How do I find the artists I represent

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I am often asked how I find the artists that I represent, so I decided to share this not so secret information with you… I find them in magazines, in newspapers, on the Internet, on murals, in annuals and on blogs. Yes that’s right I actively search high and low for talent to represent. I hunt them down!

More commonly now I visit various websites that I have bookmarked over the years. I read the updates and the news. I check out portfolios and click on a blog or two. I look to see who is up to what and what is up to par. I search for a feeling, best described as “love at first sight”. While browsing I hope that somewhere, something will jump out at me.

I have been doing this since back to when I first started my agency some 12 years ago, this February. When I started back in 1996 my fingers did the walking but not on my keyboard. Back then I did indeed have a website but I really didn’t know how it worked nor was I very familiar with the Internet. My source for finding new artists was limited to the printed page. CA magazine was always a source for inspirations as was Applied Arts and others. Their Illustration and Photography annuals were where a place of inspiration.

I ended up taking on artist that where not very well known or just starting out. For some reason I found it more challenging and appealing to represent someone new. So for the longest time, I started searching the graduates or the recent graduates in illustration. Word got around that I was taking on illustrators that had very little or no experience and I started getting inundated with requests. I learned later that I was almost the only one out there that was willing to invest the time, energy and money to take on someone just starting out. The fact that they had no professional experience really did not matter to me if they had a style that I loved. I rarely read CV’s that are sent to me. I focus on the work!

In the past… Since we are based in Canada, my search for artist remained well within our borders. The only artist that I thought I could represent back then where Canadian. Over time as the Internet came of age AGM no longer limited itself to only represented Canadian talent. It was such a liberating feeling to be able to represent artist no matter where they lived. Our motto became “There are no more borders to separate us from our clients and artists only time zones”.