At the time, I was preparing to submit my illustrations to agencies. I started creating a short list of agents that I would contact. Winning the Draw This! contest meant that my illustration would be featured on the SCBWI homepage for the entire month of November. I thought it would be a great opportunity to mention the contest in my submission emails.
After a lot of rejections and one message that seemed pretty hopeful, I received the best email right before Thanksgiving. Lara Perkins from Andrea Brown Literary Agency (ABLA) loved my work and wanted to schedule a phone call with me!
Real talk: ABLA was honestly at the top of my list of agencies I wanted to work with. They represent a couple of my favorite illustrators, including Eliza Wheeler and Renée Kurilla!
After re-reading that email several times, I replied and we arranged a phone call for the following week. During our conversation, I could immediately tell that Lara and I would work well together. She told me which pieces she felt were my strongest work, and she wanted me to create 3 or 4 more pieces in those styles.
I gave myself a 2-week deadline to try and get some new portfolio pieces done. I was so motivated; I was able to finish 3 new pieces in a week! I sent those new pieces to Lara, and she loved them. We scheduled another phone call where she officially offered me representation.
We discussed our goals for my work, and how she could help me achieve them. Lara also went over all the details about how the agency works, how they help promote their illustrators and get their work seen by publishers. She answered all my questions, and sent me copies of their agreement and FAQ to help me make a well-informed decision.
Everything looked pretty standard and straight forward. After having my husband and a trusted colleague read over the documents as well, it was an easy decision to make.
I can’t wait to start creating books with Lara! Currently, I'm polishing up my portfolio, and working on some new pieces. The next step is for Lara to send my work out to publishers that might be interested in my illustration style! I’m so excited to see what this year has in store for me!