Art Buying

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Art buyers have a tendency to call in a range of portfolios from numerous solo illustrators and agents for a creative team to review before making any final decisions about the choice of artist for Ihe commission. It is also known lor clients to be shown the work of illustrators by account handlers prior to the illustrator being informed that the job is potentially theirs. This can create a useful platform for fee negotiation if the job does come to fruition, but it can also cause havoc for Ihe illustrator who likes to keep abreast of the flow of work at any one time. Inevitably, once the commission has started, advertising art directors expect the illustrator to be immediately available throughout the life of the project and conveniently tend to forget that the artist will have regular clients, even if they are offering a much lower fee.

Illustrators and their agents can find that they are constantly organising the delivery of portfolios to advertising agents for projects that rarely lead on to real work. Advertising is one sector Of the market that has been slow to adopt new ways of viewing work, preferring to view real-time leather-bound portfolios rather than digital versions on-line. This reluctance to move forward may be related to the fact that art buyers wish to retain some mystery and status in their positions and see the on-line viewing of portfolios as a threat to their existence. Whatever the reason, courier companies are not unhappy with this arrangement: at any one time they are responsible for moving numerous portfolios of work from illustrators, and other freelance creatives, to agencies and back again.

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