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

Fiona Woodcock Wins World Illustration Award Children’s Book Category 2019

We are delighted and incredibly proud that Bright author illustrator Fiona Woodcock has won the World Illustration Awards 2019 Children’s Book Category for her children’s book LOOK, published by HarperCollins US imprint Greenwillow Books.

title Fiona at Somerset House for the World Illustration Awards 2019

Told entirely in words that contain a double ‘O’, LOOK is the story of a brother and sister’s day, including a trip to the zoo, where they discover baboons, balloons and many more delights!


The engaging, interactive text is perfect for emerging readers – encouraging them to read through the blend of letters and pictures – and has captured the hearts of both children and adults with its heart-warming illustrations and fun word play.


Established over 40 years ago, the AOI’s World Illustration Awards are widely respected across the industry, offering a comprehensive insight into the ideas, trends and techniques that are at the forefront of illustration today. Previous winners of the award include Benji Davies in 2015 for Grandad’s Island (published by Simon & Schuster).


“It is such an enormous honour and a beautiful surprise for LOOK to receive this World Illustration Award. I was thrilled to be shortlisted amongst so many brilliant children’s books, so to be given this recognition from the judges really does mean a lot.

“There’s a lovely sense of things linking back up, because I first came across The Bright Agency at an AOI talk held at Somerset House six years ago. And I always visit the World Illustration Awards exhibition, so I’m incredibly proud to have been a part of it this year.

title Fiona with her winning artwork, Fiona and Bright MD Vicki Willden-Lebrecht and Director Arabella Stein at Somerset House

“The concept for the book was an idea I had many years ago and when I eventually started trying to shape it into a book my personal brief was to produce a vibrant and playful story using double ‘O’ words. I incorporated the ‘OO’ letters into the illustrations to encourage children to engage with both the words and pictures together.

“The initial inspiration came from a pair of 2003 New Year’s glasses. The double zeros transformed into double ‘O’ words in my sketches and I started playing around with both the shape and sound, experimenting with words which worked well when incorporated in the image.”


“Once the difficult part of deciding on the sequence of events was resolved it was a real pleasure to focus on the artwork. I created every element of the illustration individually on paper, using stencils and rubber stamps to create varied areas of textured colour. Then I composited them together like a collage digitally, sometimes changing the size and colour if needed. This final stage came together relatively quickly after all those years of walking around with the idea knocking around in the back of my head.


“This book taught me to persevere with my ideas, even though they might not exactly fit with picture book conventions.”

“I find that publishers are often after unique individuals, so I think about what I love to draw best and let ideas grow from that. Of course, making books is a team game, so I’d like to say a big thank you to Greenwillow Books for seeing the potential in my idea.”


To see Fiona’s portfolio, please click here.

To work with Fiona, please contact Arabella Stein.

The World Illustration Awards 2019


The WIA are delighted to announce that they are now open for entries for the 2019 awards.

The ever prestigious awards saw its most successful year in 2018 with thousands of illustrators submitting work from across the globe. The Awards are delivered by the AOI in partnership with USA-based Directory of Illustration, building on a 40-year tradition of the AOI organising juried survey competitions.

The World Illustration Awards has eight categories that reflect the breadth and diversity of illustration being commissioned globally today. You may enter your work into the following categories: Advertising, Books, Children's Books, Editorial, Design, Experimental, Research and Site Specific.

To find out more about the competition and how to enter click the link HERE




Bright’s Senior Licensing Agent, and newly-appointed director, Hannah Curtis, was honoured to be invited to join the small-but-select panel of judges to decide the award for SAA New Talent in Illustration Associate Prize at the prestigious New Designers Awards, taking place at London’s Business Design Centre this week.

