I feel a need to continue the line the last Blog INSIDE OUT started…. bear with me. I might answer a bunch of typical artists inquiries here!
Like most Lit, Art reps and publishing buyers I see over a thousand artists work a year…and I answer every one (or try to). I look at their attached samples or go to their website and will comment or give a tip…occasionally even give a potential contact! I only rep NORTH AMERICAN ARTISTS (US, Canada, Mexico) because at this point I need to focus myself and what I’m known for. I only took on one artist in 2010. I will be making some changes this year – already have begun – so I may be taking on a couple new artists in 2011. As an Agent, I have to ‘change it up’ now and then to bring buyer interest and curiosity back to my agency. New artists and new samples keep them coming back….we don’t want them to think they ‘know’ us and stop LOOKING! deadly….
This is true of individual artists too…. you want to have a LOOK …something you are remembered for. So do I as an agent. BUT you want to ‘shake it up’ and give surprises now and then, so you’ll be MEMORABLE and interesting. You want them to remember you, WANT to take another look, and NEVER wonder …who are you again? and what do you do?
For your information, speaking of FOCUS, I’ve always tried to take on and offer a very wide range of different styles and ways of working. From Oil, to watercolor, pastel, mixed media, digitally created – from very traditional classic illustration to very edgy ‘new,’ cartoon to sweet whimsy, and I always love a humorous touch! I do try NOT to take on two artists who might be mistaken for each other!! no no in my group! Other reps however try to do just that so they can substitute another artist for a client if one is too busy. Both approaches are fine! and buyers remember and appreciate both I’m sure. I’ve been told I’m known for a more ‘trade picturebook’ grouping…which of course is what I love, but my artists do lots of educational work (when it is available!) and jackets and novelty/board books, games, and now apps….the works!
The market is very competitive and still careful and slow. There is much interest in ebooks and APPS now, and though the future of the electronic media side of ‘stories’ isn’t clear yet, it’s exciting! If you’ve ideas for presentations, make them! it’s changing and improving daily! Publishers want (need) to make money first, so they are always trying to ‘know’ what is HOT NOW. Ebooks and Apps maybe. Teen and middle grade books certainly … into YA which is more adult these days. Whole imprints are changing and being added to better incorporate these HOT areas. The Original Art Show at the Soc. of IL last fall reported more digitally done books than EVER before. It’s all so exciting and new.
Picture Books have been suffering. But the 0-5 ages seem to be moving again now. It’s because there is suddenly an increase in new babies the past few years (people staying home more???) and these newbies need BOOKS. And these kids will be needing PICTURE BOOKS very soon too. New media is wonderful, but ‘The Picture Book’ isn’t going anywhere! I truly believe that. New types of ‘books’ will join the happy ranks of story telling and make sharing all forms of creativity easier and faster and more fun. However we treasure the BOOKS of our youth and the moments cuddling and reading them. We want our children to know those same and new treasures! ….and there is certainly nothing wrong with that! create on!