About Advocate Art.

Advocate Art was founded in 1992, with a group of illustrators who liked the idea of having an agent but not the other things that often came with that. We call our ethos four “F.A.C.T.s”: Fairness, Ability, Creativity and Trust. It’s about doing the right thing and being with the right people. We think our principles set us apart from conventional agencies, sticking to them has meant we have attracted the most creative illustrators and artists who in turn attract (with a little help) the best clients.

The people we represent are perfectly able to conduct their own affairs but like working with Advocate Art because we offer value to them in the services we provide. Clients are assured that we represent artists that are like-minded professionals, pre-vetted and able not only to get the job done without fuss, but also to surpass expectations.

It’s their choice to be with us, we have a high retention rate - with the most popular artists in our group being with us from the start!

We were one of the first Agencies to give direct client contact with our illustrators, allowing creativity to flow without being diluted in translation. We were one of the first to offer re-sales as an important secondary income to artists. Now we have gone beyond that too, with the development of an on-line portal - ARTicle which enables artists to have transparency into the back office functions of the business, such as royalty management and credit control, amongst other things.

Business is all about relationships, which is why we have a very high artist to agent ratio, clients often use us as artistic advisors, project managers as well a trend forward resource for pre- qualified talent.

It is for these reasons that Advocate Art has become the largest illustration agency around and I’d like to think one of the most respected but- we understand we didn’t get that way by acting like the biggest. Come and find out for yourself...

Meet the Agents

Kate Johnson

Kate Johnson

I started at Advocate as an intern whilst studying children's book Illustration at Brighton University, which was 12 years ago. I have seen and been instrumental in the agency's success and growth over that time, developing and strengthening its key client and artist relationships.

I am the Senior Agent so a large part of my time is to use my experience and knowledge of the industry to help commercially focus the Agent team. The week starts with a Monday sales meeting (including the New York office via Skype), coordinating our sales effort, discussing industry requirements and how we can fulfil them.

I direct our sales resources towards forthcoming trade shows and sales trips and by organising marketing material such as our Heads Up and Mag catalogues. It's my role to really tune into the needs of our core markets; Book Publishing; Greeting Cards, Stationary and Gifts; as well as Home Decor, Ceramic and Fine Art publishing. I coordinate our marketing efforts using all the tools available including social media, PR, advertising, mailings and of course face-to-face meetings.

The artists expect their Agent to be getting their portfolios out there, and I make sure we do.

Hannah Abbo

Hannah Abbo

I graduated from Cambridge with a degree in History of Art and joined Advocate in 2009. Initially an intern, I then worked as an in-house illustrator helping out on a project another artist couldn't complete. I learnt straight away that every project at Advocate was a team effort, and no one was left to flounder on their own.

Advocate has always had a strong presence in America, yet in 2014 I open the New York Office right in publishing land on 34 street, our Surrey location - with quick access to the M25, makes it easy for our agents to catch up face-to-face with our European clients from London to Oxford, Paris to Moscow.

As Advocate expands into new territories and markets, our exposure to global trend information continues to grow too. One of the key roles of Advocate's agents is identifying themes that are set to influence the children's book market, greeting card design and commercial decorative arts. Reference collected during international trips, client briefings and trade shows is relayed to our artists through a private resources blog. I also create mood boards from this information, cementing what can sometimes be an overwhelming amount of reference into key looks and trends. This resource, along with the invaluable client feedback we share with our artists, mean Advocate's freelance illustrators are always tapped in to the global market.

Natasha Harding

Natasha Harding

As a creative myself, graduating from University after studying illustration and having a freelance career, I have a good depth of knowledge and empathy for the amazing artists we represent here at Advocate. I am passionate and proud to be able to present their amazing work to our clients and to work through a project as a team until you see it published and ready to share with the world! I like to think of Advocate as more then just an agency, but as a collective family working towards goals we all share, and finding the perfect fit between artist and publisher.

The Collaborate Agency is the team that we work with to develop and produce new story ideas sourced from artists, writers and even staff. Collaborate has been highly successful worldwide, selling entire stories written and illustrated by the artists we represent. I am pleased to take a more senior role in this area to secure deals on their behalf. We believe that it's really important for an artist to take ownership of his or her own content, in order to take the next step from being a hired hand, to a creator of content.

Claire Gaukrodger

Claire Gaukrodger

I am passionate about graphic design and illustration and this was highlighted whilst studying graphic communication at university. From there, I spent a few years working for a worldwide publisher as a designer, before becoming an art editor, commissioning artwork for Primary and Secondary educational books. My move into art buying meant I could use my passion for children’s illustration to help bring the books to life and I also thrived in working for various teams, maintaining, developing and understanding relationships with both the artists and the agents.

With my background, I am able to see and understand things from all perspectives and I’ve made the move to work for Advocate and Collaborate so I can be on the other side of the business. I wanted to use my experience to discover new artists, develop current artists, to help guide publishers, and also to further my knowledge of the worldwide creative industry.

I’m excited to be representing a well established and successful agency and look forward to seeing where my new role will take me!