We caught up with Hannah after the ceremony to hear about the exhilarating - but also slightly daunting - process of appraising the assembled new illustration talent on display, and selecting just one winner…


New Designers is renowned for launching the next generation of design talent in the UK. The breadth and wealth of skills is extraordinary and exciting. Graduates are transitioning from the comfort of their degree into the commercial world of design. Specifically looking for illustrators, the appointed SAA agents met to discuss their criteria and how best to sift through the pool of talent.

New Designers Show 2018, Week 2 (4-7 July), inside the Business Design Centre; the SAA judging panel roundtable (literally!); smart stationery, and helpful button badge, for the selection process

We all agreed we were looking for fresh, inspired, new and exciting design. So many trends just keep filtering through, and there is an air of ‘I’ve seen it all before’ despite the creative skill and execution demonstrated. We wanted something new, something that stood out and something that no one else is doing. We were also interested in the commerciality of the work and the illustrator: as Agents we are promoting our illustrators’ work to clients on a daily basis, so they need to be professional, personable, hard working and driven.

Initially scouting alone, the judges came back together to discuss and put their favourites forward. The five creative minds really came together and gelled as a team, helping each other see things in the artists’ portfolios that we might have otherwise missed. We then set off as a team to revisit our shortlist - possibly a slightly terrifying experience for the graduates who saw us coming, mob-handed!

Just a sample of the creativity on display at the show in Week 2

It was clear when we looked again at Ella Rose Brown’s work that we had all fallen in love. Her vibrant use of colour immediately draws you in; inspired by fashion and textiles, she creates beautiful work with an emphasis on detail and a love for culture. Ella was passionate, well-presented and very determined. Her portfolio was vast and, although varied, it was consistently strong. It was clear from the judges’ excitement that we had found our winner!

Ella Rose Brown, Manchester School of Art, proudly displaying her richly deserved SAA New Talent in Illustration Associate Prize

We also had three commendation certificates to distribute, so it was back to the judges’ lounge to decide on our three runners up. Again we wanted to concentrate on originality, fresh ideas and a potential commerciality. George Goodwin from Plymouth College of Art offered a well-executed, fun and expressive style: with huge amounts of detail and bold use of colours, his work really stood out for the judges.

George Goodwin: ‘The Jungle’, excerpt from a crowd-funded illustrated picture and activity book,Don’t Shoot the Long Tailed Tiger.

Maisy Summer Lewin-Sanderson, also from Manchester School of Art, demonstrated a fresh and exciting technique; her mixed-media approach used illustration and collage in sensitive proportions. Maisy’s portfolio showed a strong use of colour, expressive characterisation and a clear narrative.

Maisy Summer Lewin-Sanderson: ‘Night and Day’, spread from a self-directed publication about the bar and music venue of the same name in Manchester’s Northern Quarter

A portfolio that kept drawing us back in, and provided interesting discussion, was Carl Tai Thompson. Carl’s illustrations depict serial killings perpetrated by a murderous alter-ego, ‘Snake Eye’s, stalking India and Pakistan. His interest in culture and colour was obvious, and his conceptual ideas - which were passionately displayed - was inspiring.

Carl Tai Thompson: ‘Yard Sale’, 7-colour screen print.

A HUGE congratulations to all the graduates who took part in this year’s New Designers, and especially to our winner and runners up: you are at the beginning of a very exciting road, one that will offer beautiful opportunities doing what you love - and hopefully excelling at it. Choose the job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life!


New Designers SAA New Talent in Illustration Associate Prize

The SAA Associate Prize is awarded to a graduate specialising in illustration who is judged to have the most fresh and inspiring work within the Visual Communications zone at the show.

The prize will be six months career development by one of the SAA’s member agents which will include mentoring, portfolio advice and promotion through the SAA’s website and social media channels.

