The SAA are very pleased to be supporting the World Illustration Awards by sponsoring The SAA Agents Award for New Talent.

The Russian Ballet Collection

In one of the most ambitious film restoration projects of the century The Russian Ballet Collection is the culmination of a unique, 10-year-plus assignment by RTRWorldwide to remaster and reveal classic Russian ballet productions, and their unparalleled Soviet-era stars, to a wider audience.

Designer Bruno Tilley, represented by Artist Partners, was commissioned on this special mission with the challenge of branding and designing the collection’s packaging.

In a way of enticing a new generation to these old loved classics, he asked fellow Artist Partners illustrator Sharon Pinsker to get involved and the results are stunning.

The collection features 5 DVDs: Giselle, Swan Lake , Don Quixote, Spartacus and The Nutcracker.

Each cover illustrates a dancer from the ballet depicted perfectly in Sharon’s romantic figurative style.

As a whole the DVD set look fabulous and would make a perfect collectors item for any ballet lover. The Ballet Bag obviously agree with us as they have the collection listed under “Five Xmas Gift Ideas” on their website

Sharon’s illustrations have been so well received that the Telegraph has opened a competition with the chance to win a full set of the limited edition prints. The prize draw runs until the 31st January so it is definitely worth entering!

There is more in-depth information about the restoration project in The Telegraph

ballet-all balletdvdcollection

Poetic mural by Stewart Easton

Highly talented artist and embroiderer Stewart Easton (represented by Artist Partners) was commissioned to produce a large mural for Outline Editions Christmas Print Sale.  The wall mural needed to represent the area of Stoke Newington.

Stewart was inspired by reading that the poet Edgar Allen Poe had been educated in Stoke Newington. The mural itself is displayed  almost on the exact spot, where the school Edgar Allen Poe attended is placed. The image is loosely based on his  poem "The Raven"



“Amelie and Nanette – Snow Flakes and Fairy Wishes” by Sophie Tilley

Beautifully illustrated Christmas story makes the second in a series of three books commissioned by Bloomsbury Publishing - the charming story of two best friends Amelie and Pilou Nanette and the trusty dog Pilou get involved in the preparation of Christmas ! Sophie is now working on her third book for Bloomsbury, and  shortly afterwards on her  other books for Simon and Schuster  for the successful Princess Evie series  - fiction, activity books, and picture books and growing ....

Sophie Tilley not only writes and  illustrates beautiful chidren's books she also makes fabulous dolls, and creates characters, which then  become her  children's book ideas, she likes to imagine the worlds of the characters.

Sophie Tilley is represented by Artist Partners


Embroidery artist Emily Tull

Embroidery artist Emily Tull made it to the top three artists in the regional final for Sky Arts Portrait of the year series which was filmed earlier this month.

Emily had to produce an embroidered portrait of her model Melvyn Bragg  within the time limit of 4 hours - quite an achievement in such a small space of time. Emily worked at the Wallace  Collection - here is her finished piece, and another more finished and detailed piece which she finished at home ...... Emily's work will appear within the book that Sky Arts have also produced which accompanies the series....

Emily Tull is represented by Artist Partners

artist partners

Pastiche illustrations by Max Schindler



Pastiche artist Max Schindler was  commissioned to produce a number of illustrations which were briefed and  based on the various legal scenarios depicted in law magazine  "Legal Business".

He was asked to  create  some  images which were lively and interesting  and  created in style to designers and artists of the bygone past, including Saul Bass.

Max is a very accomplished artist  in his own right but finds he can turn a hand to most image styles when asked  and is  therefore a very reliable  and talented pastiche artist on the books of Artist Partners.


Larry Rostant for Macmillan

tumblr_nemoyeYfwc1qh22nyo4_250 tumblr_nemoyeYfwc1qh22nyo1_250 tumblr_nemoyeYfwc1qh22nyo3_250 tumblr_nemoyeYfwc1qh22nyo2_250 tumblr_nemoyeYfwc1qh22nyo5_500


James Annal  art director at Macmillan Publishers commissioned Larry Rostant to produce these wonderful cinematic and striking covers for the top British Sci-fi writer  Peter F. Hamilton's  new  title and hefty backlist.

These beautiful stylish covers,  are very much of the film poster  and video game genre ...

