Fred Blunt: New challenges and illustrations

Like many of Bright’s illustrators, Fred Blunt knew from a toddling age that he wanted to draw for a living. Inspired by The Muppets, Quentin Blake and the Flintstones, Fred’s fresh, quirky art grabs attention and quickly helped him to stand out.

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After graduating from UWE Bristol, Fred began by sending out his samples to publishers everywhere.  He purchased the Writers and Artists Yearbook (a new book is published every year) and worked his way through the lists. After tirelessly knocking on doors, he was finally in luck: an advert from Usborne Publishing.

‘They were looking for a high-quality cartoony style, and I thought that I stood a chance,’ Fred says.

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Speedily snapped up by Usborne, Fred spent his next years producing over 15 stand-alone titles in addition to lots of early readers and phonics activity books.

‘One of my favourite books is The Reluctant Dragon,’ Fred says.
‘It was my first book with Usborne and there was a big learning curve.’

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Happily employed and busy, Fred’s various series and titles gave him vast experience, including the ability to work to a brief and an in-depth understanding of the publishing process. Years of steady work has helped him to build a market-awareness and a bookshelf of story ideas.

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Reaching out to his contemporaries, Fred began to explore options for writing his own stories. Through his friendship with Gabriel Alborozo, Fred was introduced to the Bright Group.

 ‘I checked out the website and I saw other artists whose work I was familiar with doing exciting things,’ Fred says.

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Within a week of meeting the agents, Fred became a part of the Bright family. He has since signed his first author/illustrated publishing deal, broken into the American market and expanded into greetings cards via Bright Art Licensing.

As a hardworking, positive and proactive person, Fred is a great inspiration to any new illustrators looking to break into the industry.
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