Here’s my entry. It’s about the hidden masterpiece of the heavens which we can only mostly appreciate at night and even then, we still find it hard to connect the stars. I hope you guys like it.
I'm a starting illustrator who wants to make illustrating children's books a career.
Well... everybody.... I have great news.
I HAVE AN AGENT!!! I’m being represented by Advocate Art. Here’s a link to my artist profile
About a couple of months after my licensure exams last May, I started applying to various agencies. I felt that my portfolio still lacked some pieces but I figured that the worst that could happen is that they’ll advise me to submit again. I was working on my portfolio anyway. I don’t mind if they have a few notes for me. I never thought that one would actually respond to me!
In the past, I had a few agencies show interest in my work. Their common comments were to add more pieces to my portfolio. Unfortunately, I was still in school or reviewing for the board exams and I never had the time. When I finally had the opportunity to create new illustrations, they were no longer looking for new talent. This happened at Astound Us. Another funny encounter happened with Allied Artist. I think it was back in 2017? I made a post about it a long time ago. I guess I ticked them off or something ‘cause they blocked me. They blocked me. LOL! After asking one too many annoying and most likely stupid questions, my messages were not getting through. I kept receiving some automated message that I was blocked. Well, those were a few of my biggest disappointments in finding an agent. I must have applied to dozens more with no success.
I remember the Third Thursday about Agents. I think Lee said this that one sign that you’re ready to find an agent is when you have enough time to work in illustration. Evidently, I didn’t have enough time to even work on my portfolio much less handle a project. I guess it was just not the right time. Now that I do have the time, things just fell into place.
Advocate Art responded a few weeks after I made my submission. I was interested with their Fairness, Ability, Creativity, Trust (F.A.C.T.) Policy. I’ve heard enough agent/illustrator horror stories to know that I should find an agency that won’t take advantage of me. Plus their roster of international artists wasn’t that bad either.
Before they could launched me, they advised that I added more pieces to my portfolio. Luckily this time, I had a lot of time to spare. They advised to make at least four new pieces. They also advised me to make them more colorful and saturated. I have a feeling this is a market trend for this year so to all of you out there, take note. That, or maybe because most of my work had desaturated and muted colors. Anyway, I went to work. The recent Filipino folklore pieces I made were for them. Clients want to see the cultural backgrounds of newly signed artists apparently. Again, take note guys.
It’s funny when @NessIllustration mentioned that she was approached by Lara from International Talent Search (It’s Me) because I was approached by the same woman as well! I was skeptical at first. I’ve never heard of talent scouts working for Illustration agencies but apparently they do exist. IT’S ME search for new talent as well as manage the submissions for a number of agencies including Advocate Art, Astound Us, Illo Agency, and a few more. I really wanted to share this news with you guys but I didn’t want to talk about it until it was official and I had my profile launched on the website. Now, IT IS! And I’m so happy to share it with everyone!
In that previous all-about-agents Third Thursday, they mentioned how before starting work with your agent, the two of you need to have a conversation on what you want for the future, what you want to do, what you want to achieve, etc... My agent and I are currently discussing just that. I don’t know which specific field to focus on. The best solution I can think of for now is to get my feet wet first and then decide later but I do want to be an author-illustrator and that’s something they’re happy to help me with. I’m very excited for that!
Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me on my pieces. Your comments, critiques and kind words helped me improve my art a lot. To everyone who’s considering on getting an agent, get your portfolios ready and submit now! Just this month, Advocate hired about 20 new illustrators. Don’t be afraid to take the risk. Like I’ve said before, the worst that could happen is that you submit again but you never know. Good luck everyone and thank you so much! I’m very excited for the future.
Hi, everyone! So recently I mentioned that I was studying for my Civil Engineering Licensure Exam. Just last May 5-6, I took the exam and it’s only this morning did we get the results. I PASSED!!!!!!! WOOOHOOO!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy! I feel so blessed! This may not seem that big of a deal art-wise but it changes everything for my career. This means I can now focus on studying art and finding some freelance work. I don’t need to split my time between school and art. Now I can focus on my craft. I can’t wait to begin this new chapter of my life. Thank you so much to everyone who has been with me all the way.️
I have amazing news!!! After almost 3 years since I started working on this book entitled "Without Excuses: Big Gifts for Little Gamecocks", IT FINALLY GETS RELEASED!!! I never knew this day would come.
I completed the book in 2017 but the production was halted because the book's main character was the licensed mascot of University of South Carolina and the school didn't like my initial design despite the book being already completed. The project stayed in bureaucratic limbo for almost a year. In turn, they also withheld my payment for a year. I was patient with the publishing team tough. It wasn't entirely their fault but after that year, I felt it was time to ask for my dues. This was in 2018. They paid me. They were very apologetic. They knew they were also at fault so everything was fine. When the school finally came back to them, the school wanted the main character to be redrawn exactly like their mascot in order to get the go ahead. They asked me if I was available. Unfortunately, I was just very busy with school so I declined.
Fast forward a few more years. It seems like they found another artist to redraw the main character. I just found out yesterday that the book was already out. AND I'M SO HAPPY! I'm not confident this book will be a hit but I'm really relieved that it's out there in the world.
I'm really proud of this book. I did this when I was still starting out. I can see a few wonky elements here and there but considering how my only artistic training during this time was youtube, I'm very proud of it! I've attached a few spreads below (featuring my initial mascot design). I drew the outlines on a piece of paper using a brush pen since I found it almost impossible to ink using my small wacom intuos. Then, I painted it in my Photoshop using the program I got from school for free. I'll say it again. Given how green and ill-equipped I was, I'm very proud with how it turned out.
I hope you like them too. Thanks for stopping by everyone!
Hi, everybody! Here’s my Misunderstood Monster. I hope you guys like it!
Hi, everyone! I would just like to announce that I've made a new portfolio site. I finally earned enough money to buy my own domain which has been long overdue.
Here's a link
My old site is still up but I'll be taking it down soon. Thank you!
@Art-Dud HI! I think you've made beautiful illustrations but if there's one piece that I think needs critiquing, I think it's the cover. It's too busy. There so much happening that in my opinion, it looks garish. Remember, less is more. I love that you're trying to showcase all of the things this kid could be via props but we need to tone them down, remove a few. Below is my paint over. You can definitely go about this revision whichever way you like but I hope this will be a good starting point. Also, is there a chance you can have the title design redone? it looks a bit too plain. Maybe spruce it up with different font size or colors. I'm sure the graphic designer will know what to do.
@timidpoker yup Jake, Will and Lee definitely were in better positions when they got agents. Will first cut his teeth during the golden age of editorial illustration then got into children’s book and got an agent, Lee was the valedictorian of his class from Art Center which is one of the best art schools in the US, Jake first worked as a visual developer for blue sky and started Inktober. But like @NessIllustration said, theirs are not the only ways to get into an agency. Illustrations do give chances to beginners as long as your work is up to par.
@timidpoker i absolutely agree with @NessIllustration. Illustration agents base their decisions on your portfolio rather than your social media following. In my opinion it all boils down to your work.
@timidpoker do you have a website or ig account we can check?