Founded in London in October 1994, Heart emerged from illustration studio collective, Big Orange. The premise of an agency established and run by a practicing illustrator and dependent on a group identity remains a guiding principle. Heart has maintained a selective and focused roster of artists and has established itself through intelligent promotion with a strong design aesthetic.
A growing US client base which welcomed Heart’s distinctive approach, led to the launch of Heart USA which was set up in New York in January 2002. This transatlantic presence provided the agency with opportunities to forge new client relationships in America.
Heart has always viewed its role as more than just finding work for a given group of artists. Preferring bespoke approaches to promotion, the size of the agency has allowed for individual focus on artists as and when required. Their needs are seen as intertwined with that of their agency, and this intimacy of scale has nurtured great friendships within Heart, which in turn has helped create a natural forum for discussion.
Over the course of their development, many of the artists represented have studied together, been taught by, or worked alongside one another, even collecting each others artwork and printed books. These close relationships have created a particular kind of dynamic, where both encouragement and critique are valued. Annual summer marquee parties on a farm in Sussex have allowed that close level of association to flourish and now extends to partners and children.