important, as unless you are with an agency or work in a studio it can be a very lonely business. It’s also crucial to know what is happening in the industry too so an artist can be sure that they are doing the very best for their career. 

We would never encourage our artists to follow trends as such, rather to make sure that they are in fact the “trendsetters”.

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Kate Forrester, card design

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Debbie Powell, card designs for Lagom

How do you help your artists to recognise their market and help them adapt to new ones?

We have regular meetings and if necessary we set them projects to allow us to break them into markets they would like to try. The relationships with our clients is the key though and they allow us to work with them in order to help our artists break into those markets. Our artists have a great reputation so it makes things a lot easier.

 

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Daniela Terrazzini, private view of Foyle’s exhibition ‘Life of a Picture’ 2013

What do you consider is the main role and responsibilities of the illustrators you represent to help you to build their career?

Professionalism, keeping their work fresh and making sure they stay in control of their style and not allowing it to become diluted. Never take anything for granted and stay positive and enjoy it.

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Portfolio selection

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Andrew Davidson, Rolex Masters 2012

What advice would you give to an illustrator looking for an agent?

Do lots of research as there are so many brilliant ones and they are all so different. Take a look at the kind of work they do and choose one that you think fits with your work. The more research you do the more likely you will find an agent that wants to find you!

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Lindsey Spinks, Cinema scene – self promotion

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Laurindo Feliciano – our most recent addition to the agency

Join the Society of Artist’s agents

but before you do, please read our criteria for joining here

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