The SAA are very pleased to be supporting the World Illustration Awards by sponsoring The SAA Agents Award for New Talent.

Alex T Smith’s Mr Penguin is back with a brand new adventure.

Back in his third epic adventure Alex T SmithsMr Penguin and his sidekick Colin take to the high seas in this beautifully produced illustrated fiction series published by Hachette Children’s Books Mr Penguin and the Catasprophic Cruise is available in all good bookshops and libraries now.

Dressed in his absolute best bow tie Mr. Penguin is boarding a luxury cruise ship. He doesn’t like water, and he can’t swim, but his friend Colin is performing with the Ladies Choir on board – and anyway, Mr Penguin feels like a rest after some busy Adventuring. What’s more, fish finger sandwiches are apparently available twenty-four hours a day. Heaven!

But despite the glamorous film stars and party atmosphere, Mr Penguin can’t help but feel that something shifty is happening on board. And when he befriends a young stowaway with a mystery of her own to solve, he soon finds that Adventures are lying in wait after all …

This action-packed adventure series beautifully showcases Alex's skill for character design and his clever use of the space on the page really brings this hilarious slapstick stories to life. His talent for storytelling is something to behold alongside his masterful illustration skills making this hugely popular series a sure-fire hit with readers young and old.

Alex T Smith is represented by Arena Illustration

 

Welcoming Marie-Alice Harel to Arena Illustration

It is said that stories are told eye to eye, heart to heart and mind to mind, this Scottish proverb is at the very essence of the work of our newest Arena Illustrator.
We are thrilled to welcome award-winning illustrator and storyteller Marie-Alice Harel to Arena Illustration,presenting her exquisite illustrations, masterful storytelling and stunning new online portfolio.
Award-winning French illustrator Marie-Alice Harel began her full time career in illustration in Edinburgh in 2016 where she had first settled as a Geosciences PhD and researcher. Her ethereal watercolour illustrations exude a magical transience which capture the imagination.
With storytelling at the heart of her illustration practice, Marie-Alice draws inspiration from exotic cultures, fascinating historical archives, fantasy, mysticism and her own personal life experiences. This skill for creating stories first made its appearance in a series of exquisite limited edition books.
Winning the prestigious Book Illustration Competition in 2019 for illustrating Howl's Moving Castle by Dianne Wynne Jones published by The Folio Society, Marie-Alice's stunning illustration work is much in demand and lends itself beautifully to a wealth of publishing and design projects. This lavish edition of a fantastical tale includes an introduction by award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick and perfectly showcases her delicate dreamlike style. Watch their YouTube Video HERE

 

 

How to make the perfect children’s book

Artwork credit: Maddie Frost



Check out Robyn’s rundown of the key ingredients for illustration success in this field:

Consider your audience and your buyer

As well as being perfect for the target market in both style and substance, the look and feel of the book must be appealing to the adult that is most likely to be purchasing the book. Think about the tastes and current trends that are likely to grab the attention of book buyers.

Accept constructive criticism from those in the know

The editorial and design team will have bags of experience and be directly in touch with sales people so have faith that their feedback will always be based on really valid market information. Even if changes can seem random at times, trust that the outcome will only improve sales of your book. For example, covers that are green sell less well than red covers! It’s a thing - I promise!

Be aware of global tastes with regard to facial features

It is worth having a selection of different eyes and noses up your sleeve (so to speak), and in your portfolio. Features can often be a sticking point as some looks work better in some markets than others. Design teams will often ask for options so it is worth being flexible.

Artwork credit (left to right): Top row: Dan Widdowson; Hannah Peck; bottom row: Benji Davies; Nan Lawson.

Diversity

Be mindful that your book might be sold across the globe and should appeal to all children and their families, whomever they are and wherever they are in the world.

Artwork credit (left to right): Top: Rosie Butcher; Aura Lewis; Alea Marley; Sophie Beer.

Characters

For younger children, it’s great to be obvious, but for older audiences, don’t over-egg it! When we are surprised, we don’t always throw our hands up to our faces, or gasp when we are shocked, for example, so think about more natural reactions and gestures when creating character poses. Use friends as models to get expressions and limb positions just right.

Humour

Wherever there are characters, a children’s publisher is looking for a little bit of humour, so don’t be afraid to add extra detail or funny elements. Humour appeals to all children (while subtle comedy can lend a book all-important appeal for adults, too), and can really help make your artwork stand out from the crowd. It doesn’t have to include reference to bodily functions, although – to paraphrase the great Ade Edmondson of Bottom fame – a fart is always funny…

Ben Mantle, from Giant Jelly Paws and the Pirates, written by Helen Baugh and published by HarperCollins, 2015.

