Monday, July 14, 2008

To Rep or Not to Rep?



I have been researching artist representation, going over the pros and cons. While it's easy to estimate that all successful artists have representation, I don't think it's always the case. Certainly, there are artists who are plenty busy without a rep and still enjoying the process. 
I was approached about representation, but after talking with the person, I was unsure and ultimately decided against pursuing it with her. Mainly, it was a difference in personalities and creative goals - also a very high commission. On average I hear/read that commissions are in the 25% range. If I were to come across a rep who liked my work and had the same mutual goals, I would be tempted. Having a GOOD rep that you TRUST would be wonderful. He/she would hande the marketing, promotion, networking, negotiating, contracts and billing and I would have more time to create. The "office work" is what I enjoy least about freelancing. Removing that from my day would give me more time in the studio (YEAH!). And the negatives? Representation is costly, good reps can be hard to find and I would really miss working directly with clients. I enjoy meeting new people and working through the creative process is fulfilling... good or bad, its a constant state of learning. So, shall I just flip a coin at this point, heads is a rep and tails is me, myself and I? =)

Would love to get your thoughts on represenation. While we ponder this dilema, I have a new colored pencil illo to share. It's Christmas in July! I was thinking of working this into a holiday greeting card.

Last but not least, I (finally) went to visit a local vineyard that I love! It was fun taking the tour with my husband and sampling some of the delicious wines, (yum). The vineyard was charming and one of the owners is an artist with a lovely, little gallery tucked into the eaves of the store. I will try and post pictures from the trip later. Hope everyone had a great weekend, thanks for stopping by!

11 comments:

Diana Evans said...

Hi Lisa....

great post....I think all the pros and cons are directly related to the rep that you get and the relationship....It is great to have someone believe in your work so much that they are willing to put in all kinds of hours to find you work...and I have to say that I am thrilled that my Agent looks after all of the negotiations and paperwork....it allows me to focus on the creativity of projects and it is worth the 20 percent commission....A good rep will work with you and set common business goals and help sell your work more easily....I know I never like tooting my own horn ....but for him it is easy...lol

Take your time to look into it and know what you want...that is the most important thing...to lie your objectives and ideals for the relationship and when someone comes along that meets those you will have a perfect match....

Even with representation you will still get to interact with you client and it will be in a creative and productive manner...

Also keep in mind that an Agent will not need any money from you unless they get you work ...if someone ever asks for money upfront...stay away!

I could go on and on...but perhaps I will send you an e-mail one day!!!

hugs and I can't wait to see some pics from your weekend in wine country...

hugs
Diana

Mônica said...

Thank you so much for your comment on my blog, Lisa! :-)
This is an interesting question you pose, I'll be curious to see the responses you get. I can't give any insight, since I don't have an agent or experience in this area, but I'm sure I'll learn a lot from seeing the comments from other artists.

Fannie said...

You pose a great question, and I think Diana's response is terrific. I don't have an agent, so I don't have any experiences to share with you. However, thank you for sharing, and I'll enjoy learning from the responses you get from others.

Melissa & Emmitt said...

hi lisa
i love your new illustration and your weekend sounds so fun! i am excited to learn more from our question too. thank you for asking it.:)
melissa

Lisa M Griffin said...

Thanks Diana! It is fun getting the perspective of an artist that is using a rep, because it seems that the majority of artists don't. Probably because it is such a matter of trust to find that really good rep who understands you, your art/vision, and your goals - which it seems you have found. =) Would love to chat more with you about this. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment, I think it will be helpful to a lot of people.

Random York said...

Your winter illusration reminds me of the Winters we never have here in Texas... it's beautiful-

marianne said...

Great christmas card! You must have a lot of imagination working on that theme in the summer ;)
Can't give you any advice on the rep question, but I Diana has a point and so did you when you said the person you talked to made you unsure. You just have to listen to your heart when choosing people I guess.
The vineyard trip sounds nice! I love to taste wine;)

Lisa M Griffin said...

Thanks for popping in everyone, I hope that this question does help us all in deciding the best path to take. =)

ValGalArt said...

I have had agents and some have been great and some not so but if they don't get you work then you don't have to worry about any of this. Give someone a chance to try and get you some work and then you will feel that the percentage is worthwhile :)

Lisa M Griffin said...

Thanks for the comments on having a Rep, Val. I think that is the key finding the a rep that you have confidence in and who has confidence in you.

Chickengirl said...

Hi Lisa,
Just wanted to chime in here because many many people ask me about this question, since I have a rep.

Overall, I have a very good relationship with my rep...thats the most important thing. Not all reps are created equal and I've heard of horror stories, so really its finding the right rep if you go that route. Another great thing is that I am not very good with promotion/contract and such, so it was worth the commission to have someone else do it for me. I do think it frees up more time for me to do my art.

I think you need to see how good of a vibe you get with a rep and then go from there. I feel very blessed I work very well with mine!

Best of luck to you! Keep us updated.