Blizzards, Blankets & A Bright Reception – Diary of a UK agent touring USA

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“Placing artwork in front of your clients face to face, brings results…”

Little did this Agent know of the wonders and extremes she was going to encounter starting out on a chilly January morning flying to see clients in the USA from the UK!


Landing in Chicago to a cacophony of taxis hooting and people preparing for the Super Bowl, it was an instant win for me! I immediately felt drawn to the city. My clients were a range of religious and educational publishers all of whom marvelled at the delights of my portfolio box. I knew from my first meeting that this was going to be no ordinary trip!


Next stop: Minneapolis, Minnesota, home of America’s largest shopping mall, the Mall of America. Here I experienced extreme temperatures of minus 16.  This city tested this Bright Agent’s resilience and adventurous side! Unfortunately I braved the cold and got frostbite!

I received welcomes from a range of clients including a very jolly bunch of ladies whose office was housed off the freeway — they all instantly made me feel at home. “Whoops” and “wows” were definitely the order of the day as they looked through the range of art work I was showcasing!

                        Dan Widdowson
                        Doreen Marts
           Charlie Alder
           Tom Heard
             Eva Bryne
                                                                    Marta Kissi
                         Natalie Smillie
                       Becky Down

Leaving Minneapolis with frostbite and a happy heart, I was even more delighted when United Airlines got me on an earlier flight so I had less time at another airport! By this time I had clocked up about 13 flying hours and two states.

So, Columbus, Ohio what would this bring? Thankfully warmer conditions at minus 4 [!?!] and a lovely hotel lobby where I met with one of our newest artists joining Bright, magical Lindsay Dale.

From here I then went for lunch with a lady after my own heart. Someone who was keen to get great art work into educational books across the USA but was also keen that we protect our artists from endless amends and art work changes! With that in mind I then prepped my travel bag for the big apple, New York here I come!

Bearing in mind it was late when I arrived in NY, the buzz of my hotel lobby and the bright lights were quite overwhelming! After a good night’s sleep and a vegetable juice later, I was raring to go! Within 24 hours of being in town and a few meetings later, commissions began to enter my inbox. How exciting!

Placing artwork in front of your clients face to face, brings results. Also now on my fourth state of the colossus that is the USA, I was learning lots about how each state has different budgets for their schools book and how this impacts on kids. It was interesting and made me even more determined to connect with clients to show my incredible art work by my Bright illustrators.

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Along with meetings there was also the small (!) NY event of the SCBWI conference being held a few blocks down. Meeting with Bright artists and sharing many moments with them was the highlight of the conference for me. I was sad to say good bye but already look forward to the next hello!

Boarding the 1803 from Penn station I then headed to my fifth and final state on this journey, Massachusetts in blizzard-swept New England ~ I was headed to Boston! As I sat on the train north, I was able to reflect on many wonderful moments of my Bright USA tour so far. Meeting brilliant artists and clients, facing extreme weather conditions, enjoying book signings, drinking lots of hot chocolate, but most of all being able to share and showcase the talent of our Bright artists.


Many clients have asked me about my travels with Bright. My thoughts on this have been enriched by this trip. Bright is not just an agency, it is a family. Whether an artist or a client I feel our USA story is about to get a whole lot bigger. As Vicki, our MD, discussed the next stages of the company growth stateside, I could feel goosebumps on my arms….who wouldn’t want to be part of the Bright story?


mealFrom Left to Right – Lucie Luddington, Pierre Collet-Derby, Vicki Willden-Lebrecht, Doreen Marts, Jen Hill, Migy Blanco, Luke Flowers

Gif by Erika Meza

Lucie Luddington – always happy and prepared to show the 2015 Educational portfolio! Please get in touch to book a meeting :