Website: New Designers Awards


Ella Rose Brown

– Manchester School of Art


George Goodwin

– Plymouth College of Art

Maisy Summer Lewin

– Manchester School of Art

Carl Tai Thompson

– University of Portsmouth


Victoria – Illustration Web; Alice – Illustration Web; Hannah - The Bright Agency; Alex – The Artworks; Tom – Handsome Frank

The Association of Illustrators’ World Illustration Awards exhibition

The Association of Illustrators’ World Illustration Awards exhibition (WIA) opened at Somerset House in central London on Thursday 7th June with a very well attended Private View in the evening. For a look at the prize-winning entries and the 180 or so other works that were shortlisted go to


Laura Hughes wins Oscar’s Book Prize 2018

Laura Hughes wins the highly esteemed children’s book award with author John Dougherty for their laugh-out-loud picture book ‘There’s A Pig Up My Nose!’.

We are delighted and immensely proud that Bright artist Laura Hughes has won the Oscar’s Book Prize 2018 alongside author John Dougherty with their original and witty picture book ‘There’s A Pig Up My Nose!’, published by Egmont.

John’s loveable tale of a little girl, Natalie, and a nose-dwelling pig, Ernest, is full of hilarity and surprise, beautifully married with Laura’s playful artwork. It’s a joy to read as you follow Natalie’s increasingly absurd attempts to get a pig out of her nose — even hanging upside down whilst being walloped with a blow-up rhino doesn’t seem to do the trick. It’s silly, utterly heart-warming, and with plenty of laughs — and OINKS — along the way.

The Oscar’s Book Prize is an annual award celebrating the best books for under-fives from the year. Previous winners have included Bright artist Benji Davies who won in 2014 with ‘The Storm Whale’. You can read more on the award here.

HRH Princess Eugenie awarded the Oscar’s Book Prize at St James’s Palace on Monday 14th May. From left to right: Vicki Willden-Lebrecht (MD, The Bright Agency), author John Dougherty, artist Laura Hughes, Emma Dods (Senior Commissioning Editor, Egmont), Laura Hughes, Rebecca Essilifie (Art Director, Egmont).

Laura Hughes:

“I am absolutely honoured that ‘Theres’ a Pig Up My Nose’ has won the Oscar’s Book Prize! The award was set up in memory of 3-year -old Oscar Ashton who died of an undetected heart condition, and as well as being a wonderful and touching way to pay tribute to a young reader, the prize also aims to highlight the importance of reading together with young children. Low literacy levels among children starting school is an increasing problem, and the organisers of the award are doing great work in bringing awareness to this issue. It’s a privilege to have been involved in this very special award.

“The first time I read John’s story I absolutely loved it and knew right away that I had to illustrate it! ‘There’s a Pig Up My Nose’ is a warm and quirky tale about a girl who gets a pig stuck up her nose, so I knew that I had to keep the illustrations bright and light-hearted. I used a slightly different process in creating the artwork than I usually do, with some parts coloured directly from my roughs (something I generally avoid) to keep the illustrations loose and energetic.

“For the characters in the book I took inspiration from the diversity of the people I see every day in London, so for example, the doctor is based very loosely on one of my own GP’s. I live in Walthamstow and will often sit and draw in local cafés. I think it’s really important to get out of the studio and draw from life whenever possible to keep your work fresh and relevant.”

You can also watch Laura’s interview with the Evening Standard here.

“I am absolutely thrilled that Laura has won the Oscar’s Book Prize and it’s wonderful to see her grow from Kingston University graduate and Bright intern to an award-winning illustrator. Laura brings such exuberance and flair to her artwork — she is a true talent and I’m so proud of all that she has achieved.” Vicki Willden-Lebrecht

Laura Hughes’ past titles include ‘The Birthday Invitation’ (Bloomsbury Children’s Books), ‘The Chocolate Monster’ (Faber & Faber), and ‘We’re Going on an Egg Hunt’ (Bloomsbury Children’s Books). Her next picture book, ‘Quick, Barney, RUN!’ (Faber & Faber) is publishing this summer on the 5th July. You can see more of Laura’s artwork here.

Recent Posts

November 2022

Join the Society of Artist’s agents

but before you do, please read our criteria for joining here