September 20th, 2007, 09:35 AM
I wanted to inquire from those who might know...what is the primary approach to submitting freelance artwork for publishing in media such as books, book covers, CD covers, movies? Does one simply stockpile a list of CD companies for example and contact each one's marketing dept? Does one do the same with books, magazines and other print media?...simply look up the marketing contact number for Random House for example?
I would like to try to sell myself to as many companies as possible in hope of snagging a few. What is the best primary approach?
September 20th, 2007, 10:13 AM
September 20th, 2007, 01:02 PM
Okay, replying to my own post lol...found this great article on the web by the art rep for Communication Arts Magazine on freelance artwork. Hope it's of use to someone...
The article was pulled off of:
Reps and Talent: What are Reps Looking For?
Originally published in Communication Arts August Photography Annual 1999
We representatives are being inundated these days with requests from artists, photographers and designers looking for someone to represent them in their search for freelance assignments. To shed some light on the situation, I’ve interviewed three very good, experienced representatives to give freelancers some answers to the question: What are reps looking for?
Rep #1 Marty Boghosian Marty Boghosian Associates, New York City photographers’ representative
“Don’t cold-call reps, if you’re looking for one. Send a visual printed piece with some examples of your work and a note describing, briefly, your education and experience. A few examples of what you’re doing gives a feel right away of the photographer’s work. I look at all materials sent to me whether it’s a beginner or an established professional. A small minority of photographers coming out of school show immediate talent or maturity. If you’re just out of school, you should probably work for someone else as an assistant for a few years to learn the business because knowing the business is vital. Think of it as a paid graduate school.
“If I’m interested in the work I see, I send a note to the photographer expressing my interest. If I’m not interested, I don’t give a reply unless the photographer calls me about the mailing piece and then I’ll give some feedback over the phone. I don’t want to take the time of a photographer who is soliciting a representative of having them go to the expense of shipping me a portfolio, so I only contact those photographers whose work I’m interested in—based on their initial mailing piece. After they receive my note, they call me and discuss their work, at which time I schedule a time to see them and their portfolio.
“One of the best ways to find a rep is to go through the directories and look for photographers whose work they like, and see who they are repped by. Also ask art buyers, art directors and photo editors. Personal recommendations from photo editors, art buyers and art directors are excellent sources for getting the names of good reps.”
Rep #2 Fran Seigel New York City illustrators’ representative
“For eighteen years I have always represented between six and ten artists. I view my business as a sort of specialty boutique for artwork, and deal with artists on a hands-on basis. This arrangement can be quite different from working with a bigger rep group or looser multi-rep arrangement which seems to work for some artists. I most enjoy being a catalyst for artists with whom I have a strong business chemistry and whose high work level is a match for my marketing and business skills.
“How do I determine this? I spend 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year dealing with my clients. When I see someone’s work that hits on what I know are my preference areas and my contact areas (it’s a visual sensibility), within two minutes of opening an envelope from an artist I pretty much know whether I’m interested.
“What to send a rep? A lightweight package with a return SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope). There should be from 12-20 images that I can look at. If you send slides, send at least one printed piece. If the materials are something that I’m interested in, but the timing isn’t right, I send a note to contact me in six months and I’ll save one piece of the promotions.
“For me, it’s a long step between interest in the work and signing someone on. We have to sit down and agree on what markets and money they are aiming for. Two of my strong areas are packaging and book jackets, and I’m now very focused in the licensing arena. In the book market, I’m currently most excited by strong science fantasy styles where the work can cross into other markets as well.
“I don’t take on beginners anymore. It’s harder to do that than it used to be. They have to be educated about the business and what it takes to be a unique talent in the market at this time and place. The beginner should rep him/herself for at least two to three years to get a feel of what the marketplace is like. The professional will know what their target markets are, the beginner will say ‘get me anything you can.’
“To find a rep, look in the annuals, the directories, CA magazine. Ask art buyers and art directors for recommendations. Reps get hundreds of requests from talents, and a very low percentage of artist-rep relationships will result directly from these mailings. Also realize even if you do ‘sign on’ with a rep, you may not have an easy time getting work. Look at all of the established artists out there. They’re the competition and not all of them are having an easy time getting work.
“A rep cannot make your entire business. A rep is a catalyst and intermediary. I see myself as a marketing touchstone between the clients buying the work and the artist producing the work. The artist has to have the vision, has to know where they want to go. The journey between artist and rep is a joint vision. Looked at metaphorically, a rep can be your navigator and compass, but cannot build your ship and/or sail it for you.”
Rep #3 Eric Friedman Creative Showcase, New York City and Sparta, New Jersey artist and photographers’ representative
“I rep more than artists and photographers, I represent ‘problem solvers,’ i.e. artists and photographers who also design work. This happened because while I was working with my regular clients (because of the downsizing that was taking place) they’d say to me ‘while you’re doing this freelance art or photography project, could you also supply me with someone to do the design for the project.’ This led to my ‘problem solving’ group.
“Most of the people I represent are 40 and over. In my experience people under 40 haven’t found their direction, don’t have a good sense of who they are. I represent people who have developed to the point where they are creative on demand.
“I get most of my talent through word-of-mouth and I usually have long-term relationships with the people I represent—ten years or more. I get a lot of mailers from artists and photographers looking for a rep and I do look at all of them. I’m very sensitive to mailers. I can tell whether a piece has been done as a promotion image as opposed to whether it’s been actually done for a job, and I do follow-up on all of the inquiries I receive. I look for someone who’s a little different, who can solve, whose portfolio and promotions are representative of what they do. Sometimes people send you a promotion piece that’s great, but the portfolio doesn’t look anything like the promotion piece. You ask them for more examples of what they did on the promotion piece and they say, ‘You’re looking at it, that’s the only one that I did.’ The portfolio has to back up the promotion.
“For artists and photographers looking for a rep, I suggest that they look for a rep who handles the type of work that they do. Look at promotions, publications, talk to people, ask for recommendations from art directors, art buyers, clients. When you get recommendations always send something with visual examples.
“For those artists and photographers under 40, ‘Think globally and act locally.’ They should try to get jobs on their own—locally, until they get a feel for the business and how to interact with art directors, designers and clients. They should take their own portfolios around to get feedback on their work.”
I would like to add just a few comments of my own to those of my fellow reps. Don’t send a portfolio unless it’s requested. NEVER send original art or photography. Always include a SASE, if you want something back. Label all of your slides in case they get separated from your letter, and NEVER fax your whole portfolio to a prospective rep. Other than that, happy hunting."
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