05 March 2010

Finding and Working with a Rep

Finding and Working with a Rep

I'm often asked by artists and students about how to find and work with an Artist Representative. I have assembled this post in an attempt to link to some relevant articles on the subject, and I will update it as I find new info on the web.

UPDATE 3/5/10

Q&A with photography consultants Amanda Sosa Stone and Suzanne Sease on APhotoEditor.com. Does a photographer need a rep and do they really get you work? Read on...

APhotoEditor.com also has a nice list of Photography Reps.

UPDATE 12/30/08:

Here are a couple of articles from the photographer's perspective for artists interested in getting a rep:

Getting an Agent on Avisualsociety.com.
Photographer Nick Onken discusses his process of getting a rep.

UPDATE 6/10/08:

I found this list of Visual Artist Representatives in our website referral list. It has a number of agencies geared towards the professional commercial artist.

Industry sites like AltPick, WorkBook, and Directory of Illustration have listings of artist reps available. The Alternative Pick has great interviews with Reps from around the world that shed some light onto how they think. Store 44 Reps was interviewed in 2005. Do you research, and see what is a good fit for you.

Selina Oppenheim Maitreya wrote a great piece, titled How to Find and Work with a Rep. I couldn't find the original article on her site, so link goes to cached version at Internet Archive. This article was last updated in 2000, so keep that in mind where prices are quoted. Selina is a portfolio consultant, and her book How to Succeed in Commercial Photography: Insights from a Leading Consultant is available on Amazon.

Joshua Kaufman, Lawyer and member of the Art Copyright Coalition, wrote an article that dismisses the analogy of an artist-rep relationship being like a marriage, and raises another point that can never be said enough: "Any artist who does not look after their careers in a business like manner, will eventually run into a great deal of difficulty and more often than not, fail as a professional artist."

For photographers, look to your local APA or ASMP Chapter. Required reading for photographers is the ASMP Professional Business Practices in Photography, which contains a sample Artist-Agent contract and additional information on working with a Rep.

For illustrators, Art Talk over at the iSpot has a couple of good threads on finding and working with a Rep. For further reading, pick up a copy of the Graphic Artist's Guild Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, which has a sample Rep contract, as well as more info on the subject.

Serious artists should also look to Tad Crawford, who has a cornucopia of books on legal forms for commercial and fine artists.

There is another facet to finding and working with a rep that I should mention, which is Portfolio Consultation. You can expect to pay a rep or portfolio consultant anywhere from 200 to 5,000+ dollars for this service, with varying degrees of intensity. Not every artist needs a full-service rep, sometimes a portfolio and/or marketing plan tweak can make all the difference. In this relationship, the rep/consultant is hired by the artist for a brief time to review the portfolio, recommend changes, new strategies, discuss market opportunities, etc. etc. 1 Port Authority, Shannon Associates, Chatterbox, and Bobbie Wendt come to mind. There are many other similar services, so do your research and make sure you're getting what you want. Store 44 Reps offers this service with an emphasis on portfolio creation and revision.

More Reading:
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for the links! I hope you keep updating this information.