Larry Rostant is well known for producing stunning photographic covers in the science fiction and fantasy areas of publishing  and so this was the ideal commission and a great tribute to his work - James Annal who produced the design  has included unique and stunning spines, which are made of  stripes of colours which should help make the books stand out from others on the shelves!

For more of Larry's work please go to the Artist Partners  website :

In conversation with Christine Isteed, MD at Artist Partners

This month we are quizzing Christine Isteed from agency Artist Partners about her career as an agent in one of the most established agency in the UK


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


Artist Partners was founded in 1951- by Donovan Candler, John Barker, Arthur Rix, Betty Luton White and Reginald Mount who was the artistic director of the company.

The office was in a stylish Georgian building in Mayfair - Representing British and Internationally famous artists and designers and photographers such as :

Saul Bass, George Him, Patrick Tilley, Tom Eckersley, Herbert Leupin, Savignac Topolski, Heinz Kurth and many other artists .AP also had a very strong group of fashion illustrators like Aubrey Rix, Beryl Hartland, Alistair Michie, and figurative artists Susan Einzeg and Harry Hants, Ken Wynn and Ben Ostrick who worked across all fields of publishing and advertising. Later to represent photographers too Zoltan Glass and Adrian Flowers just to name a few. All their work shows very much the valued quality and heritage of illustration.

This was an excellent era for creative people as post war markets had expanded and their skills were being recognised and creative talents were appreciated as tools to advance the economy. Many of the AP artists were being used in the 1951 Festival of Britain on the South Bank near to AP’s new home in Waterloo.


Brian Sanders illustration for Woman’s Magazine 1960’s

Later in the swinging 60’s AP moved to Soho where things were always done in style, drinks parties every Friday with clients and artists , and commissions consolidated at the Studio Club later in the evening.

It was as close to the TV series “ Mad Men “ in décor and ambiance and culture as you could get.

Brian Sanders (Sandy)  has always been an integral part of Artist Partners from the early days. When he was a runner and assistant to the photographer Adrian Flowers, Sandy also learnt a great deal from the artists around him. He became a highly respected illustrator in his own right, as well as a director of the company. He was also very integral in the early formation of the AOI and acted as an external assessor at various colleges.

Sandy was the representative of Artist’s on the board, and looked after the artists interests. At that time AP had artists working on the premises, artists from all over the world, all wanting to be part of this dynamic agency and renting desk space within!

Illustrators were the new rock stars in those days , driving around in sports cars and very seriously aspirational. I joined AP in the 70’s as a young girl friday and all rounder, it was supposed to be a temporary job before I was to enter Fashion College. I was dressed head to toe in Biba and without a clue of how prestigious the agency Artist Partners was , and how vibrant and strong illustration was at that time….. For more information about this time and the artists represented by AP please go to our history page at the AP site…..

Since those early days I have worked as a director at AP with Virgil Pomfret, Chris Candler, Tommy Candler and Dom Rodi – until I became MD some 12 years ago…


David Roberts illustration taken from his illustrated edition of The Wind in The Willows by Kenneth Graham and published by Oxford University Press


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

Gosh! where do I start ? Every day is different, servicing enquiries from clients, answering email queries, going through briefs and sourcing models and costumes for some artists. Social networking has to be posted with news, events etc, images to the websites to be updated. Contracts to be negotiated, orders to be perused, and paperwork and jobs to be inputted for each commission. Second rights which is a big part of our business as we do a substantial amount of publishing work, both children’s picture books and adult fiction, takes up a good deal of time licencing images to foreign publishers.

I am always researching for new clients, new niches in the marketplace to be aware of any advertising agencies, publishers and other client sources . Regular clients make up a good deal of our work, its nice to have repeat business so everyone gets used to dealing and working with one another. I used to be able to service my regular clients by personally visiting them on a regular basis with job specific folios or a general updates, but that doesn’t happen as much now due to time restraints on the commissioners. It’s a shame for our business which was so social, that we have lost the personal touch .

Our accounts system is efficient, I have a book keeper who keeps everything ship shape, and manages the invoices, the chasing of the monies owed, and general admin specifically in the accounts area of the business. The artists get paid as promptly as possible and they have total transparency of our system and invoicing. What we try to do is take those headaches away from the illustrators, so they are able to concentrate on the creative process.


