Friday, February 14, 2014

TAKEN.

Valentine's Day seems like the perfect day to announce that I'm taken. {Yes, I'm married. And you probably knew that. That's not the announcement.}
Advocate Art, the largest art agency in the UK and one of the largest around, offered me a contract on Monday. I spent the week both excited and cautious as I always temper new ventures. But after thinking, talking, and consulting, it looks to be a wonderful match.

What having representation means
So will this change my operations? No, my regular Watercolor Devo dealings and fun will remain very much the same. I'll keep painting and sharing, the Etsy shop will keep selling prints, and I'll take custom orders as time permits. 

Having representation means someone is working on getting work for me for which they'll gain a commission for. These agents reach broader and larger clients in different facets of the commercial art market such as greeting cards, books, housewares, toys, and gifts. So hopefully, I'll be busier doing what I do best on paper than with hunting down work! 

What having representation takes
I remember being in college and wishing I that I could get an agent fresh out of the gate so that I wouldn't have to even mess with cold-calling and networking. It doesn't work that way, and for a reason. That time of fending for yourself teaches you a lot--not only by way of your craft and industry, but also by way of personal experience and tenacity. It's the hard knocks and the stabs in the dark and the underlying, undying commitment that are absolutely necessary.

Artists have to be somewhat established, enough to show a portfolio with a lot of potential for marketability. Just speaking practically, someone is putting forth a lot of time on the front end in hopes of making you both money… it's a chance that can't be taken lightly. And I myself had to be pragmatic enough to come to terms with that when I was rejected by other agents. Thankfully, I learned from my misses and landed at a place that exceeded my expectations and first trials. 

A goal, checked
Like everything, there was a next level to be had. And it became one of my 2014 goals. Though I was doing alright with the amount of work I was getting, I've been hitting a ceiling that I wanted to push through. With God's blessing I did! Also, as I look forward to having two boys, I ain't got time to mess around. I just want to work! And create! I'm excited to focus my efforts on projects reaching international markets. 

Looking ahead
The next few months will quickly indicate if this will be a good fit. The contract has a built-in six-month trial period before the full two-year term is effective. I think this is a great idea and obviously a sign of experience learned. I'm amassing my portfolio so that it can be reviewed, tweaked and showcased in the Advocate Art's library of images. 

So. Exciting! (And as an added bonus I get to hear those lovely British accents! I'm sorry, I know it makes me sound like a geeky teenager but, well, it's brilliant!)

Okay, I'll stop.  

Yay!

A

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