Anne Moore Armstrong + MentorMakers: The Role of A Bright Agent
Bright US publishing agent Anne Moore Armstrong skyped in with Mentor Makers to chat about what it takes to become a children’s book illustrator and the undeniable benefits of having agent representation. With more than 20 years as a children’s book professional, Anne is chock full of knowledge to share.
When Anne first came to Bright USA from Candlewick Press, she brought on author/illustrator David Litchfield. Anne had been following David on Twitter for years and loved his work, but saw that he needed to be developed to move into the picture book realm. “He was doing more sophisticated adult quirky work, which I loved, but it was really about pulling out the gold for picture books.” With Anne’s help, David’s first picture book The Bear and the Piano was acquired by Francis Lincoln, developed with the art director and editor, then went on to receive the esteemed UK Waterstone Prize in 2016.
Anne remarks, “sometimes you just see something and you just know – I can pull the gold out of that and it’s kind of hidden but it needs to come out. Those are challenges I love.”
The role of an agent, however, is much more than discovering talented illustrators. “You’re managing an artist’s time and creating a feasible schedule that won’t crash,” says Anne. “It really is about managing projects and expectations, and knowing your artist’s working style.”
“I’m here to advocate for you,” Anne says. “I’m here to solve this problem, to work with the client and work with you.”
If agent representation is so important, how do you actually get an agent to represent your work? Especially in an age saturated with online creative outlets, how do you get noticed?
Anne suggests you have “a good strong portfolio of at least 12 – 15 images, not just 2 or 3 that are strong.” She also stresses the importance of a “fresh, clear, and clean website that represents your work well.”
In short, Bright Agents like Anne are advocates for artists. We’re well versed not only in children’s book art direction, but also in how to navigate the sometimes tricky road to publication. With Bright agents and our specialized contracts department by your side, you have a team of art superheroes behind you as champions of your career.
While we’ve distilled some of Anne’s best nuggets of publishing wisdom into this blog post, you can still view the full webinar here.