Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Bianca Redgrave On Artist Management

Pushing the limits of creative excellence, Bianca Redgrave & Co. are a creative agency which works with a select group of leading commercial artists, specialising in art direction, design and photography such as Rachel Thomas, Vava Ribeiro and Sandrine Pelletier. Currently recruiting for an Artist Management Intern, Bianca Redgrave gives jotta some insight into how creative graduates can benefit from having an agent.

Tell us what your role is at Bianca Redgrave & Co:

My role is more manager than traditional agent.  Agent's tend to be quite one dimensional, skillfully focusing what they do down to key sales, generating activities. I adopt more of a spider's web approach, covering as many bases as possible for each of the artists individually, which is why I keep the team small and select. It's impossible to work in this way with a big roster.

Essentially as an agent I aim to find the best way to showcase the artist's work, plus introduce the work to relevant people within the industry. I negotiate the terms of working as well as ensuring that commissioned projects are delivered to brief, on time and within budget.

As a manager my role is more varied as I work very closely with each artist on a consultancy level, ensuring that they operate professionally and are empowered to create the highest quality work possible. Crucially, I also work to ensure that long term developmental strategies are in place, as well as focusing on the individual's unique creative 'wish list' which is always very interesting and often unexpected. It's here that the added bonus of facilitating a very rounded creative career comes into play as paying attention to the personal work, editorial work, special projects & the general flotsam and jetsam as well as the commercial commissions is key.

What kind of creatives do you represent?

I like to work more like a gallery in terms of selecting unique and strong commercial artists that I think will inspire and delight the market rather than focusing on one field alone which also gives me the option of working with multi disciplined artists.

My specialist subject is photography which features throughout, although I have diversified in order to support the art direction & design processes that go into building a photographic image - plus I like to explore how multi disciplined artists can work with more than one medium.

All of the artists are linked though their interests and abilities to crossover between the art, fashion and design markets. Although the majority of the work that is produced is commercial and collaborative, each of the artists has a very unique and personal aesthetic which if you look carefully there are visual disciplines within each of the artist's work that somehow marry them together.

What can a graduate artist gain from having an agent?

The 'right' agent should be able to focus further what an artist already does well, plus help empower them to be able to produce greater and more profitable work. They should take their work to a wider audience, plus offer potential commissioning clients structure and support as well as ensuring the commissioned artist is equally supported and that they are paid correctly for their services.

How should an artist prepare themselves when meeting potential agents?

Generally speaking the agents find the artists as the artists need to have already laid enough of a foundation to be involved in some kind of activity that will get them noticed. Therefore, my advice would be to concentrate on developing the work, plus creating a network, getting the work out into the world in a credible way rather than rushing to get an agent before ready.

Second to that research, research, research.  Research who you like and get to grips with how they work and who they work with and what work they've produced before even considering a call or an email as we disregard a huge amount of enquiries simply because the fit is no where close to be right.

What's the most satisfying aspect of your job?

Well there are so many highlights and pleasures but mostly as creativity for me is not about following a fixed formula in order to somehow 'get it right' and more so it's about taking risks I therefore really love working with artists who break the mould plus managing briefs where the team are 'not afraid'.

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