Astounding artist representation
Drawn to better

About us

Astound US Inc is a new kind of Artist Representation business based in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, and now with offices in London.

We aim high - to Astound - by being the Agency with the best in contemporary children's book illustration, and both licensing and commercial art from around the world.

We back that up with excellence in every aspect: from the first presentation, to how we project manage, and all the way through to how we invoice.

We Astound by being good at what we do with a snappy, can-do, enthusiastic, talented and creative attitude. And yes, we're not expensive.

All those things that make for an 'astounding' outcome.

Our promise to artists: career advancement with the right clients, regular creative guidance, strong administrative support and on time payment

Drawn to better.

Be drawn to better.

No matter where you are in the world or at whichever stage of your freelance artist career you may be, we're passionate about helping your career be more successful and rewarding by creating the art you love most! We are on your side: we'll give you insider's tips and client feedback for your folio development, and also introduce you directly to leading children's publishing houses, greeting card companies, jigsaw puzzle and game manufacturers, poster and decorative product suppliers (tableware, stationery)… the list goes on!

We're here to discuss the artistic direction you'd like to pursue and make that a reality with you.

Our positive relationships with our artists have made us the most rapidly growing Artist Agency in New York, possibly the USA. Here in the center of the publishing world, we are just a few subway stops away from the biggest brands worldwide, but we don't stay local - our agents travel everywhere to showcase your portfolio (and custom-made promotional materials!), from coast to coast in the USA, to major fairs in Europe: Frankfurt, Bologna, London and beyond.

We spread the word about your talent through personalized mail-outs, regular correspondence with close contacts in the industry, and online campaigns in addition to our state of the art site - all free to you!

Our partnership with Collaborate Agency's highly experienced team of editors and designers means that we can also support you in developing original children's book ideas into full-fledged storybooks and presentations, which we bring to the biggest children's book fairs of the year.

Best of all, we make sure you're paid right on time.

Astound us! If you'd like to learn more and be represented by Astound US, please email with a sampling of your favorite pieces (8-10 .jpgs under 2MB each).

Astound Team!

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Samantha Marando February 13 2020

Inside the Artist's Studio

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Samantha Marando

 Check out more of her work here!

  1. Where is your studio located? At my home in Surrey, England.
  2. What is your favorite or signature medium to work in? I often work in watercolour paints followed by adding details & editing in photoshop with my Cintiq. I like to paint all of my work as separate elements which I piece together digitally, like a giant jigsaw puzzle!
  3. Describe your studio in one word. Relaxing.
  4. When you are in your favorite spot in your studio, what is on your right? My wooden box of watercolours, that I was given as a birthday present when I was young. They are very important to me as they are what introduced me to painting with watercolours. I like the fact that I still have them & still use the box.
  5. When is your favorite time of day to work on illustrations? I think I work my best in the morning. I always wake up with ideas buzzing around my head & can’t wait to get into my studio to get the ideas down on paper. If I ever have a block or struggle with a project, I believe there is nothing better than sleeping on it. Step away from the problem & come back to it with fresh eyes the next day. It always works!
  6. Do you listen to music? I have a very diverse taste in music, varying from rock & metal music to more chilled folk or country music. Finally throw in a sprinkling of pop music, podcasts & the radio. I always have something on while I work, otherwise it can feel quite lonely. Luckily it is only my cat who has to listen to me sing.
  7. Do you have a favorite character that you have created? Usually my favourite character is whichever one I am drawing at that moment! Whenever I draw a character, I get swept up in their back story. My imagination runs wild as I try to imagine what they are feeling at that current moment, what their name is, even what they eat for breakfast. It make me feel connected with my characters & hopefully that helps me to draw them better.
  8. If you could add anything to your studio, what would it be? More cats & more vintage items. I have always loved collecting old books, photos, ornaments & generally anything that has been abandoned  by someone. They find a way into my studio & it becomes their new home. If the vintage item is shaped like a cat, then it gets bonus points.
  9. Close your eyes and grab the first thing in reach in the studio. What is it? My diary planner – I always have it in front of me, with my week broken down & scheduled out. Instead of having one long to do list (that never seems to end), I like to break my tasks up into days. That way it feels more manageable & I can leave my studio every day feeling like I have achieved what I was meant to. I like to stay organised!
  10. Picture prompt: Take a photo of your favourite thing in your studio: My favourite thing in my studio is a beautiful vintage illustration book that used to be my mother’s & got passed down to me. I used to spend hours as a young girl copying the illustrations & dreaming of becaming a children’s book illustrator myself one day. It is definitely what inspired me as a child & it still inspires me today.


Astound US is a new kind of artist representation business based in Downtown Manhattan. We aim high – to Astound – by being the agency with the best contemporary children’s book illustrators and commercial artists from around the world. As an international illustration agency we represent over 130 astounding freelance illustrators, offering the perfect style for whatever your next project may be. Astound – Drawn to better.