Folio Illustration Agency

Owen Davey – Cincinnati Magazine, Front Cover

How do you feel the agent and artist relationship works best?

Through collaboration!

Of course collaboration is key, because you’re relying on many factors to maintain an ongoing relationship with each other. Keeping updated with what’s happening, from new campaigns to what is or isn’t working, is vital. New work should be updated swiftly, giving the online content a new appeal and providing something fresh for clients to look at.

When an illustrator approaches you, what are the first three factors that you look for?

Their style of work and the drive to push it; there’s nothing more inspirational than seeing an illustrator who is passionate about their work and who is doing something about it.

How they present themselves as a freelance illustrator; this can be in terms of their presence online, in the work displayed within their portfolio or even in the way they communicate by email – which always helps with mutual understanding on projects.

Finally, but by no means least, consideration and contemplation before submission; making sure they’re sending something with a taste of their personality, as well as showcasing their best work in the email itself. Emails fly in and out of the office, so a first impression really does count.

Nabil Nezzar – Patek Phillippe, Clockwork Timeline 

How important do you feel an illustrators personal work is to their professional?

There’s always room for development within a style of illustration, so personal work can allow this to happen and grow. The best way to learn to illustrate is to keep on practicing. If there’s an opportunity to draw then take it, whether it’s at a live drawing class or in finding a key spot near to you where you can focus on the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

When you’re working on your personal pieces, there is always room to experiment and to learn about working in different media, which of course can be carried over into the professional work.

What qualities do you look for in new illustration talent?

This goes back to and relates quite strongly to the three factors we look for in an illustrator when they approach us. Looking for a fresh style that is constantly testing the contemporary eye is inspiring.

How important is it to know whats happening in the illustration industry? How do you keep current?

Very important!

By keeping track of what’s happening and what’s being commissioned we can keep an eye on what’s hot and what’s not. From Behance, other websites and creative blogs to walking around and observing what stares back at you on a day-to-day basis – or what’s found supporting an article in a magazine – these are some of the ways we keep up-to-date with trends.

Reading a magazine and seeing what is being commissioned in support of articles, especially taking into account the type of magazine, is always a good start.

Studio Muti – The Washington Post, front cover for The Weekender

Folio was established in 1976 – whats the secret of its long running success as an agency. What makes it different?

At Folio Art we truly believe that illustration is growing and developing each day, enticing the world with a great diversity of visually stunning, artistic projects. It’s been this way since the very beginning and it’s a key element that we continue to pursue.

Apart from new submissions, where do you look for illustrators to represent?

We make sure we look at a variety of social media platforms online, as we’re a part of those ourselves. More platforms are being developed that showcase projects from beginning to end – not just the finished piece. It’s great to see the developmental side, and we tend to find Behance is key for this.

Visiting new exhibitions and getting out into the fresh air away from our computers is always a stimulating and refreshing way to look for new talent. Who knows what could be around the next corner or in the next exhibition?

Karolis Strautniekas – Adobe, Creative Online Campaign

15th May 2015

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