Behind the Book with Bright Star, Lucy Fleming

We’ve had the pleasure of working with Lucy Fleming for the last three years, and over that time we’ve watched her style grow and develop into something special. Her illustrative ability allows her to glide seamlessly from one end of the spectrum to another, giving her a broad range of opportunity in the children’s book industry. 

With BTB Logo

Here, Lucy talks about her work and how she’s finding life as an illustrator…

 “I’ve been with Bright since 2014 when I was a fresh graduate with wide eyes — in awe of the children’s picture book world.

 I’ve really been able to nurture and develop my artwork since joining Bright, and I’ve had the chance to work across many of the children’s book genres. I feel strongest when I’m challenging myself and my work. I love having the contrast of black and white fiction illustration and the colourful, playful nature of picture books colliding on my desk. Never a dull day!

I recently illustrated a picture book called Fum, published earlier this year and written by Karl Newson. It’s such a playful and charming story about a family of giants, searching for their littlest son, Fum. I adored putting faces to the characters as they journeyed through a fairytale world. 

Fum cover

Fum, by Karl Newson. Published by Maverick Books.

Layout 1

I’ve just wrapped up work on a new picture book to be released across the pond in the US! Written by singer Kelly Clarkson, it’s her second children’s book — inspired by her daughter, River Rose. This one is a Christmas book filled to the brim with glittering starry skies, delicious magical treats and of course, music. It will be out this October, and I’m over the moon to be a part of it. I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to work with publishers world-wide as well as here in the UK and it’s very exciting to have done so.

River Rose cover 

River Rose, By Kelly Clarkson. Published by HarperCollins.

What really drives me to want to illustrate a book is, first and foremost, the story. I’m most inspired by books with loveable characters and a great plot — but above all else, it’s got to be a fun story! When I heard about Star Friends, I was hooked instantly. I’m an animal lover and the idea of having a magical animal friend and fighting evil… well, how could I resist?

Here are a few sketches of the main character, Bracken. 

Bracken Sketches1 Bracken final design

 I had to design a sleek and mysterious looking fox, not too cutesy. Bracken’s final design, above right.

Below is the sample I created for the main characters, Bracken & Maia, and then on the right,  the finished book cover.

Star Friends first sample photo of book1

Star Friends, By Linda Chapman. Published by Stripes.

The next book in the series is called Star Friends: Wish Trap. Here’s a look into at the final sketch we went with as it became the published cover. It had to be quite similar to the previous book, but with a different character and her star animal. It has gorgeous gold foiling on the front that I’m so pleased we went with as it looks so rich with the purple!

Rough Cover BOOK2 Painting BOOK2

Final Cover BOOK2 Photo of book2

Throughout my time so far as a freelance illustrator I’ve poured my love of art and stories into my work. I am incredibly grateful that I’ve been able to step into the world of children’s books. I can’t get enough of it, and I know I’ll never get bored of it.

I’m excitedly awaiting the next illustration adventure!” LF

With thanks to Lucy!

If you’d like to work with Lucy, you can get in touch via her agent, Arabella Stein, here.

Follow Lucy on Twitter and Instagram!

And if you’d like to meet Lucy and hear more about Star Friends, you can!

Book your story time tickets HERE.