Some editors are very concerned to know whether you are working for another editor. Actually the question is an impertinence on their part, unless they are prepared to pay a price that would include exclusiveness. A beginner, of course, cannot regard anything as an impertinence, and is wise if he has some preconceived idea as to what attitude he shall adopt. If, as is unlikely at first, you have a flagrantly individual style, it is out of the question to attempt to work for two papers at the same time ; but if you can work in two or three styles, or have a general competence and no style at all, you may well serve two or more masters, either with their consent or without their knowing.

Some people will tell you to bury yourself in the country for six months and to concentrate on the development of an intensely individual style. If you really are conscious that you have within you the something more than talent that will warrant this, and if you know you can afford the time and money, then you would be wise to do so. But for one fashion artist who has genuine unforced individuality, there are a hundred who have none, and in these days, when everyone is so adept at copying and cheapening the work of a pioneer, it is hardly worth while your spending much time in developing a very personal style. For, indeed, the beginner who has taken pains to do so will probably merely succeed in alarming nine editors out of ten whose only requirements are that you should do " something rather like Erickson (or Rhys, or Mourgue, or Mabs), but not too like, of course."

Not wishing to be too cynical or discouraging, I offer you this consolation. You may be fairly certain that the most striking and individual styles that you admire to-day were not produced at will, or at once, but were evolved quite unconsciously by the action of experience and personality upon an irreproachable technique ; just as the beautiful lichen-covered walls of old houses were produced by the action of time and the elements at work upon a solid well-built surface, and not by hasty expedients overnight.

While no one can actually enjoy trying to sell his own work, and while the shamelessness of agents may extract higher prices, the artist who has not got an absolutely forbidding personality will always be his own best salesman. And though the agonies of shyness that make each interview a nightmare may lead him to welcome any alternative, his diffidence may, to his clients, be imperceptible, only to be expected, or even charming. But it is probable that the

difference between the price an agent gets for your work and the price you would have got unaided will be about the sum he charges in commission, and will therefore not be of much use to you. The congenital secretiveness of agents prevents their telling you to whom they have shown your work or what has been said about it, and it is in any case much pleasanter to have personal contact with the man for whom you are going to work than to discuss everything through a third party. In whatever circumstances, it is always unsatisfactory to work for a client you do not see, as the intermediary, who is unlikely to be either an artist or very versed in the technicalities of fashion, has so often the fatal knack of remembering and passing on to you just those words that his client meant least, and of understating or entirely forgetting those that meant most.

I have been speaking more of artists' agents than of advertising agents. The rough difference is that the former start with the artist, take selections of his work round to shops, manufacturers, newspapers and magazines, and try to sell it or to get him orders for work similar to it. Advertising agents, on the other hand, undertake all the advertising for shops and manufacturers and find artists to supply suitable illustrations. Sometimes you will find you are working for a client through the double barrier (involving the deduction of double commission) of an artist's agent who has brought your work to the notice of the advertising agents who have your client's advertising account.

On the whole, an advertising agent is likely to be of more use to a free-lance fashion artist, and he can often give you the order to illustrate an entire catalogue for one of his clients, and you will frequently find that when you apply to a shop for an appointment to show your work you will be passed on to their advertising agent. Perhaps this is rather irrelevant to the subject of this chapter, for advertising agents are unlikely to get you work with the editorial fashions department of a newspaper or magazine ; artists' agents, on the other hand, do sometimes bring your work to the notice of an editor, though I have never heard of an artist getting to an editor, through an agent, whom he could not as easily have approached unaided.

If you are selling your own work to a newspaper, it is very unwise to make any rules, when you are beginning, as to the prices you will, and will not, accept. It may sometimes pay you to pretend, on the spur of the moment, that you have made such a rule, but it is obvious that you must combine discretion and intuition in gauging, on this occasion or that, just what your client can afford to pay. He is reasonable, remember, in asking you to reduce your prices when a number of drawings is commissioned.

Many magazines and dailies have a fixed rate of pay : in the case of the former, so much a page, or half page, or by the figure ; in the latter, it is reckoned by the column. Underselling another artist may get you work, but it won't keep it. In a paper where such a thing is possible it will not be long before

someone else does the same to you. It will pay the paper, of course, but you will merely be one link in the chain which has dragged down prices. If your work is worth printing it is worth the standard rate for the paper in question and you should see that you get it. This does not mean, however, that if you have heard how much they are paying their star performer you should expect the same. He may be exclusive to them ; there is no need for you to be.

What, in general, makes it more agreeable to work for the Press than for a shop is the comparative absence of rush. Except with daily papers, where the element of confusion is so assiduously preserved, there is a certain regularity. If you are doing a weekly feature, you will be told by what hour of what day it must always be delivered, and this certainly makes for better work, because you have time to consider how and what you are to draw.

For a rather more detailed consideration of the journalistic outlets for your fashion drawing, it seems possible to divide them under four headings. These are (I.) magazines that specialise in luxurious fashions, and who make a considerable feature of the newest clothes from Paris ; such are Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, etc. (II.) Magazines of the shilling class, but of more general interest, which make a regular feature of an illustrated fashion section ; such as Tatler, Sphere, Bystander, Country Life, Woman's Journal, Good Housekeeping, etc. (III.) Magazines at a lower price, devoted to things of interest to women, but making a feature of fashions which are practical rather than luxurious, and which appeal to a far wider public than a more expensive paper ; such are Fashions for All, Home Chat, Mabs, Weldons, etc., and almost any woman's magazine at 6d. or under. (IV.) All daily newspapers (with the exception of The Times). These have an almost daily section devoted to women's interests, with a frequent fashion feature.

(I.) The first group employs those fashion artists who command the highest prices ; and these are usually, with such exceptions as Mourgue, who works for Vogue as well as for Femina, and Benigni who works for Femina as well as for Harper's, exclusive to the magazines for whom they work. (In connection with Femina, from which so many of the illustrations in this book are taken, and to which there are several references, I must say that it does not provide any market whatever to artists resident in England. I have not hesitated to mention it in this book, because it is obtainable on British bookstalls and invariably contains, not only a number of admirable drawings, but the very spirit of Paris, which is so apt to reach English people only in a filtered condition.)

Fashion Drawing Sections

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