Yasmeen Ismail wins V&A Best Book Illustration Award 2014!

The Victoria & Albert Illustration Awards celebrate the best illustration published over the last year, from both seasoned and junior illustrators. Not only is the V&A one of the most prestigious and notorious institutions in the world, it is also a long standing pillar of creative influence for artists.

Therefore Bright are proud to announce that our very own Yasmeen Ismail has won the V&A Best Book Illustration 2014 for her timeless ‘Time For Bed Fred!’.

Original artwork from the best illustrated book, book cover, editorial illustration and student illustrator of the year are recognised at the V&A illustration awards and the three published categories were judged by Art Director for the Telegraph, Gary Cochran, Art Director for Profile Books, Peter Dyer and V&A Director of Design Moira Gemmill.  The Prize is £2000 for each category, plus an additional £2000 for the illustrator who is chosen as overall winner. Yasmeen is one of only 3 illustrators to have been handpicked from hundreds of potential nominees,

Book Illustration Shortlist

Yasmeen Ismail – Time For Bed, Fred (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Benjamin Parker – The Little General (Jaimimage Publishing)

Finn Dean – Brave New World (Folio Society)

Yasmeen’s beautifully inky drawings have earned her a place amongst the creative elite of the publishing industry and Bright are incredibly proud to support her and her exciting future endeavours! This year is a busy busy busy year for our Yasmeen – a Waterstones nomination under her belt, 2 books coming out this Summer AND finishing/starting an array of exciting picture books for 2015 release.

Yasmeen Ismail is represented Bright Agency

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Benji takes the Oscars by Storm

As soon as I saw this book I fell in love with the cover and hoped that the rest of it would live up to my expectations. It far exceeded them. The sort of book I would be proud and excited to buy as a present for every young child I know.’  Viveka Alvestrand, Oscar’s Mother.

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Bright Author-Illustrator Benji Davies recently won Oscar’s First Book Prize 2014 for his hauntingly moving ‘The Storm Whale’. The £5000 award is held by The Evening Standard in memory of Oscar Ashton, a lover of stories who sadly passed away unexpectedly aged 3 1/2 years. The Bright Agency were ecstatic and overwhelmed to represent 3 of the 5 Illustrators who made it to the final five and secured the book deal for a 4th:

Benji Davies - ‘The Storm Whale’ (Simon & Schuster)

Nicola O’Byrne - ‘Open very carefully’ (Nosy Crow)

Lee Wildish (& Charlotte & Adam Guillain) - ‘Spaghetti with the Yeti’ (Egmont)

Philippa Leathers – ‘The Black Rabbit’ was also a Bright publishing deal with Walker.

As a business celebrating it’s 10th year in the publishing world, Bright are incredibly proud to represent over half the nominees on this list. Nurturing new found talent as well as supporting established names is a key factor in the company’s working ethos. The Bright nominees have grown with the agency and are just small examples of what can happen when agent and creative really collaborate to achieve amazing artwork and stories that then turn into industry-shaping book deals.

The final 5 were narrowed down from an original 57 entries by a panel of esteemed judges and some very critical young readers. All involved were searching for books that could easily be read by children under 5 as well as being appreciated by their adult counterparts. Judge Charlotte Ross said that the books on the shortlist were “both timeless and original, and we picked tales with images and words that fired the imagination”.

But overall, the winning book was picked because the judges believed Oscar and his vivid imagination would have loved it to – because of this, Benji and Bright are honored and truly humbled to be a part of such an amazing award.

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Thomas Flintham: One to Ten… Animal Mayhem

Thomas Flintham's colourful animals run, swim, splash and dash from page to page in One to Ten… Animal Mayhem, a marvellous rhyming picture book, published by Scholastic this month. This is the first title in an exciting new early concept toddler range by Tom, which sees his delightful interpretation of a whole range of animals, introducing the numbers 1 to 10.

Thomas Flintham is represented by Arena

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Kristyna Litten: This Day in June

In celebration of Gay Pride this month, This Day in June illustrated by Kristyna Litten is published by Magination Press part of the American Psychological Society (APA). Written by Gayle E Pitman, a professor of psychology, the book aims to enable parents to talk to their children about all aspects of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, in a fun and inclusive way. The APA are committed to the promotion of the equitable and just treatment of all segments of society and this book is published to open doors for children to understand, respect and accept LGBT people from a young age.

Village Q posted a great review saying: "Litten's delightful illustrations capture the range of human exuberance, from shirtless leather folk to marching band members to grandstanding politicos in convertibles."

Kristyna Litten is represented by Arena

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Jonny Duddle: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Bloomsbury have revealed the cover illustration by Jonny Duddle for the second book the famous Harry Potter series by J K Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The cover shows the dramatic scene in the chamber itself with Harry facing the basilisk and Ginny Weasley lying on the floor beyond.

 Jonny describes his process in his Q&A from Bloomsbury:

How do you as an artist approach such a large job? Where do you begin with such a wide range of possibilities?

“I’m taking one book at a time. I read the cover brief, and then I read the story, making notes and occasional sketches. I collect references, from my library of non-fiction books, search online and take my own photographs. I’ve recruited my neighbours’ son, who is suitably Potter-esque, although he annoyingly had his slightly wild hair cut for the new school term. I make numerous sketches of the main elements of the cover and then cobble them all together digitally, until I have a cover rough I feel happy to send to Bloomsbury and J.K. Rowling. I hear back very quickly with comments on my rough, which I then tweak or redraw until everyone’s happy for me to progress. Then I ‘paint’ each cover digitally.”

Jonny Duddle is represented by Arena

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Christopher Nielsen for Raw Deals mag

A dream job for Christopher Nielsen – commissioned  by Caspian Media for the cover of their Raw Deals magazine, the brief was Unleash the Beast!  Traces approved and artwork delivered, 5 days from start to finish, and a very happy client. Chris lives in Australia and brings cultural influences to his work which has a wonderful hand-crafted feel.

Christopher Nielsen is represented by Phosphor Art

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Tomato Skirts

These juicy ads are for Saveol in France and illustrated by Jacqueline Bissett.

The brief was to show cheeky girls desiring and eating the mini tomatoes making up their skirts - which were superimposed onto the artworks. The fun images are currently in use on billboards throughout France, with the possibility of them going on the side of trucks at some point, which would be great!

 Jacqueline Bissett is represented by Illustration ltd

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Lift Off!

Colin Elgie works with The Ideas Department to create this comic style mural for a public lavatory.

The Men's Toilet in Golden Square Shopping Centre in Warrington now has a fantastic wall of art designed to encourage children and grown-ups to wash their hands. The design cleverly incorporates the hand dryers into a series of retro rocket ships. We'd love to see one for the ladies too!

Colin Elgie is represented by Illustration Ltd

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