Getting an agent helps if you are thinking of going into freelance illustration (a completely different kettle of fish from fine art), but again I found this difficult. I think I contacted tens of agents, and usually got an automated e-mail response. It can honestly take years of badgering until people take notice, but for some artists they get picked up immediately and put straight to work because they fit their current style very well.


Before getting an agent I spent a lot of time making packages containing hard copy artwork, made up to look like a victorian parcel, with an aged label, brown paper and string, this got my initial contact with Walker Books. I even made small 3-D business cards in the shape of toys (each one took hours to construct), but the majority of those I sent out never got a response.


I now have a brilliant agent – Alison Eldred – who got in touch having heard about me through my exhibition at the Riverside Gallery in Richmond.


It’s often worth looking at your local council run galleries, as they are normally crying out for ideas for exhibitions, and it was my first solo show at Richmond that got me lots of local publicity, which led to Templar Books commissioning me. I got 15 months notice (as much as I could get) before the exhibition, which allowed me to build up a load of work from scratch, and fill two rooms (I was working full time at that time, so it just about killed me). I know a lot of people invest time in a website, and it is a good advert, but never expect people to just stumble across it – art directors are sent links all the time, and can’t look at them all. I think you have to think of an approach that is unique and entirely ‘you’.

How do I get an agent? | 2013 | FAQS