Angela Navarra // How to Get Work as an Illustrator

Episode 263.

This week I am excited to introduce you to Angela Navarra, she is a freelance designer, illustrator, and letterer and is going to be sharing her experiences about getting work on her own, through an agency (and how to vet the agent right for you). I am excited to be back after a few weeks off and now refreshed.

Here are the questions we are going to be discussing:

1. Angela, you started your career as a designer and have transitioned to being a full time freelancer. How much of your time do you spend doing design work? Illustration work?

Being a designer and art director in publishing has worked to your advantage, because now you know what people are looking for. When did you go full time as an illustrator and why? How has this transition been challenging?

2. You worked for a few years before you got an agent and have learned a lot about having an agent, positives and negatives. What are some of the things you have learned and now you are able to look for when finding an agent?

3. How did/does your agent push you? How was creating collections key to being able to sell your work?

3.5 Sometimes it feels like we just need a break to be able to get the bigger client work, was having an agent key to this? What else have you done to make connections in the industry to be able to land work like this? Or is it just a matter of keeping your social media active and producing new work on a consistent basis?

4. Has your agent ever wanted work on an unrealistic time line? How do you keep busy but also keep your sanity?

5. How do you get work on your own, through relationships, social media, etc? Do you think it helped having an agent in the beginning? Would you do it the same if you had to do it all over again? I think about illustrators and lettering artists who are not so close to a big city and wondering what they can do to get more work? How does it work when you get work on your own, does your agent get a cut? Did you work that out in the initial contract?

6. Your illustration work has a lot of tactile quality to it, there is a lot of humor as well. The color palettes and textures you use, along with your lettering make your work full of life. Do you come up with personal projects to keep your illustration work fresh?

7. How often do you play on or off the computer with drawing tools or new techniques?

8. Do you create a self-promotion each year for clients or for potential clients? Like your toaster calendar.

9. What is something you have learned this year and it been a game changer?

10. How is your time management while you juggle being a mom and an entrepreneur?

11. What is a goal you have for your illustration work? (Editorial illustration)


Follow Angela at:


Things we talked about:

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