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My Quest to Find an Art Rep – Part 1

February 5, 2010

(A guest post and Illustration by Marcela Vargas)

Sitting alone at a cafe on a cold winter evening, hot coffee in hand… it doesn’t really sound like the beginning of a quest, does it? But, it’s the beginning of my quest!

Let me tell you my story.

My name is Marcela Vargas, better known in the Internet world (or at least that’s what I like to think) as LittleMissMachete.

I am an illustrator working a day job not related to illustration. In fact, my job is not related to the industry, it’s not even close. Well, I’m in the entertainment industry, but definitely not in the creative side of it. So I am an illustrator but I do not work full time in the field. And that’s were my story begins, because the point of my quest is to find an Art Rep and work towards becoming a full time illustrator.

Seeing myself as an illustrator took a few years. I’ve always felt like one, always been drawing, experimenting, playing with the idea but titles and labels are not exactly my cup of tea. Naive, I can tell you that. Because what happens in this world of labels, where even a coffee bean grown in a traditional way needs to be certified, is that if you don’t say it, don’t label it, no one will notice. No acknowledgement whatsoever. So here is one thing I can pass on no matter what industry you are in: label yourself. Say who you are, what you do, name it, title it and people will notice. And to avoid getting into the ethical dilemma that making the decision of labelling myself caused me, I better stop and get back to my story.

So I made the conscious decision of calling myself an illustrator and once I did it, I started working hard on becoming an independent one. And well, it has not been easy. But it surely has been rewarding. Being honest with yourself is, in itself, an accomplishment.

I worked on developing my portfolio, drew, learned enough html to create my website, drew some more, joined illustration communities, kept drawing, updated my website, found tons of useful – and not so useful – information online, got discouraged, drew some more, met extraordinary illustrators, got encouraged and read about the business side of freelance illustration. I was ready. Bring it on!

Following what I though was a natural process, I jumped into the next step: Going after the work. How difficult could it be? Really… Really? I was ready to chase the opportunity and the opportunity was ready to make me pay with time and sweat. And as much as I wanted to do it myself, at some point one has to stop, step back, enjoy a good cup of coffee and evaluate the situation. It was simple: time spent versus results. My scale was heavily inclined to time spent. My creation time had decreased dramatically. And I wasn’t interested in continuing to sweat, so the idea of an art rep took over.

As I was deciding on finding an art rep, the always-wise Escapee brought up the subject. I started seeing references to art reps everywhere. Was I hallucinating? No, but I let my good old hippie side read the signs our beautiful Universe was showing me. I needed an art rep and a quest was in the making.

I finally realized I’m the kind of illustrator that needs an art rep. And, what kind is that? That is too personal for anyone to answer. I only know I am one. Yes, I’ve learned my lesson, keep the labels coming! I am extremely excited for the opportunity Thomas James has giving me. Once a month, rain or shine, I will be sharing my ventures with the EFII Community. And that is how, from a little cafe on a winter evening with a not-so-hot-now coffee in hand, I officially declare this the beginning of My Quest to Find an Art Rep. Let the fun begin…

About Marcela Vargas: Born and raised in Colombia, I moved to Canada after studying Communications at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. I attended the Vancouver Film School for a diploma in Classical Animation and Digital Character Animation. After driving across the country, living in Toronto and Halifax, I live now with my husband in Ontario.. He’s an artist too. I love painting digitally and with acrylics. I have an alter ego, LittleMissMachete. She’s sweet, but can be very cruel too. We get along very well and if I am not creating, she is. There is more to say, but for that we’ll need to sit and have a coffee.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2010 11:39 AM

    Great post, Marcela! I’ve been considering whether I want to try to find a rep now, as I’m starting out, or wait until I’ve been able to establish myself more on my own, so I’m really looking forward to reading about your experiences. Having a full-time, non-art day job definitely does not leave much time to research, learn, blog, promote, go after jobs, AND create, that’s for sure.

  2. February 5, 2010 11:59 AM

    Thank you so much for this relevant post from both you and EFII. I too, have discovered that for my illustration work, I am also the type that needs a rep. I am currently in the process of submitting artwork to several and keeping my fingers crossed at the same time.

    So I’ll be following your story and living it as well. Good Luck to us all! ~GG

  3. THATIANA permalink
    February 6, 2010 9:32 AM

    MARCELA ESTOY SUPER ORGULLOSA DE TI, QUE BUEN ESCRITO, NO MENOS DE ALGUIEN TAN TALENTOSA!!!! LA PEQUEÑA SEÑORITA MACHETE, MUY BUEN ALTER EGO…
    MUCHOS PICOS DESDE COLOMBIA!!!!
    CHAU PESCAU

  4. February 7, 2010 10:02 PM

    What a great post. Thanks Marcela for sharing your experience. I will be checking in to see how your quest is going.

  5. February 8, 2010 7:56 AM

    It will be interesting to follow you in this quest. I’m thinking of approaching art reps in the next 6 months and since you live in Canada like me, your approach should really be instructive.
    Good luck!

  6. February 8, 2010 5:57 PM

    I’ll be very interested to follow your progress, as I’ve just started looking for an art rep myself.

    Good hunting!

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