Ensun

Ensun

Having moved from the North East to study Illustration at the University of Lincoln, working with Illustrators within the creative industry has always been an aspiration of mine. During my years at university and post study I built upon my experience as a working Illustrator through various projects and commissions. With a background in social media training, marketing and in particular music promotion teamed with my creative eye for artistic work and Illustration experience; it was apparent to me that my skills were naturally best utilised within this aspect of the arts industry. Taking the role of Agent in an established Agency with an ethos that I can relate with is a fantastic opportunity, and I am looking forward to making relationships and working on exciting projects with creatives and clients alike!

Julija Lalina

Julija Lalina

As a child, I always wanted to be an explorer when I grew up, so working with Advocate's worldwide client base, selling into developing markets in Asia and Russia, finding out nuances about new territories and building relationship with the clients definitely strike a chord.

Besides, being an illustrator myself, I am thrilled to see how there are truly no boundaries for freelance artists any more. As an agency we do our best to help with that - regardless of our client location, we have a fantastic artist for any project and if the artwork is needed lightning-fast we have an on-line library, which contains 100,000 images that are available. It also helps us facilitate an active re-licensing side of our business and generate a very important secondary income for our artists.

To ensure even wider exposure for our artists, we also exhibit at the international conventions - Paperworld, Spring Fair, Surtex, BEA, PG Live and book fairs in Bologna, Frankfurt and London, as well as attending a multitude of smaller shows. There is no other agency in the world that takes space at all these shows. In fact, we are often the only artist agency exhibiting!

From January through to September we are constantly on the go and attend a show roughly every 3 weeks! It certainly pays off as we can say hand on heart, that an artist's folio has been seen in person by over 1,000 of the world's top art buyers.

Amanda Hendon

Amanda Hendon

I can’t remember a time when art wasn’t a part of my life – from childhood doodles to doing fashion design in high school, it’s always been a constant. Having graduated from Parsons in 2015 with a degree in Illustration, I came to Advocate with an enthusiasm for all things art related.  During the last year of my schooling I realised just how much I liked working alongside other artists; how much I liked curation, art direction and moreover helping artists sell their art – coming to Advocate seemed like the most obvious next step. I was hired in March and then went full time in July and I’m loving every second of it!

  I find the atmosphere at Advocate all at once inspiring and motivational – I adore working closely with artists and seeing how a simple sketch can transform into a stunning finished work. I’m really enjoying learning everything there is to know about being an agent and everything that comes along with it. Meeting new clients, finding new artists and building great relationships with everyone involved. In my spare time I like to collect vintage maps and greeting cards, design temporary tattoos and hang out with my dog in Transmitter Park.

Ghislaine Gayyo

Ghislaine Gayyo

After graduating from Northumbria University with a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration in 2015 , I am delighted to have joined Advocate and for the opportunity to contribute my skills to its expanding business in Europe.

Lisa Musing

Lisa Musing

I was born in France and grew up near Paris where I was exposed to a lot of different cultures and art. After trying many things such as the piano, the guitar, the flute, the violin, acting, singing, dancing, pottery and wood working, I came to the (sad) conclusion that I would never be an artist and decided to work with artists instead.

So for the past 20 years, I have worked with amazing musicians, composers, dancers, actors, writers and illustrators all over the world and I truly enjoy it everyday! I have met amazing people and seen astonishing art and performances, which keep me curious and open-minded, and makes me feel really lucky and privileged.

Now that I am based in NYC, my to do list has been getting longer and longer everyday, and I am very happy to be working with the Advocate team and all the great illustrators we represent!

Arielle

Arielle

Arielle has had the creative bug since she was a little girl. She dreamed of being an architect, interior designer, fashion designer, art curator and so on. So it came as no surprise when she decided to study Marketing and Art History at the Fashion Institute of Technology. After graduating she wasn't sure how to combine her passions of art and business whilst flaunting her outgoing personality. The intersection of all things she loves came together at Advocate Art. She is very excited to be joining the US team, making it 4 agents over here!

The internship programme

We run an active internship program here at Advocate that we hope many students or career seekers will find very beneficial. We attract students in art history, design, illustration and related courses. We also employ bilingual agents so we attract language students as well.

We forge close links with many colleges and o en invite students in for Q&A sessions where they can get advice on their portfolios. We were  sponsors of the illustration exam question for the D&AD board and offered competition prizes including cash of £5000!

If you would like to see the inner workings of the leading artist representation agency, then the best way is to spend some time with us as an intern. You will share in our daily tasks such as folio management, site maintenance, project managing etc etc but no tea making I promise! You will learn how artists are briefed, what’s hot and what you have to do as an illustrator to get work in the real world. We will give you a reference that will make a future employer cry, for the right reasons of course. Finally as a souvenir you get a sought after Advocate courier bag and we will pick up lunch and travel expenses if you complete the term. Minimum term is 10 working days - Maximum 30.

There is no mistaking that interns have become essential to the running of this busy agency. We get to spread the Advocate message around tomorrow’s art and design professionals - internationally. We o er a recruiting platform (10 of our current staff  were recruited from internships) and we get help, not cheap labour.

We also welcome international interns. If you have basic spoken and written English, we would love to hear from you. We would accommodate you in a local hotel and provide a meal and travel allowance. Interns must be EU citizens or have a valid work permit to work in the UK.

The internship programme