Meet our ITSme Learning Creative Director and Illustration Mentor, Bhavisha Patel! Bhavi graduated with a 1st class honors degree from the University of Portsmouth and has been an illustration agent with Advocate Art for over 5 years.
Her education and industry experience means she knows just what clients are looking for, and what artists need to do to land their dream projects. As the ITSme Learning Creative Director, Bhavi acts as lead mentor, and hosts some of our educational videos for aspiring artists to learn about the industry and improve their portfolio, increasing their chances of landing representation or client projects.
As an illustrator mentor, she is working hands-on with aspiring artists to develop new portfolio pieces to show off their best work. Read more about Bhavi’s background in our interview below:
What is your illustration background?
I have been into all things creative since I was first able to get my hands on paper and coloured pencils! My degree is in Illustration and Art History, where I spent a lot of time experimenting with digital and traditional mediums. During my final year, I focused on sequential illustration and narratives, where I was focused on book cover and design, whilst exploring the modern retellings of Classics.
I’ve worked in an array of mediums from watercolour, acrylic, and oil paintings, to ink drawings, screen printing, and etching. As an occasional freelance artist, my style always jumps between traditional and digital forms, but I most enjoy working within printmaking (specifically screen printing) and graphic design. Whilst I mainly create artwork in digital forms, I still love to admire traditional artwork which has a delicate hand-rendered quality and is something I always try to bring into my own work.
What has been your favorite part about working with Advocate Art?
My favourite part about working with Advocate is that no day, or project, is the same. I am lucky enough to work with a number of different book publishers and artists on a variety of projects which vary from picture books, non-fiction illustrations, book covers, activity books, and encyclopaedias. The most rewarding part of the job is finding my clients the perfect artist for their titles and working with them from beginning to end. There’s nothing better than receiving a sample and seeing the final product in all its glory.
What is your favorite part about helping artists develop their portfolios?
The best part about developing artists is seeing how their style and portfolio evolve over time. I often have artists who wish to develop samples for a specific dream client they aspire to work with and it’s super rewarding when they land their first job with that client.
What are some recent books or licensing projects you have worked on?
The Book is Full of Elves! illustrated by Mike Byrne for Scholastic
Escape Room Adventures illustrated by Sian James for Arcturus
Wednesday Addams Col. Book illustrated by Maurizio Campidelli for Igloo Books
The Secret Mountain illustrated by Kaja Kajfez for Scholastic
Femi and the Mindfulness Machine illustrated by Sawyer Cloud for DK Books
Castle Rock Mystery Crew written by Vicky McClure, illustrated by Alan Brown for Scholastic
Marcelline: Defender of the Sea written by Jen Campbell, illustrated by Valentina Toro for HarperCollins
Friends are Amazing written by the Pride of Britain winners Hughie Higginson and Freddie Xavi, illustrated by Erica Salcedo for Scholastic
Growing Up Black in Britain written by Stuart Lawrence, illustrated by Simone Douglas for Scholastic
Do you remember the first project you agented?
Igloo Books/ Helen Graper – Pop Out Masks: Jungle Animal Masks
Do you have any general top tips for those looking to get an agent?
Keep your portfolio well updated, and be open to development and creating samples for your portfolio. Agents often share what their clients are looking for, and artists who are up for sampling and create regular new work, are the ones who clients are often drawn to because there is always something new to see – which can lead to more project opportunities!
The ITSme Society is a collective of top creative agencies that represent award-winning talent worldwide. The ITSme Society agencies represent illustrators and writers across 7 agencies: Advocate Art, Astound US Inc, Illo Agency, Artistique, Yeon, CWLA, and Collaborate.
Illustration by Advocate Art illustrators Alida Massari and Kaja Kajfez, and Astound US Inc. illustrators Chiara Fedele and Kimberley Walker Themes to Include in Your Illustration Portfolio Part 5 Teacher: ITSme Society Books are one of the most accessible forms of escapism. And you have the power to help readers explore a range of worlds…
Illustration by previous ITSme Mentorship artists, Noor El Sehnawi, Amanda Rizqi, Koustubha Jagadeesh, Sara Padovan, Fran Ceserano, and Francesca Cosanti. Why Coaching / Mentorships May Be Right for You! Teacher: ITSme Creative and Course Director Bhavi Patel Whether you’re an illustrator who’s been working in the industry for a number of years, or someone who…
Meet one of our instructors for both the Character Study Intensive and the Graphic Novel Bootcamp! Emily has been with the ITSme Society for over nine years, starting as the Global Manager for Astound before moving into her role as the ITSme Director of Marketing and Learning. In each course, she brings her unqiue skills…
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Meet one of our Graphic Novel Bootcamp instructors, Kate Johnson. Kate has had a long career with Advocate Art then Collaborate Agency. Over the course of her career she has worked on over 5,000 children’s books and graphic novel projects! Kate brings her years of experience in book layout and design to this course. Q-…
Card designs by Advocate Art illustrators Jennie Bradley, Jo Little, and Lynn Horrabin. Kids vs Adult Oriented Birthday Card Tips Teacher: ITSme Creative and Course Director Bhavi Patel Within the Greeting Card market, we tend to find that artistic styles naturally tend to appeal to specific age groups based on the overall look of the…