Guide: To Artist Agents


An artist consultant is a deft diplomat. They interact with the client and need to be able to establish relationships with them. They are the leaders of the creative team, and as such, they are accountable for the consistency and outcome of the work. An art manager needs to be aware of the market trends in which they operate and have a network of relationships with professionals in related sectors.

To manage a project that creative people are working on, artist representatives must at least have a high level of empathy. The art manager must be able to find a way to approach each performer and the group as a whole, protect them from overwork and burnout, and keep the project moving forward.

The dynamic environment in which the artist’s agents work requires them to learn and grow continuously. With the help of Portfoliobox, you may learn more about the work of artistic agents.

In this article, our Portfoliobox team will give you exciting information as:

  1. What Does An Artist Representative Do?
    • How to become an artist consultant?
    • What are art brokers aware of?
    • Where do artist representatives work?
  2. As An Artist, What Do I Get From Having An Agent?
    • Art brokers assign you tasks
    • Artist representatives advertise your brand 
    • Artist consultants negotiate with potential clients
    • Artist’s agents organize the contracts
  3. How Do I Get An Art Agent?
  4. What Does An Ordinary Project With Artist’s Agents Entail?

What Does An Artist Representative Do?

What Does An Artist Representative Do

In the field of art, artist representatives are specialists who serve as middlemen when dealing with galleries, private collections, artists, auction houses, museums, and collectors. 

  • While some art agents are more interested in working with clients who want to buy or sell art, others want to represent artists. It can be tough but also enjoyable to work as an art agent.

When artist's agents represent an artist, they aid the artist's career advancement. The agent establishes connections with people interested in buying the artist's work and works with galleries to provide display opportunities. 

Art brokers that oversee the purchase of works of art travel the globe to observe items up for sale, give estimates to their customers, and take on challenging jobs like selling entire collections or establishing an item's provenance. 

  • These art agents receive a commission, which may come in cash, stock options, or art trade, just like artists' agents do.

How to become an artist consultant?

Artistic agents typically begin their careers by obtaining degrees in art history or a closely related discipline and finding employment at a gallery, museum, auction house, or other comparable organization. 

  • They need this experience to gain first-hand knowledge of the art world because an art agent's success mainly depends on connections. 

Major agencies, galleries, and other arts organizations are places where many agents begin their careers. Before joining the market as freelancers or running their businesses, agents can polish their abilities through this work experience.

What are art brokers aware of?

Art agents need to be very aware of the current and future state of the art market and about art history, contemporary artists, and many other facets of the industry. The great eye, the final skill required of an art agent, is more natural than other abilities.  

  • Art brokers frequently concentrate on specific genres of art or artwork from particular eras, such as modern art, sculpture, renaissance art, Japanese art, block printing, etc. 

Highly talented managers often command higher compensation due to their enormous depth of understanding. Art agents learn their trade by researching various works of art, the history of the period they are specializing in, and the techniques used to create works of art, from making paint to detecting forgeries.

Where do artist representatives work?

Art galleries, advertising agencies, event agencies, graphic design studios, publishing houses, film studios, concert halls, recording studios, restaurants, cosmetic businesses, and tailor shops are a few areas where an art manager could find employment. The number of activities in which an art manager might be valuable is practically endless. Any company that views its goods as pieces of art will do. 

As an artist, what do I get from having an agent? 

As an artist, what do I get from having an agent

The main benefit of artist’s agents is obtaining commercial success, which can be challenging for an artist to do independently. The main advantages for the artist are access to a ready-made clientele, where they can always find new buyers, agreement on fair and reasonable remuneration for labor, and legal protection.

Art brokers assign you tasks

The network of clients that agents have access to may not be available to you as an independent artist. When an agent or agency has a possible artist on their list, they need to be confident that they can work with them and that the new artists they represent can help the agency get more employment. 

Artist representatives advertise your brand 

Some agents inform their present or prospective customers via press releases about the new or current talent listings. One of their primary responsibilities is to promote the artists they represent, which is time-consuming and something an artist might not want to do if they want to keep making art. Additionally, not all artists have the abilities and experience that agents do in sales.

Artist consultants negotiate with potential clients 

Between clients and artists, agents serve as intermediaries. 

  • The duty to pay the agent a portion of the project's payout is a condition of the agreement to operate together. According to the agreement, all projects for a specific period or projects in which the agent actively participates will receive the percentage. Because not all artists can do so on their own, they typically negotiate appropriate, current remuneration for the artist.

Art is not an easy industry, so having someone negotiate the price of your creation is a real benefit. The agreement may expire, allowing the artist and the art brokers to go their separate ways. This occurs when having an agent is no longer helpful for the artist or when the agency does not see the artist as a resource for their enterprise. It's crucial to realize that not all artists require representation by an agency, and not all require an agent or agency.

Artist’s agents organize the contracts

Agents and agencies frequently take over the legal side of things and payment negotiations, which can be challenging for an artist to take alone. You may, for instance, use a short contract template, but what if you exclude some clauses that concern both the client and the artist? What if you're attempting to understand legalese while dealing with a client's contract?

