Bright’s BEA 2016 Chicago book blitz!

BEA {BookExpo America} moved from NYC to Chicago this year, and Bright USA agents, James Burns, Anne Moore Armstrong, and Alex Gehringer, who represented trade and commercial artists, were there with stunning new portfolios and story concepts to share with editors and art directors.


BookExpo featured gorgeous stands from publishers large and small, and it was amazing to see a multitude of Bright illustrators’ books featured prominently all over the trade show, from smaller independent publishers to the big houses. Here are some of the highlights our agents spotted during the 3-day event:  BEA3 BEA6

While Bright was in Chicago, we met up with Chicago-area artists Zoe Persico, Kristina Swarner, and Josh Heinsz for some bites after the show. We talked shop, answered questions and shared our favorite characters and pop culture icons. We love to see Bright artists meet each other and be able to share industry news and tips with them.


Josh and Zoe have a lively discussion about illustration

Trends spotted of BEA

Every year at BEA, editors proudly display their upcoming titles, and we always notice a few key trends across the publishing houses. This year was no exception. We found that certain trends are still going strong and exciting new ones are beginning to emerge. Here’s some of what caught our attention:

trends • strong girl-power themed books  • design-driven books featuring patterns, shapes, coloring, and inspiration  • character-driven books with nods to grown-up pop culture themes such as yoga, DIY, and taxidermy  • quirky books for young readers on money, sign language, and universal connectedness  • green-themed books on food, farming, gardening, water, tools, and healthy living  • hand-drawn title lettering, special cloth-spined books, and specially designed spot-varnished covers  • picture books featuring superheroes, artists, inventors, and kings! Trends2

Every publisher’s booth had its own style and sensibility, but these 2 booths especially caught our eyes — Abrams with their fabulous illustrated walls —


and Quarto utilizing a full-size bus to house their books!

Quarto BEA2016

All in all, it was a great three days in Chicago, meeting with the industry’s most influential editors and art directors. The feedback we received on the portfolio was so positive; there’s nothing like working with industry pros who are as enthusiastic about our illustrators as we are.

To see more photos from our time at BEA, visit #BrightBEA on Twitter. We’ll see you next year, back in NYC, for BEA 2017!