Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 20, 2017



On the third Tuesday Christina or Christy Ewers Tugeau of the Catugeau Artist Agency will answer questions and talk about things illustrators need to know to further their career. It could be a question about an illustration you are working on, too. Please email your questions to me and put ASK CAT in the subject box.


Here’s Chris:The first question from Kary is about whether it is ‘best’ to seek an artist rep over a literary agent as children’s book illustrator who does NOT market as an author/illustrator.

This is an interesting question today actually and one that many artists probably wonder about…and artist/illustrators too!  Over the last decade particularly there has been a big move into the ARTIST area from LITERARY agencies who hadn’t previously done so much with author/illustrators and certainly not with illustrators alone!   It was and is not their expertise!  Contacts do however over lap in this children’s visual picture book industry, and they are seeing the same editors with their artist groupings.  Hopefully they just add the ADs into their contacts!  We at CATugeau Agency are ARTIST reps, but for years we have presented and have sold several author/illustrated books from our agency group to various types of publishing clients.  We have always (22 years!) taken dummies to NYC every visit to show to editors and ADs.  It’s definitely part of what we offer.  My partner has a degree in English, and I had a minor in Lit and major in Art, and we read and study loads of ms, books and art on going.  I do not consider myself a LIT AGENT however.  It has to do more with the set up for ‘rights’ management in some cases.  Contracts are very similar however so that is not enough of a  distinction.  And I don’t consider Lit agencies ART AGENTS either if they are not trained for the visual management and feedback artists often require.  I think however we all LEARN by doing and it’s a difficult answer to give generally.

I think each author and each illustrator needs to feel right and comfortable with the agency’s expertise for THEIR needs  particularly. It’s hard to get into an agency to begin with. There is limited space if the agency is to have the time do the job they should hope to do for each artist and/or author.  If you are not an author however, it would seem to make more sense to be with an ARTIST AGENCY as that is their expertise and knowledge and perhaps better fits your needs.

Kary also asked if there are artist reps that crossover into the editorial/commercial market.  And the answer is easy…YES!  The bigger agencies all have several reps who each have their differing areas of interest and connections. They may have a children’s market sub-agency even.  You can see this in some of the Source Books (like Directory of Illustration) on-line and get ideas for who these agencies are.  Some of the artists do lots of crossover work with different reps within the agency too.  You’d have to ask the artists to know how well this works.  Our agency only searches for projects within the Children’s Publishing Market, trade and mass books, games, and educational books and materials.  But we get calls from editorial, licensing, surface design, and other markets occasionally and we’ll handle those. We do not solicit in those markets normally however due to lack of time mostly.  Larger agencies will have more people handling these other industries.  Smaller agencies are generally more approachable and responsive to each artist (as needed and wished for) but do not have the broader scope of ‘crossover’ markets.  Again, it’s knowing YOUR needs and wants and letting that guide your agency choice. It should feel good, encouraging, safe and vital….like a family in business together!


Christina A. Tugeau Artist Agency LLC is the first mother/daughter agency in the business! A trained artist herself with a BA in Fine Art, Chris Tugeau has been in the children’s illustration industry for over 25 years. Since opening her own agency in 1994, Chris has enjoyed representing many talented artists, and has been an active part of the illustration community; writing and presenting for SCBWI regions around the country. She is also the author of SCBWI Illustrator Guidelines. A veteran artist and rep, Chris is an advocate for ethical fairness and the bright future of children’s publishing. She’s also a mother of 3, a grandmother to 8, and best friend to husband, Bill.

Chris and Christy, Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer questions and helping everyone trying to build their careers in the children’s publishing industry. Please help keep this column going by sending in your questions.

Thank you Chris and Christy for more great answers.


Hope this illustration by CONSTANZE VON KITZING: will inspire everyone to send in a question to Chris and Christy. Constanze was featured on Illustrator Saturday January 26, 2013. Take a look.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thank you. And I love Constanze’s illustration!


  2. Thank you! What a thorough answer to a question I have increasingly asked of late, especially as I see so many SCBWI illustrator friends going with literary agencies. The pressure for illustrators to also write is very strong now. But this interview has helped make my decision to return to artist representation, “A veteran artist and rep, Chris is an advocate for ethical fairness and the bright future of children’s publishing.” The word Advocate. That’s it! I want an advocate again, an artist who understands and champions illustrators. Blowing kisses to Kathy, Chris, and Christy for taking your time and energy to share your knowledge and passion for all things kidlit!


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