Novelties

This is the terminology for any extra elements on books that add play value, so that’s anything from flaps and sliders to pull-tabs and pop-ups! Good design teams should always provide clear die-lines and briefing notes if these elements are part of the book you are working on, but it is worth becoming familiar with how these work. Spend an hour in a local bookshop in the board book section to familiarise yourself with moving parts, or buy a few novelty books from charity shops and take them apart!

Demonstrating just a handful of different activity elements that might be used to enhance 'play value' in a novelty publication (featuring interiors from the Bizzy Bear series, illustrated by Benji Davies and published by Nosy Crow).

Always ask the question

Don’t feel silly for asking your assigned designer lots of questions: they will be happy to answer anything and will be super-relieved that you asked instead of getting confused by something.

Make the best out of briefs

In my experience, a designer will always prefer to brief you in the way that best suits you. From the outset, do say if there is a particular way you like to work – or, if you are mid-project and struggling with the way it is being briefed, don’t feel afraid to ask for an alternative approach.

And finally…

…Ask your agent

We are here for you: to support, advise, and help to develop your work – and to be your champion. If you need any assistance, would like some insider advice, or simply want us to ask a publisher something on your behalf, just let us know: that’s what we’re here for!

Read more about Robyn on her Agent profile page at The Bright Agency website

New books for autumn from Bright’s artists & authors

The end of summer is in sight, and a new season means NEW BOOKS! The latest titles publishing this autumn from our brilliant Bright artists showcases the breadth of gorgeous styles across the portfolio — from bold and quirky art full of humour, to beautifully enchanting festive tales.

Among the exciting new titles soon to be adorning bookshelves, is the latest picture book from ‘Supertato’ creators Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet; the much-anticipated sequel to David Litchfield’s highly acclaimed ‘The Bear and the Piano’; and once more we return to the captivating world of ‘The Storm Whale’ to join Noi on his latest adventure. Enjoy!


SEPTEMBER

‘Look’ By Fiona Woodcock / Greenwillow Books

‘As We Grow: The Journey of Life…’ Illustrated by Richard Jones / Caterpillar Books

‘The Space Train’ Illustrated by Karl James Mountford / Little Tiger Press

‘Angry Cookie’ Illustrated by Maria Karipidou / Walker Books

‘It All Began When I Said Yes’ Illustrated by Annabel Tempest / Simon & Schuster

‘Santa Claus Vs The Easter Bunny’ By Fred Blunt / Andersen Press

‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Bogey?’ Illustrated by Tom Knight / Scholastic

‘Cinderella’ Illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle / Orchard Books

‘The Rabbit, The Dark and the Biscuit Tin’ By Nicola O’Byrne / Nosy Crow

‘The Bear, The Piano, The Dog and the Fiddle’ By David Litchfield / Lincoln Children’s Books

‘Lightning Girl 2: Superhero Squad’ Illustrated by James Lancett / Scholastic

‘You Can Tell A Fairy Tale: Little Red Riding Hood’ By Migy Blanco / Templar

‘Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins’ Illustrated by Mark Chambers / Two Lions


OCTOBER

‘When I Was A Child’ Illustrated by David Litchfield / Hodder Children’s Books

‘The Story Orchestra: The Sleeping Beauty’ Illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle / Lincoln Children’s Books

‘Christmas Gremlins’ / Illustrated by Chris Chatterton / Egmont

‘Brave and the Fox’ Illustrated by Sebastien Braun / Scholastic

‘We’re Going on an Elf Chase’ Illustrated by Laura Hughes / Bloomsbury Children’s Books

‘Snowball’ By Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet / Macmillan Children’s Books

‘My Friend Sleep’ Illustrated by Hannah Peck / Words & Pictures

‘Grandma Bird’ By Benji Davies / Simon & Schuster


NOVEMBER & DECEMBER

‘All Right Already!: A Snowy Story’ Illustrated by Benji Davies / Harper Collins

‘Frockodile’ Illustrated by Stephanie Laberis / Hodder Children’s Books


To work with Bright’s artists and authors please get in touch.

Frances Castle Illustrates Journeys of Discovery for Wide Eyed Editions


Frances Castle returns with a second fun and fact-packed non-fiction book in the Spot the Mistake series published by Wide Eyed Editions this month. Journeys of Discover is a lavish and large format, fully illustrated hardback which provides readers with an immersive, puzzle solving experience with a variety of red herrings, misplaced props and out of context objects cleverly hidden within each spread.

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Anne Wilson: Red Alert!

Anne Wilson illustrates a newly released book on endangered animals fighting to survive.

'Red Alert!' is written by Catherine Barr, published by Otterbarry Books and explodes with rich artworks by the wonderful Anne Wilson.

It takes 15 endangered creatures from the IUCN Red List - a database listing over 88,000 of threatened species which describes the global status of animals, plants and fungi. This book helps readers learn about the 15 featured creatures and what we can do to help them. Buy it here.

Anne Wilson is represented by Illustration Ltd

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