Illustrators are often keen to get an agent straight after graduating because the idea of an agent creates the illusion of security & employment. However, an agent is not a source of immediate & constant commissions. If you have the wrong agent and the wrong agreement “what began as an exciting step in your career could end up feeling like a prison sentence!”
The agent can offer experience & professional advice, use the reputation of the whole agency to promote you, give you access to a particular pool of clients & negotiate the larger more complicated jobs on your behalf.
You have to find the right agent – who deals with your kind of work, but where you can still stand out. You may also lose the chance to start learning from your own experience & to establish your own client base. If your contract with the agent doesn’t allow you to seek your own clients too, then you could feel trapped. Need to agree an outline of understanding based on mutual trust & respect. Find out how they get commissions, what clients they have, how they deal with client contracts and disputes, what promo materials they use, how they became an agent & why...Be wary of anyone who tries to get you to sign a contract in haste without giving you time to read it thoroughly...