First - an agent isn't for everyone! You are going to split royalties with them. Just thought I better put that out there right off the bat :-)
Personally, I have a graphic design business that is 16+ years old. I really enjoy all the hats I wear from CEO to janitor. I have learned so much and continue to learn every day. I also like the variety, even the bookkeeping! Marketing is fun for me, discipline comes easily and I am not concerned that I don't have any contacts in the art licensing industry - I will :-). With my trusty intellectual property lawyer in my back pocket, I could license my art without an agent.
So WHY have an agent? I don't want to do it all. My plate is full enough. When you toss in making art collections with my graphic design business, blogging/social media, family! and all the other stuff we all do, I need help! So I decided I wanted help with the business end of art licensing. Having an agent sending out my art speeds up the process by cutting out steps I would have to do if I didn't have an agent. They get ready for and go to Surtex for me etc. Besides, it is SO DARN FUN to make art collections for products —I want to do that part. That is why I have an agent.
When I first started to think about whether I wanted an agent or not my head would spin. I was really hung up on splitting royalties. I could hire help for the graphic design business and do all of the art licensing business on my own. I made a pros and cons list. That with a little bit of time I realized that an agent was the way to go for me. I found a free download of Tara Reed's that was helpful "To use and agent or not to use and agent, that is the question..." Scroll down just a bit. The link is right above the big blue banner. This is also when I found her eBook "How to Find an Art Licensing Agent" that I mentioned I purchased in the blog post HOW I Found an Agent.
Do you have or want an agent? Why or why not? Let's chat about it :-)
Thanks Doodlebugerz, it is great to connect with all of you.