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My Job in 5: Stephanie Alexander Jinks

Art Works Director Stephanie Alexander Jinks takes over My Job in 5 this week, discussing what it's like to work in the niche industry of illustrative agents.
Written on 03/28/2019 - 16:15
  1. Describe your role.


My role is to be a project manager, designer, agony aunt, marketing wiz, lawyer, trouble shooter and negotiator! I work in a very small intimate office, I think this is very good thing considering the kind of job I do. It’s so varied you never quite know what is going to happen from one day to the next. It’s very important to have a strong team around you to discuss things with as they unfold through the day. I am responsible for 35 people’s careers and that is something I take very seriously.

  1. What do you like best about your role?


There are many things I like about my role but the thing I like the most is my relationship with the artists, we go through it all together and working with such talented people is a real privilege. This attaracts the most wonderful projects from clients and everyone is working towards the same goal, so there is always a positivie and pleasant atmosphere. I love coming into work and I realise that I am lucky to do a job that makes me feel this way. I have been doing it for so long it really is a part of who I am.

  1. Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?


Many of the things we are do embargoed until they get released but they range from huge advertising campaigns that will guarantee to ignite huge media coverage when they come out, to amazing book ideas that have come from the artists. And the thrill to see those in print is hard to  parallel.  We are doing more books than we ever have and our office bookshelf really is a thing of beauty. We are doing a lot of non-fiction titles which means nearly every one of our artists is working on a book of some kind or another.

  1. What skills do you need for your role?


To listen to people is one of the most importante skills, in trying to get the right artist for the job and then making sure it goes smoothly by knowing the artists. To be able to have 7 things that need to be done immediately and not cracking under the pressure. To be able to deliver bad news sometimes. To have an eye for finding good artists and turning their talent into a living wage and more. Being able to forecast how to sustain existing careers and style and launch new ones. To make sure work doesn’t stagnate and to keep pushing people to develop their work.

  1. What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?


It’s a small industry and because of that jobs are rare but if you can get in it’s one of the best jobs you can do.  There are other relevant fields to get experience if you are trying to get into it. Think about working with people in pressured situations. Marketing and project management are good transferable skiils. Keep doing your research look at artists' work and projects that have happened so you can get to know the kind of things you will be handling one day.