Illustration by Sophie Tilley – her new character Nanette for a series of books to be published by Bloomsbury Books


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

EXPERIENCE OF FORTY YEARS IN THE BUSINESS , giving as much time as I can to each and every artist, guiding them in their careers, and setting them sample piece briefs in order to widen their talents into specific niche areas of the business. Pushing the elements of their work that is unique to themselves, and giving them the confidence to own their very own style, keeping it fresh.

Informing artists of any changes in our business, affording them the knowledge of new quirks or trends they should be aware of…. Promotion and advertising with minimal expenditure, representation in the US , and we are looking actively to broaden our exposure in other territories too. Watch this space……


Front cover illustration by David Frankland – Penguin Books


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

I try and take the pressure away from the artist and negotiate contracts, rights and usages to the best advantage of the artists we represent. I am constantly trying to improve fees, rights and the general working practice.

We are a small agency that runs things in a personal and friendly way, always trying to secure prestigious jobs, and giving the artists as much mentoring and guidance as possible.


Advertising for Playstation “God of War” by Steve Stone


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

I think it's all about knowledge. The more you know the more prepared you are for most eventualities. Working together to make the Illustration industry a better place is good for all concerned. Avoiding bad contracts, and being aware of problems with clients is always helpful to know. Artist Partners are a particularly social agency, we do like to get involved where possible with the AOI and the SAA and other associations, and especially art colleges, where we like to help in any way we can.


Painting : Christina by Sharon Pinsker


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

I try and work hand in hand with young artists to give them the courage to try new subjects, techniques etc. You have to understand each artist has a different way of working, the style and personality of the artist, the time it takes them to produce work, his or her strengths, in order to find a market place that is suitable . For the more established artists, it's finding them commissions perhaps in a new field or genre and exposing their work in other markets. Knowing what they enjoy doing most and trying to blend the two together. When an artist then unknown came to me with a fashion portfolio I immediately told him I wanted to see his work illustrating children’s books – since that day he’s never looked back and he has been continually busy since then and is now one of the world's leading illustrators.


Book cover : “Daylight War” UK edition published by Harper Collins – cover digital image by Larry Rostant


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

It has to be a two way relationship. The illustrator should obviously be pro- active and create as much new work as possible. Producing new samples and constantly pushing the boundaries in order to divert into other genres of illustration is very important. The artist should be excited about what they are doing and enquire about new processes and programmes digitally, or experimente in traditional painting in different styles. It’s a constant learning process and the more the artists learn in this digital age the better equipped they will be.


Front cover illustration for book entitled: “Enders” published by Random Children’s Books Cover image by Bob Lea .


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

For any Artist Partners submissions I ask the artists to send approximately 6 printed images, representational of his/her work with a SAE by post. I am happy to see folios of work once I have seen the samples, I feel we, as agents are best placed to give a good critic of artists work which artists find beneficial.

It is important that the Agent you eventually decide to represent you, truly understands you, your ethos and more importantly your work! It needs to be someone who you can totally trust, and work with as a team to achieve your goals. To respect and like one another is essential, it’s a tough business, and you need to share a close loyalty and bond between you in what should be a very special relationship.


New Artist : Shobhna Patel - Packaging Designer and Papercutter


Next month The Art Market

Artist Partners – Free Running Ad

Free Running Ad and poster image

image produced by John Harwood represented by Artist Partners
Art Direction – Mark Reddy – Adam Tucker
Agency BBH

Brief to produce image to publicise the Barclaycard World Freerun Championship being held in London in August.

The Creative Director at BBH Mark Reddy, commissioned an image by 3D artist John Harwood to produce an image of the highest calibre that would depict icons of London ranging from a sofa to a building in construction which also illustrates the ethos of the sport
– an image depicting the art of freerunning as an innovative sport.

Free running is a form of urban acrobatics in which participants, known as free runners, use the city and rural landscape to perform movements through its structures. It incorporates efficient movements from parkour, adds aesthetic vaults and other acrobatics, such as tricking and street stunts, creating an athletic and aesthetically pleasing way of moving. It is commonly practiced at gymnasiums and in urban areas that are cluttered with obstacle

see more artists from Artist Partners here


Recent Posts

November 2022

Join the Society of Artist’s agents

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