Interview with Lilla

From the 2008 Artists’ & Graphic Design Market Insider Report: Artist’s Reps

Lilla Rogers Studio
Agents who value and inspire their artists

Lilla Rogers Studio (www.lillarogers.com) is a well-established agency in Massachusetts that represents commercial artists internationally. In business for over 23 years, the Studio was founded by Lilla Rogers, a visual arts instructor as well as an internationally-known illustrator and painter. Susan McCabe and Ashley Lorenz are other key partners. They work closely with the artists they represent and engage them in studio events. Their artists’ client lists include popular magazines, newspapers and other major companies in a variety of industries. “We are unique in that we are strong in both advertising/editorial and licensing,” says Rogers.

The idea of agenting was an “incredible, exciting, natural next step” for Rogers when she was first teaching years ago. Refusing illustration work because she was getting more assignments than she could handle, Rogers began passing those jobs on to her students. Her crop of artists continued to grow, and she now has more than two decades worth of contacts and clients. “Those clients trust our agency and know we’ve thoroughly vetted each artist for style and professionalism,” says Rogers. “They also come to us knowing we’ve found the latest in trend.”

Lorenz started out as Studio Manager about 10 years ago and eventually earned the promotion to Agent. After graduating from college with an Art History degree, she was seeking a job that would allow her to help working artists make a living. She was introduced to Lilla Rogers Studio through a friend and, though she knew nothing of illustration at the time, immediately fell in love with the agency and its artists. “We take on artists we love, that we are crazy about,” she says.

McCabe joined the Studio in 2006. She had been a designer at a national magazine, fell in love with illustration, and thought to herself, “Wouldn’t it be fun to be an illustration rep?” A rep handles business aspects, such as job negotiations, contracts, billing, marketing and image management, allowing the artist to focus on being creative. “An agent can also guide a career,” says Rogers. “An agent is an editor of the artist’s work and can present the work in a brilliant way, showcasing the right pieces to the right art directors to get the very best work for the artist.”

Because Rogers was a successful full-time illustrator, she understands the issues both practical and emotional of being an artist. In addition to mentoring her artists through classes and workshops, Rogers invites guest art directors to keep the artists fresh and stimulated. “As a teacher, she knows how to motivate and inspire her artists.” says Lorenz.