I am very happy to announce that I have an illustration agent! I am now on the roster for Inky Illustration. Inky are a relatively new agency with a diverse range of artists to it's name and I'm very pleased that they considered my work good enough to want to represent me. I hope it's the start of a productive working relationship.
I've emailed several agencies over the last 6 months with the old "Thanks, but it's not what we're looking for" response, which is fair enough as my work doesn't fit in with a lot of the more popular commercial illustration styles. Of course, getting 15 emails with the same response plants the seeds of doubt and I went through a whole maybe-I-need-to-change-my-style-to-fit-with-what's-popular thing. But as much as I want to make a living from being an illustrator, I've never wanted to give it to popular trends and have always stuck to my guns in carving out my own style. I'm very glad that it's paid off at last! :D
Of course, there's also the question of whether having an agent will get you more work. I've heard a lot of positive and negative things from illustrators with agents so it's always hard to gauge if the one you finally get will help your career. From experience, the fact that you have an agent seems to make potential clients more inclined to hire you anyway. The awesome blog, Escape From Illustration Island, has a great collection of articles about Art Representation which are well worth a read. Has anyone else got an agent, and if so, how is it working out?