Interview with an Agent: Edward Palmer
last updated 26 April 2023
Interview by Rachel Moffat
Our agents move mountains, working with our artists to make dreams come true. In this blog series, we sit down with our experts and give you an insight into their story and their passion for all things Bright.
Join us now as we interview Associate Agent: Edward Palmer
How long have you been working for Bright? Tell us a little about your career journey.
I was born in the US, grew up in Sheffield and went to university in Manchester. I graduated with a degree in Literature and I knew that the majority of publishing houses were in London but I was a stranger to the city and the industry. I worked in executive search for a while but ultimately I wanted to do something more creative. I did some freelancing for Bright during the pandemic, until Vicki offered me a permanent position in the company. I’ve worked here for two and a half years now and in January 2023 I made the move across the pond to the New York office where I now work as the US agent for Design and Advertising.
Where did your love of art come from?
To be perfectly honest I’m a little late to the game, I don’t even have a GCSE in art! I was originally more interested in publishing, having been an avid reader for my entire life. But my love of illustration has exploded over the last three years. Now I’m at Bright I’m very immersed in the world of illustration and I get to work with so many incredible artists. I have found my creative home here.
What do you look for in an artist?
Ultimately, we’re looking for skill and originality. We’re looking for an artist with a recognizable style who demonstrates consistency across their portfolio. I can’t stress the importance of consistency of style enough. We handle a lot of editorial commissions at the agency and so we’re always happy to see imaginative concepts. There’s also that je ne sais quoi that just hits you when you see it.
Tell us about the first/most exciting project one of your artists worked on?
When I was a youngster living in the US, my mum used to take me to Barnes & Noble at the weekends. She would get a coffee in the adjacent Starbucks and I would sit in the children’s section and read books. We did this all the time! So, it has been a real treat for me to watch the incredibly talented Bea Müller create beautiful illustrations for Barnes & Noble gift cards and in-store signage.
When you’re not working, what does a day in the life of Ed look like?
I watch a lot of movies and I do a lot of sport. I play football (soccer, now that I’m in the US), I practice Jiu Jitsu and I like to run. As a recent arrival to the US, I spend my weekends exploring New York City and New Jersey – and I like to go to the local Irish bar at 10am to watch the premier league!
What has been your best day at Bright?
My best day at Bright was probably my first day – when I knew I had made my way into the creative field and got my foot in the door of somewhere really special.
What has been the biggest hurdle in your career?
The truth is, it takes a lot of confidence to be an Agent and at the start of your career you can often experience impostor syndrome. When you take artists on you hope to shepherd their career and do right by them. This can be quite a daunting challenge but, when it pays off, there is no better feeling in the world.
What advice do you have for new agents?
It’s all about the basics and the devil is always in the detail. You can romanticise the idea of being an agent; silver-tongued dealmakers, waltzing through the role with ease. But in reality, the nuts and bolts of the job are about providing an excellent service to both the client and the artist. Make sure that you dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s, be punctual and put the effort in at ground level.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Like anything else in life, it’s effort, effort, effort.
Everybody starts somewhere and nobody is great at anything when they first set out. Artists build careers by putting themselves through the ringer and by putting out a lot of artwork. They take it upon themselves to do personal projects, creating mock briefs for clients that they aspire to work for someday rather than waiting for those clients to come to them. They don’t just make art for the Instagram algorithm.
Work on your own portfolio by putting in the work to become the artist that you want to be. If you’re trying your best, really pushing yourself, the success will come.
A final message?
My door is always open, so give me a call or send me an email. Thank you for reading this and have a nice day.
To work with Ed, get in contact here.