  • Art manager includes assistance with your portfolio and reaching goals with ideal clients. You may concentrate on the art, knowing that you will uphold your rights while the agents handle the contract because they cooperate with lawyers.
  • When you are introduced to artist representatives, your income as a freelance artist can become more reliable.  
  • It depends on what you as an artist, the agency, or an agent want and what the clients need. Everyone has a different experience, so what could be expected of one agent or artist might not be typical for you. Some creatives can even freelance in addition to having a full-time job.

How Do I Get An Art Agent?

How Do I Get An Art Agent

The answer to how to get an agent can be simple: sometimes artists are straightforwardly discovered by agents. Clients, agencies, businesses, and other parties can discover an artist through the projects they have worked on, their web portfolio, social media accounts, or other means, just like with common freelancing. In these situations, agents and agencies are looking for new talent and are probably already aware of whether the artist will be an essential addition to their list of talent. 

There is one verified method for locating your artistic agent:

  • According to the standards outlined on the agency's website, many artists also submit their work to agents or agencies. Frequently, a page on the website includes advice on how to get an agent and get in touch with them as well as suggestions for artists the agency would like to add to its talent pool. You should focus your efforts elsewhere if the page indicates that the agency does not accept applications from emerging talent.

By the way, if you send your work to an agent and they decline or do not respond, you do not need to lose hope. Your portfolio might not currently or ever be appropriate for this agent or agency. When you've made some progress or can contribute new work, keep working on it and submit it in the future. 

  • The agency frequently receives a flow of applications, so it can take some time for them to get in touch with you and answer the question of how to get them as an agent. So it wouldn't be a good idea to bother them with weekly mail. Be persistent, hone your abilities, put in the effort, and try again later. Or perhaps this agent or agency is not a good fit for the type of business you do. Of course, not every working artist has a representative.

What does an ordinary project with artist’s agents entail?

The most frequent response to this query is that no two projects are identical, regardless of whether the artist has previously worked on a similar project (for example, book or editorial illustration). The procedure for obtaining a new project is standard, though:

  1. A prospective customer contacts the artist consultant. Depending on the terms of the contract, if the client contacts the artist, they may be forced to transmit their communications to the agency or get them to discuss the project's details. 
  2. If the artist is available, it will be stated. Before the project's parameters are decided, it will be required to confirm the artist's availability if the work is presented to them through an agent.  
  3. Art brokers will negotiate the project's specifics, including the payment schedule, the contract's conditions, the project's parameters, and others.
  4. Depending on their management style, the agent or agency may remain the client and artist's point of contact or keep in touch as the project develops. While some artists work with clients directly and report to an agent as specified, others have little to no contact with clients. 
  5. Payment is made through the artist's agents once the assignment is finished, possibly a few weeks or months later. Contracts determine the specific terms, which can vary from agent to agent and project to project. Additionally, contracts typically include non-disclosure clauses so this document won't have details.

Do not believe that the artist representatives will swiftly advance your professional endeavors. When the illustrator is fully aware of what they are doing and has a general notion of where they want to go, an artist-agent partnership is most successful. 

Even with an agent, gaining clientele may take you a year or two. Art brokers who value their reputation will always prefer to work with individuals who are already well-known and well-respected in their field.

Make Portfolio For Artist Agent with Portfoliobox

What does an ordinary project with artist’s agents entail

The first step in answering the question of how to get an agent is to promote yourself and your work. You can choose to submit your appointment online for consideration by agencies seeking new talent, contact other experienced artists, or approach an agent or agency with your portfolio and examples of your work.

Having a personal art manager would be ideal for you as an artist. Having a personal portfolio will help you get the attention of an art manager and new clients. Artists can create their portfolios by using the online Portfoliobox platform. Users are not limited to a theme. Any template is available, and you are free to mix and match templates. Create your portfolio and launch a successful artistic career with Portfoliobox.


How much does an artist agent cost?

Typically, the commission percentage ranges from 10 to 20% of the artwork's total selling price. However, some art brokers estimate the proportion to be no less than 50%. It depends on the manager's communications and experience.

Who can sell and promote my art?

The artistic firms can help you promote your work. However, many successful artists sell their work alone, without the assistance of agencies or agents.

How do I price my art?

Make that your asking price by paying yourself a fair hourly rate, adding the cost of the materials, and so forth. For instance, the supplies cost $60, it takes you 10 hours to create them, and you pay yourself $20 per hour. The US Dept. of Labor rates the average hourly income for a fine artist as $24.58. You would price the art at $260 ($20 x 10 hours + $60 in material costs).

Do they have the opportunity to visit publishers with your portfolio?

It is almost impossible to get an appointment at a publishing house just off the street. Agents, on the other hand, have this privilege, which means they will show your portfolio to a publisher in person, which is a very different effect than emailing a portfolio link.

Can you have several illustration agents? 

The number of agents an agency employs and the number of artists it represents varies greatly. Some agencies may have only two agents on staff, while others may have a dozen. While some agencies work with five artists, others work with hundreds.


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