A premier agency of select illustrators.
Please tell us what you do.
I represent commercial artists, sometimes referred to as illustrators. It’s not what I do so much as what I bring to the job as a person and how it’s shaped my life. I’ve been deeply influenced by my relationships with clients and artists over thirty years as an agent. Every day I’m amazed by the range in client briefs and the illustrator’s fresh worldview brought to each assignment. Balancing the needs of both client and artist while delivering consistent quality artwork furthering careers is invigorating.
How do you discover new artists?
I am looking for illustrators with a signature style combining craft and knowledge of art and design. I take great pleasure in seeing a fresh perspective on our complicated world: unexpected conceptual and visual solutions to the complex and often obtuse stories we illustrate for our cutting-edge clients.
Illustrators find me as often as I find them. Artists should send a link to a website or social media feed by way of introduction.
I like hearing what inspires artists so I ask applicants to tell me how they became illustrators, where in the marketplace they fit, who are their favorite artists, what their process is, and what might be their dream job.
How do you find new clients for your illustrators?
You can be very strategic and even a little lucky with promotion, but you must be ready to handle the career shaping assignments. My many years of experience allows me to ask the right questions of the client and be a consistent and reliable partner throughout projects. This is what enables us to protect the artist, get the most out of the opportunity and ease the passage of high profile or quick turn-around projects that showcase the illustrator’s work.
As they say, “Do good work and be good to work with.”
What was it like to start an illustration agency?
I first worked for the best illustration and photography agents in New York and when I was ready to go out on my own and launch Heflinreps, I received generous support from colleagues, clients and from my first stable of artists.
Do all illustrators have agents?
No, working with an agent is not for everyone. One advantage to working with an agency is being granted a type of favored nation status regarding contracts and fees. Being part of an established community of artists introduces clients to your work with confidence. When an established illustrator partners with an agent who is a peer peer, strategies to market and leverage an existing backlist of artwork helps continue growth.
What’s the payment process like?
Agents negotiate and track contracts stipulating rights, terms, fees, and schedules. Securing the earning potential for existing work by limiting rights granted in contracts buttresses the artist’s long career. If a client doesn’t have a contract, we provide a written agreement, so all parties know what to expect and when.
Agencies are very buttoned-up when it comes to bookkeeping. We invoice and collect payments from our clients and within 15 days of receiving the payment from the client, the agency pays the artist. The agency is paid an industry standard percentage of agreed gross fees ranging from twenty-five to thirty-five percent depending on the territory and category e.g. editorial vs. advertising.
Anything to add?
I look forward to learning about you and your vision for the future of illustration!
Los Angeles Times
The New York Times
Southern Poverty Law Center
Warner Bros. Studios
About Sally Heflin
Experienced artists’ representative recognized for discovering and representing emerging and established award-winning artists and designers. Aesthetics driven by styles that have an integral message with broad applications in print and online. Clients range from editorial and publishing to advertising, fashion brands, entertainment, technology and government spearheaded projects. Over 25 years of experience in essential business practices, upholding ethical standards and staying current in legal issues concerning artists.