AMY KITCHERSIDE FROM PICKLED INK
Pickled ink is a London Illustration agency specialising in publishing. I have worked here for the past four years starting as an intern and quickly rising to manager of the portfolio while my boss went on maternity leave. As well as managing projects, negotiating contracts and handling the financial side of the business, one exciting aspect was the chance to grow the portfolio and source new artists that excited and interested me.
Now part-time agent, part-time bookbinder, I continue to work closely with the artists we represent, helping to develop their portfolios, managing the website and social media, marketing the portfolio, as well as looking for new talent. Having an illustration background myself proved extremely helpful in all aspects of my work at Pickled ink; I came to the role as agent with an understanding of how artists work, what areas they might find problematic, how long a commission might take them and so on.
Being a small agency, we’re able to offer a lot of support for our artists at Pickled ink, and we do work closely with them. Our list is selective, we only represent illustrators whose work we love and want to champion, and it’s also diverse so our artists don’t conflict with one another in terms of style. In a short space of time we’ve become an agency respected for quality and integrity as well as the go-to place for interesting, inspiring illustrators, which is lovely to hear and something I feel very proud of.
The relationship between an artist and agent is quite personal and will vary drastically from agency to agency. In my experience, there are a number of advantages to having an agent as an illustrator – having someone experienced to protect your rights and to secure a fair fee on your behalf, to explain those complicated contract clauses, someone with strong insight into how the industry works and the processes involved, can be invaluable. It also means having someone to bounce ideas off, an agent can help develop your style and can guide an illustrator on what they need to do to get work in a specific area of illustration.
Another advantage is working with someone who has a lot of contacts within the industry, often built up over several years. A good agent is in a position to know what clients are looking for and is wholly focused on promoting your portfolio and getting you work. It means the artist can concentrate on the fun part
– being creative and illustrating!